Cheap $15 tix available at Box Office Only for today’s performances of PHOTOGRAPH 51 – the show that’s received raves everywhere – as we still wait on The Washington Post to print the review of last Monday night’s performance.
Bonus Programming – a FREE PERFORMANCE today of Love, Anarchy and Other Affairs at 5 pm.
Theater J presents Part I & II of
The E.G. Trilogy: Three Plays About Emma Goldman
by Jessica Litwak
Love, Anarchy and Other Affairs (Sunday, April 3 @ 5 pm)
The Snake and The Falcon (Monday, April 4 @ 7:30 pm)
Directed by Dorothy Neuman
This trilogy of plays explores the life and work of the in/famous Russian Jewish anarchist Emma Goldman. The trilogy begins with a one woman play: Love Anarchy and Other Affairs (set in 1901) and progresses to The Snake and The Falcon (set in 1919), and culminates with Nobody Is Sleeping (current work-in-progress) which occurs over a period of four years, starting in 1936. The plays move from an apartment in Chicago (in the first play) to the Missouri State Penitentiary (in the second play) to (in the final play) the active battlefields at the front of The Spanish Civil War.
When I was in my early twenties, director Anne Bogart and I developed Love, Anarchy and Other Affairs about Emma Goldman’s early life as an anarchist. While researching and writing the piece, I was lucky enough to meet people that had known Emma. She became a source of personal strength for me. I named my first daughter after her. I always wanted to revisit her story again, later in her life and mine. When I turned 50, and began to feel the pangs of invisibility that come to women of this age in our culture, I looked to Emma Goldman for guidance. She spent her 50th birthday in the Missouri State Penitentiary, and shortly after that was deported to Russia, due to the work of zealous young Department of Justice official, J. Edgar Hoover who dubbed her “the most dangerous woman in America.” I found their relationship intriguing, and I found the issues from that period in America’s history (including immigration and patriotism) very timely. The third play Nobody Is Sleeping explores Emma’s last four years of life, as she pours her heart into the war against fascism in Spain. Although the facts of the war itself are tragic (Frano declared a victorious end to the Spanish Civil War in Spain just months before Hitler invaded Poland and World War Two began), so much hope and heroism occurred during the war that many who witnessed and or participated in it were forever changed. The characters that help evoke this exciting personal and political saga in Emma’s life include Franco, Durruti, Lorca, Ernest Hemingway, and of course Alexander Berkman.
The three plays together give the audience a full experience of the flow of Emma’s life and work, her time in prison, her public self, her sexual and romantic experiences. Through all three plays the relationship between Emma Goldman and her life long comrade Alexander Berkman, shines as one of the most unusual love stories of all time. Emma’s life as a Jewish Anarchist and deeply self reflective woman has been widely written about as history. These plays attempt to make action and poetry out of the events of her life in order to inspire us to conversation and to action.
Jessica Litwak, a playwright, actress and drama therapist, has been on the full-time theatre faculty of San Francisco State University and The Theatre Academy at Los Angeles City College. Her work has been published by Applause Books, Smith and Krause, and The New York Times. Plays include: Emma Goldman: Love Anarchy and Other Affairs produced by The Women’s Project and Productions, Bogart and she also collaborated on Between Wind, commissioned by The Music Theatre Group. A Pirate’s Lullaby, which won The Oregon Book Award, was produced at Artists Rep. Theatre, Rattlestick Theater and The Goodman Theatre. The Promised Land, commissioned by The National Federation of Jewish Culture, was produced in Budapest. Secret Agents was produced at The Renberg Theatre, and Victory Dance was produced at the DR2 in New York and in Los Angeles where it received a Garland Award and an Ovation Award. The Night It Rained was performed at HERE in NYC. Terrible Virtue was developed by The Lark and The Culture Project, GRIM was produced at The Barrow Gro up. Wider Than The Sky was developed at The Lark and Epic Theatre. As an actress, Litwak has appeared extensively in theatrical productions, was a company member at The Guthrie Theatre and a member of The Actor’s Studio. She received a BFA in Acting from New York University’s Experimental Theatre Wing and an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University. The Founder and Artistic Director of the New Generation Theatre Ensemble, (www.ngte.org,) Litwak has written and directed NGTE plays Postcards from Canterbury, The Great Journey Home, Verona High and War An American Dream, and The Moons Of Jupiter.