“A Shayna Maidel” to open at AU Theatre Feb. 19

Barbara Lebow’s drama “A Shayna Maidel, ” translated literally as “a pretty girl, ” will be staged by Auburn University Theatre in its Theatre Upstairs Feb. 19-23.

The play is set in New York City in the year 1946 and opens on a conversation between Rose Weiss, 22 years old and thoroughly immersed in American city life, and her father, both of whom emigrated from Chernov, Poland, 18 years earlier. Rose must come to terms with learning that her sister, left behind in Poland with their mother because of illness, has been found and is coming to join Rose and her father. As the play progresses, the sisters overcome obstacles to develop a bond and a different kind of beauty begins to emerge.

The production is under the direction of AU Theatre associate professor Scott Phillips, who faces the challenges of guiding the students in the study of language, dialect, Jewish culture and the development of sensibilities appropriate to period and place.

“In one sense, the cultural references and sensibility of the characters may present a difficult challenge for actors who have grown up in the South, far from the cultural melting pot of Manhattan, and certainly very far removed from the tragic events of the Holocaust,” said Phillips. “But in another, much more important sense, most of us can readily identify with Rose, her sister Lusia and her father Moredechai. This is a play about the importance of family, the connections we have with the people we love, and how those connections of blood and tradition can help us transcend even the most difficult circumstances.”

All performances for this production will begin at 7:30 p.m., with no 2:30 p.m. matinee
performances. Seating is limited. For tickets or more information call (334) 844-4154.

General admission is $15. Admission is free for AU students with a valid ID, $10 for senior citizens and $10 for AU faculty and staff.

The AU Department of Theatre will host a body of Jewish American life visuals in the Telfair Peet Theatre art gallery during the run of the production.

Dean Anne-Katrin Gramberg of the College of Liberal Arts will host an opening night reception immediately following the Feb. 19 performance in the lobby gallery of the Telfair Peet Theatre.

Contact: Linda Bell, (334) 844-6617 (belllin@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)