Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Conversations with Jewish leaders: Rabbi Harold White and Dr. Donn B. Murphy on MEIN KAMPF at H Street Playhouse in D.C., Sunday Aug. 12

NEW YORK CITY |  I am moderating an artist talk back after a Sunday matinee show in Washington, D.C.  Please see a play with us, then talk about it after SCENA's performance.

For me, a return to the state capital.  In November 2011, I represented the U.S. media in the first-ever "German and American Media Dialogue," organized by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Washington, D.C.  In cooperation with the Studio Theater, the "Media Dialogue" took place at the Goethe-Institut there.  --RG

George Tabori and MEIN KAMPF
Dialogues with Jewish leaders 

Rabbi Harold White and Dr. Donn B. Murphy

This talkback happens after 2pm matinee performance of MEIN KAMPF of SCENA Theater in Washington, D.C.. The play performing nightly at H. Street Playhouse.


In MEIN KAMPFGEORGE TABORI, the dramatist and writer, bypassed the taboo surrounding the Holocaust with wit. He was one of the last of the generation of writers forced into exile by the Third Reich. Hungarian by birth, writing in English and directing and occasionally acting in German, Tabori was the most widely performed modern writer in the German theater by 1992.

Rabbi White

RABBI HAROLD WHITE recently retired from Georgetown University in Washington, DC after serving as Jewish Chaplain for 40 years. Rabbi White is the first rabbi to be appointed to a full-time Campus Ministry position by a Catholic university.

Dr. Murphy
The Washington Post calls DR. DONN B. MURPHY "a man of the theater in every sense." Dr. Murphy taught theatre and speech courses at Georgetown University from 1954 to 2000. At the invitation of Jacqueline Kennedy and Letitia Baldrige, he became a theatrical advisor to the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson Administrations for White House dramatic and music presentations in the East Room (1961–1965). He was a founding member of the National Theatre Corporation (1974) and is President and Executive Director of the National Theatre in Washington, D.C.

SCENA's production of Mein Kampf performs at the H Street Playhouse from July 7 - August 19 and it is appropriate for audiences 16 and up.


RANDY GENER is a George Jean Nathan Award-winning editor, writer and artist in New York City.

He is a 2012 Nominee for The Outstanding Filipino Americans in New York (TOFA-NY) Awards (Category: Media & Publishing), an annual awards event held during Filipino American History Month celebration. To win this award, please click here to LIKE on Gener's photo in the Nominees Album of the official TOFA-NY Facebook page.

Only SCENA Theatre of Washington, D.C. is daring enough to bring MEIN KAMPF, an in-your-face black comedy by George Tabori to Washington, DC.
This farce tells the story of a young down and out painter named Adolf Hitler and his relationship with two Jews, Herzl and Lobkowitz in a Viennese flophouse circa 1900s. First seen in Vienna in 1987, Mein Kampf was an instant success in Europe and the hit of the 1988 Berlin Festival winning every Best Play award.  
MEIN KAMPF is rarely produced in the United States with only a handful of productions since its premiere in 1987, most notably a performance in Los Angeles at The Actor's Gang with Tim Robbins in 1991. The setting is winter in a doss-house in Blutgasse, Vienna. Among the shelter’s inhabitants is Schlomo Herzl, an unsuccessful bookseller who deals mainly in Bibles and the Kama Sutra. Events take a dramatic twist with the arrival of a newcomer, one Adolf Hitler, who has come to Vienna from the sticks to secure a place at the Academy of Arts. With such a volatile and taboo subject, Tabori writes with a savage humor and a deep compassionate understanding of the evil that is to come.  
SCENA Theatre is Washington's premier cultural institution, bringing the best in international theatre to DC and stimulating cultural exchange between local and international artists. 
Founded in 1987 under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert McNamara and Managing Director Amy Schmidt, Scena produces an annual season of plays, a Workshop Series aimed at developing new work from around the world, special events, and the Washington International Theatre Festival, staged each year at venues throughout the city.

Cast: Mein Kampf features accomplished Washington area actors such as Cameron McNary (Hitler), Stas Wronka (Herzl), Stephen Lorne Williams (Lobkowitz), Hannah Burkhauser (Gretchen), along with Gary Baker, Tom Byrne, Brandon Mitchell, Ellie Nicoll and Joseph Carlson. Designers: Michael C. Stepowany (Set), Alisa Mandel (Costumes), Andrew Griffin (Lights), and James Garver (Sound).

Tickets are $25 - $35 in August. Tickets may be purchased here on Scena's website or by calling 703. 683.2824. Also tickets may be bought at the H Street Playhouse one hour prior to performances.

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