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Stage Reading: Waiting for Father

  • BBLA 3rd Floor - BBLA Library, 321 E 73rd St, New York, NY 10021 New York, NY USA (map)
Zuzana Justman, Emmy-award winning author and playwright

Zuzana Justman, Emmy-award winning author and playwright


Written by: Zuzana Justman

Directed by: Eleanor Reissa

November 16 at 8PM 
3rd Floor - BBLA Library

This play by Zuzana Justman tells the story of Helena, a young woman who cannot accept the fact that her father died in Auschwitz. It is set in the Terezin ghetto in 1944 and at Vassar College and in New York City in 1954.

The idealistic, headstrong Helena struggles to make peace with her difficult mother, plans to search for her father and is torn between two men. The play contrasts her life in Terezin with her "idyllic" existence at Vassar. She tries to live in the present and enjoys going to parties and nightclubs in Greenwich Village with Gordon, an ambitious, English filmmaker. Though being truthful is most important to Helena, she cannot bring herself to tell Gordon about her past. She is also drawn to Peter, a charismatic emigre whom she knew in Terezin. She ultimately chooses one of them. Each of the characters who were imprisoned in Terezin, Helena, her mother and Peter, deals with the past in a different way.

The story is partly based on the life of Zuzana Justman.

Waiting for Father will be performed by: Betsy Howie, Mimi LIeber, Patricia Noonan, Beatrice Tulchin, and Robert Zukerman.

Zuzana Justman / Writer

Zuzana Justman is a director, writer and producer of documentaries. Her critically acclaimed film A Trial in Prague played in New York City at the Quad Cinema. Her documentaries include two films about Terezin: Terezin Diary which was screened at the Village East Cinema and the Emmy Award-winning Voices of the Children which was shown on PBS. All of her films were broadcast internationally. She translated and produced the play The Unlucky Man in the Yellow Cap by her brother, the Czech writer J. R. Pick, for the 2006 New York International Fringe Festival. Zuzana Justman was born in Prague, spent two years in Terezin as a child and graduated from Vassar College.

Eleanor Reissa / Director

Eleanor Reissa is an actor, director, playwright, and singer – in English and in Yiddish. On Broadway she was in Paula Vogel’s INDECENT and starred/directed Sholem Asch’s GOD OF VENGEANCE in Yiddish at La Mama. Eleanor received a Tony nomination for directing THOSE WERE THE DAYS, which she also choreographed/performed in. An anthology of her plays, THE LAST SURVIVOR AND OTHER MODERN JEWISH PLAYS, was just published and she is currently writing a Yiddish translation of Paddy Chayevsky’s THE TENTH MAN for the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. She has acted and directed on Broadway and off. Most recently she played Dr. Gorgeous in Wendy Wasserstein’s THE SISTERS ROSENSWEIG. Eleanor is one of the world’s most renown interpreters of Yiddish music and has sung in every major venue in NYC. This summer she was invited to sing with Frank London at both the Krakow Festival in Poland and the Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto as well as in Berlin, Vienna and Paris. In the spring of 2019 she will be performing a new Kurt Weill in New York program in Dessau Germany for the Kurt Weill Festival. In April of 2019 she is directing and performing in From Shtetl to Stage at Carnegie Hall.

Please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to showtime.

Empty seats will be released to standby patrons after that time.

This is a FREE event, please RSVP here.