On Monday, December 10 and Monday, December 17, 2012, both at 6:30pm, the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at The Graduate Center CUNY will present two FREE public programs to conclude its Fall 2012 season.
Living History: Rudi Rosenfeld and Moshe Yassur (Romania) on Yiddish Theatre.
On Monday, December 10, 2012 at 6:30pm, the Segal Center welcomes living legend Rudi Rosenfeld, the last of his generation of Yiddish-speaking actors in the storied Romanian Yiddish theatre, in conversation with noted Romanian Yiddish theatre director Moshe Yassur. Rosenfeld and Yassur will reflect on the past, present and future of Yiddish theatre in Romania and around the world with a panel of artists and theatre historians. Vibrant from the late nineteenth century onwards but banned during World War II (save for a single Jewish theatre that performed Yiddish plays translated into Romanian, by special decree from the Antonescu regime), Yiddish-language theatre in Romania was consecrated when the new Communist government established the world’s first state-operated Yiddish theatre in Bucharest in 1948. This theatre has been in continuous operation ever since, and now features primarily non-Jewish Romanian actors performing in Yiddish.
Revisiting the Rosenberg Trial in The Brother (with Sam Roberts, NY Times).
On Monday, December 17, 2012 at 6:30pm, the Segal Center welcomes New York Times investigative reporter Sam Roberts and his collaborating playwrights, John Hancock and Dorothy Tristan (Weeds, Bang the Drum Slowly) for a reading of the new stage adaptation of Roberts’ riveting nonfiction book The Brother, a return to the 1950s Cold War treason trial and execution of suspected Soviet spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. The affair caused a global uproar at the time, with the international left defended the couple (Pablo Picasso called the execution a “crime against humanity” and Jean-Paul Sartre called it a “legAl Lynching”) but the anti-Communist right (including Senator Joe McCarthy and prosecutor Roy Cohn) hounded them. The polarizing case still reverberates in American culture and politics, and details continue to emerge: in 1996, Ethel Rosenberg’s brother David Greenglass—a former machinist at Los Alamos who became a Soviet spy himself and testified against his sister—admitted to Roberts that he had lied under oath to protect his own family. This Segal evening, co-presented with the CUNY Graduate Center’s Science & the Arts series, will feature a reading from Hancock and Tristan’s new play, directed by Ian Strasfogel, followed by a discussion of its endlessly fascinating subject matter with Roberts, both playwrights, and Brian Schwartz (Graduate Center CUNY).
The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (MESTC) is a non-profit center for theatre, dance, and film affiliated with CUNY’s Ph.D. Program in Theatre. The Center’s mission is to bridge the gap between academia and the professional performing arts communities both within the United States and internationally. By providing an open environment for the development of educational, community-driven, and professional projects in the performing arts, MESTC is a home to theatre scholars, students, playwrights, actors, dancers, directors, dramaturgs, and performing arts managers from the local and interNational Theatre communities. Through diverse programming—staged readings, theatre events, panel discussions, lectures, conferences, film screenings, dance—and a number of publications, MESTC enables artists, academics, visiting scholars and performing arts professionals to participate actively in the advancement and appreciation of the entire range of theatrical experience. The Center presents staged readings to further the development of new and classic plays, lecture series, televised seminars featuring professional and academic luminaries, and arts in education programs, and maintains its long-standing visiting-scholars-from-abroad program. In addition, the Center publishes a series of highly regarded academic journals, as well as books, including plays in translation, written, translated and edited by leading scholars.