A Shayna Maidel

Bernard Cohen

This article originally appeared in Southern Exposure Vol. 14 No. 3/4, "Changing Scenes: Theater in the South." Find more from that issue here.

"The sense of place in terms of Atlanta is very powerful to me because I have the security of home," says Lebow. "The Academy Theatre is the place where I feel free to explore and create and experiment. Maybe it's because I have such a strong sense of place in my personal life that I tend to translate my own sense of reality into my plays. The place, in large part, is responsible for the character.

"If you don't have a sense of place, whatever your place is, then you won't know the elements of creating or describing any other place. When I go to see a play, part of what I'm hoping for is that I will walk into a new world. That's what I try to do as a writer. If it's not a place that I know and have lived in myself, I spend a lot of time in research, capturing those tangible, intangible things — the geography, the smells, the sounds, the feel of a place."

A Shayna Maidel is the story of a Jewish family which was separated when the father, Mordecai, escaped from Poland with his daughter Rose just before World War IL The mother stayed behind with their other daughter Lusia. The mother was killed in a concentration camp. Lusia survived. The play examines her arrival in the United States to reunite with her father and sister. The following scene takes place in Rose's apartment while the sisters are waiting for Mordecai's arrival. Rose has given Lusia some Western clothes to try on.


Excerpt not included here. Copyright by Barbara Lebow.