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A committed atheist inherits a collection of rare and hauntingly beautiful illustrated Hebrew manuscripts, including a prayer book from fourteenth-century Spain, and discovers that the books, which bear witness to overlapping Jewish and Islamic traditions, were stolen some six-hundred years after their creation from a library in 1940s Berlin.
THE ROAD THEATRE COMPANY
Presents the First Show of its 2019-2020 Season!
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF
Written by ANGELA J. DAVIS
Directed by LEE SANKOWICH
Limited Engagement opens Friday, September 20
at The Road on Magnolia!
THE ROAD THEATRE COMPANY and Taylor Gilbert, Founder/Artistic Director together with Sam Anderson, Artistic Director, The Other Side of the Hill Productions Inc. in association with SPARK Theatrical
present the first show of the Road’s 2019-2020 season, the world premiere of THE SPANISH PRAYER BOOK, written by Angela J. Davis and directed by Lee Sankowich. THE SPANISH PRAYER BOOK will preview on Tuesday, September 17 Wednesday, September 18 & Thursday, September 19 at 8pm will open on Friday, September 20 at 8pm and run through Sunday, November 23 at the Road Theatre on Magnolia, located in The NoHo Senior Arts Colony, 10747 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood.
Moral dilemma, historical mystery, and matters of the heart converge when a committed atheist inherits a collection of rare and hauntingly beautiful illustrated Hebrew manuscripts, including a prayer book from fourteenth-century Spain, and discovers that the books, which bear witness to overlapping Jewish and Islamic traditions, were stolen some six-hundred years after their creation from a library in 1940s Berlin.
Inspired by true events and a late twentieth-century court case, and using projected images of the books themselves, the play explores the allure of sacred objects, the ethical issues generated by cultural treasures displaced during wartime, and the power of art to forge human connections.
MORE ABOUT “THE SPANISH PRAYER BOOK” from ANGELA J. DAVIS
“Although the play is a work of fiction, it is inspired by true events. In the 1980s, a prominent New York City auction house announced the sale of a collection of rare, illuminated (i.e., exquisitely illustrated) Hebrew manuscripts, including some dating from the fourteenth century. As is standard in auctions, the consignor was anonymous. Protests erupted, however, following discovery that the books bore the library stamp of a leading cultural institution dissolved by the Nazis in 1941. In the face of speculation that the seller was an aging Nazi art thief, the auction house revealed that the seller was in fact an aging rabbinical professor who claimed he was ‘given' the books in exchange for a promise to smuggle them safely out of Germany some fifty years earlier. The rabbi-professor’s story was subject to question. Many of his own colleagues publicly doubted him, particularly as he had kept his possession of the books a complete secret from those colleagues of several decades. A lawsuit resulted. Some years ago, I obtained the records of that litigation and published an article on the ‘true' case. Although the case settled, the human dimensions of the dispute stayed with me for years after writing that article: What do we ‘owe' to the past? What do human beings owe to each other when it comes to cultural treasure displaced during wartime? What is it about works of art that makes them different from ordinary objects and “property?’ How do moral issues surrounding art displaced during wartime impact human relations?”
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST
ANGELA J. DAVIS (Playwright) Her THE SPANISH PRAYER BOOK was recently named one of the top 21 new plays (from a field of over twelve hundred) for the Moss Hart & Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative, a Eugene O’Neill semi-finalist, and a FutureFest official selection.
Additional playwriting honors include: 2018 ATHE Award for Excellence in Playwriting - Second Place Winner, Eugene O’Neill semi-finalist, PlayPENN top-12 Finalist, FutureFest - Official Selection, SETC New Play Award - First Alternate Winner, Playhouse Creatures/Rodriguez (NYC) New-Play Award top 5, Julie Harris Award top 5, and MultiStages (NYC) New-Play Award top 12, among several others. Angela’s plays Agathe (Tempest Productions 2019 New Play Award 2019 Itinerant Theatre Company: The Play’s The Thing 2018 Arts & Letters Prize (GA) finalist Sky Blue Theatre (London) / British Theatre Challenge Short List, Frostburg Arts Center New Play Award - 2nd Place Winner), Charlotte (Viterbo New Works Festival, 2019 Hidden River Arts 2019 - Best New One-Act Play), The Czar’s Daughters (2017 Pittsburgh Original Works Series, Hidden River Arts 2019 Finalist), are each part of the 365 Women a Year International Playwriting Project. Recent work presented and/or forthcoming at the Dayton Playhouse, The Road Theatre Company, The Blank Theatre, the North Carolina Women’s Theatre Festival, the HRC Showcase Theatre, The Itinerant Theatre Company, The Frostburg Palace Theatre. Angela’s poetry, prose, and essays appear in numerous national publications, including a University of Iowa Press anthology. A Pushcart Prize nominee and two-time O’Neill semi-finalist, Angela studied comparative literature at Stanford and is an adjunct professor at Southwestern Law School, where she received the 2018 Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the creator of an award- winning multi- media program on elimination of bias in courtroom environments. Member of Dramatists Guild of America, PEN America, and the Antaeus Theatre Company Playwrights Lab.
LEE SANKOWICH (Director) career began with successful productions of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest which ran for two and a half years in New York, five and a half years in San Francisco, a year and a half in Boston, and in Israel. He's worked in Regional Theatres including Baltimore Center Stage, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep, Geva, San Jose Stage, Theatreworks, Pittsburgh Public Theatre where he was a Resident Director, He was Associate Professor of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University, and Artistic Director at Marin Theatre Company for sixteen years. Lee owns the Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles.
The cast of THE SPANISH PRAYER BOOK will feature (in alphabetical order): Allison Blaize, Laura Gardner, Carlos Lacamara, Richard-John Seikaly, Amy Tolsky,
Allan Wasserman and Tiffany Wolff.
The Design Team for THE SPANISH PRAYER BOOK is as follows: Scenic and Projection Design by Yuki Izumihara Lighting Design by Derrick McDaniel Sound Design by David B. Marling Costume Design by Kate Bergh Properties Design by Heath Harper The Production Stage Manager is Maurie Gonzalez. THE SPANISH PRAYER BOOK is produced by Laurie Bernhard/SPARK Theatrical and Zeljka Gortinski.
SCHEDULE AND PRICING
THE SPANISH PRAYER BOOK will preview on Tuesday, September 17 Wednesday, September 18 & Thursday, September 19 at 8pm will open on Friday, September 20 at 8pm and run through Saturday, November 23 at the Road Theatre on Magnolia, located in The NoHo Senior Arts Colony, 10747 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood.
Performances are Fridays at 8pm Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. Ticket prices are $34 Students and Seniors are $15.00 Previews are $15.00. Sunday Performances are Pay-What-You-Can. Special group rates available for parties of 8 or more. For tickets, please call 818-761-8838 or visit www.RoadTheatre.org to purchase tickets online or to view complete schedule.
Presenter / Producer: The Road Theatre Company
Theater > Other
Event Phone: 818-761-8838
The Road On Magnolia
10747 Magnolia Blvd.
North Hollywood CA 91601
North Hollywood / Burbank / Glendale
Performance Dates: 9/17/2019 - 11/23/2019
Fridays at 8pm Saturdays at 8pm Sundays at 2pm
Sunday Performances are Pay-What-You-Can
For tickets – visit www.roadtheatre.org or call 818-761-8838
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