The People's Violin


Charlie Varon

Published by Dramatists Play Service

1 Male 5 Female

A play about Americans and Israelis, Jews and gentiles, truth and deception

Sol Shank, 43, is an experimental filmmaker, transplanted New York Jew, and unhappy son of a famous man. Sol's father, Sidney Shank, is a psychotherapist, Holocaust authority, New York intellectual and author of two dozen books

Sol's wife, Nirit, is Israeli-born and herself a psychotherapist. To jump-start his faltering career, Sol begins work on a documentary film about his father. He discovers a mysterious violin, launching him on a quest that uncovers hidden chapters in his father's past

Evidence mounts that his father may not be who he claimed, forcing Sol to question what it means to be Jewish - and forcing the audience to question the meaning of identity, tribe and self. Framed as a documentary film itself, The People's Violin intersperses Sol's narrative with scenes set in New York, Chicago and Tel Aviv

Though not a comedy, the play frequently employs humor in its exploration of family relationships, culture and identity

"A formidable work of art generous in narrative detail and color, complex in its meaning" ~ San Francisco Chronicle

"Astoundingly engaginggracefully grapples with the distinctly American notion that we can reinvent ourselves" ~ San Jose Mercury News

"A beautifully wrought drama" ~ Oakland Tribune

Cast can be extended to 14 men

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