San Francisco Playhouse has announced the cast for Paula Vogel’s Indecent, the first production of Playhouse’s 20th anniversary season. The play will take place on the main stage of the San Francisco Playhouse from September 22 to November 5, 2022. Susi Damilano will direct, with musical direction by Dmitri Gaskin and choreography by Nicole Helfer.
The production marks the Bay Area premiere of the critically acclaimed work, which was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Play in 2017.
Indecent is based on the real events surrounding the scandalous Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s “God of Vengeance,” considered a seminal work of Yiddish theater by some, and a treacherous piece of libel by others. With a klezmer-infused score filled with joyful song and dance, this piece traces the history of this incendiary work, the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it, and the evolving identity of the community. culturally rich that inspired its creation.
“There are few voices in American theater quite like Paula Vogel’s,” said Bill English, artistic director of the San Francisco Playhouse. “Her Indecent is not only a true story about a time when art, freedom and truth were put to the test, but also an exuberant love letter to the theater. We are honored to present the premiere of this play in the Bay Area with our great friends at Yiddish Theater Ensemble.”
The cast includes Rivka Borek*, Rachel Botchan*, Miles G. Jackson*, Dean Linnard*, Victor Talmadge*, Malka Wallick* and Ted Zoldan.
Paula Vogel is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright whose plays include Indecent (Tony Award for Best Play), How I Learned to Drive (Spring 2020 Broadway production; Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Lortel Prize, OBIE Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle and New York Drama Critics Awards for Best Play), The Long Christmas Ride Home, The Mineola Twins, The Baltimore Waltz, Hot ‘N’ Throbbing, Desdemona, And Baby Makes Seven, The Oldest Profession and A Civil War Christmas. His plays have been produced by Second Stage, New York Theater Workshop, the Vineyard Theatre, Roundabout, and Circle Repertory Company, Center Stage, Intiman, Trinity Repertory, Woolly Mammoth, Huntington Theatre, Magic Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Dallas Theater Berkeley Repertory and Alley Theaters to name a few. The Harrogate Theater and the Donmar Theater produced his work in England. Internationally, his plays have been produced in English in Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand and in translation in Italy, Germany, Taiwan, South Africa, Australia, in Romania, Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia, Canada, Portugal, France, Greece, Japan, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Brazil and many other countries. John Simon once remarked that Paula Vogel had more accolades than a “black couch scoops up lint”. Honors include induction into the American Theater Hall of Fame, Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, Lily Award, Thornton Wilder Prize, Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement, New York Drama Critics Circle Award, William Inge Award , the Elliott Norton Award, a Susan Smith Blackburn Award, the PEN/Laura Pels Award, a TCG Residency Award, a Guggenheim, a Pew Charitable Trust Award, and fellowships and residencies at Sundance Theater Lab, Hedgebrook, Bellagio Center at Rockefeller Center, Yaddo, MacDowell Colony, and Sparrow. She is particularly proud of her Thirtini Award from 13P, and honored with three awards in her name: The Paula Vogel Award for Playwrights from The Vineyard Theatre, the Paula Vogel Award from the American College Theater Festival, and the Paula Vogel Mentorship Program Vogel, organized by Quiara Hudes and Young Playwrights of Philadelphia. Paula was playwright-in-residence at Signature Theater (2004-05 season) and Theater Communications Group publishes six volumes of her work. Paula continues her intensive playwriting work with community organizations, students, theater companies, subscribers and writers around the world. She is the inaugural playwright-in-residence of the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television Hearst Theater Lab Initiative in 2019 and has recently taught at Sewanee, Shanghai Theater Academy and Nanjing University, University of Texas in Austin and at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis. From 1984 to 2008, Paula Vogel founded and directed the playwriting program at Brown University; during this time, she began an acting workshop for women in maximum security at the Institution of Adult Correction in Cranston, Rhode Island. It continues to this day, sponsored by Brown University’s Pembroke Center for Women. From 2008 to 2012, she held the O’Neill Professorship at the Yale School of Drama.
Founded by Bill English and Susi Damilano in 2003, San Francisco Playhouse has been described by The New York Times as “a company that stages some of the most consistently high-quality work” and considered “always adventurous” by the Bay Area. NewsGroup. Located in the heart of the Union Square theater district, the San Francisco Playhouse is the city’s premier Off-Broadway company, an intimate alternative to Union Square’s larger, more traditional theater fare. San Francisco Playhouse offers audiences the opportunity to experience professional theater with top-notch actors and world-class design in a setting where they are close to the action. The company has received multiple awards for lifetime achievement, acting and design, including the SF Weekly Best Theater Award and Bay Guardian’s Best Off-Broadway Theater Award, as well as three Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Awards. consecutive for Best Whole Production in the Bay Area (2016-2018). KQED/NPR recently described the company: “The San Francisco Playhouse is one of the few theaters in the Bay Area with a mission that really manifests itself on stage. Artistic Director Bill English’s commitment to empathy as a guiding philosophical and aesthetic force is admirable and in living this mission fascinating things happen on stage.” San Francisco Playhouse is committed to providing a creative home and a inspiring environment where actors, directors, writers, designers and theatergoers converge to create and experience dramatic works that celebrate the human spirit.
Yiddish Theater Ensemble (YTE), based in Berkeley, Calif., was founded by co-artistic directors Laura Sheppard and Bruce Bierman. YTE is dedicated to producing the rich and rarely performed Yiddish theatrical repertoire of dramas, musicals and comedies of the past 150 years. YTE also develops new and original works by living artists through performances, readings, lectures and workshops. YTE strives to bring a contemporary and relevant approach to making the joy of Yiddish theater accessible to all audiences. Bilingual productions are in English and Yiddish with subtitles. Past productions include: the acclaimed 2021 online video production of God of Vengeance which received the 2020-2021 San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award, Itzik Manger’s Yiddish musical Di Megileh (2014, 2015) a feature of the Jewish Music Festival, and Cabaret by the Bay (2017) co-produced with KlezCalifornia. Yiddish Theater Ensemble is delighted to co-produce Indecent with San Francisco Playhouse.
*Actors appear courtesy of the Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
Tickets ($15-$100) are now available. For tickets or more information, the public can contact the San Francisco Playhouse box office at 415-677-9596, or online at https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2190451® id=18&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sfplayhouse.org%2Fsfph%2F2022-2023-season%2Findecent%2F?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1.