The Soap Myth by Jeff Cohen
A play reading
Starring Seven-time Emmy Award Winner Ed Asner and Three-time Emmy and Tony Award Nominee Kate Burton
One Night Only at Rodeph Shalom, Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 7pm
A Tribute to International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Purchase tickets by clicking here
The Soap Myth takes place more than a half century after the end of WWII when a young journalist sets out to write an article about a cantankerous Holocaust survivor and his crusade regarding the Nazi atrocity of soap. The Soap Myth dramatically explores how a survivor survives surviving and questions who has the right to write history - those who have lived it and remember, those who study and protect it, or those who would seek to distort and desecrate its very existence.
The Soap Myth was produced Off Broadway at the Roundabout Theater’s Harold & Mimi Steinberg Theater Center in 2012 by the National Jewish Theater Foundation. A film of that production was broadcast nationally on PBS and is in the permanent collection of the Britain’s Digital Theatre. The Philadelphia production concludes a seven-city East Coast tour.
“Congregation Rodeph Shalom is committed to engaging the community in support of Jewish arts and culture as an expression of our values and tradition, and we look forward to presenting this moving play in our sanctuary, whose grandeur magnifies the power of the drama,” said Catherine Fischer, Director of Congregational Advancement.
"We are grateful for this opportunity to invite the Philadelphia community into our sacred space and to find meaning in this powerful experience," continued Senior Rabbi Jill Maderer. Congregation Rodeph Shalom (RS), founded in 1795, is the oldest Ashkenazic congregation in the Western Hemisphere and the largest synagogue in Philadelphia. We create a Jewish community of profound connections through transformative study, prayer and urban engagement.
For further information, please contact Congregation Rodeph Shalom at 267-930-7289.
Doors open at 6:15pm. Performance begins promptly at 7pm and will run for 90 minutes without intermission, followed by a 30 minute Q&A.
Underwritten by Julia & Scott Engel.
Thank you to our sponsoring organization: Temple University's Feinstein Center for American Jewish History
Ed Asner (Milton Saltzman ): Versatile, committed, eloquent and talented are all adjectives that describe 7-Time Emmy Award and 5-Time Golden Globe Award-winning actor Ed Asner. While beloved for his star turn as Carl Fredricksen in Pixar's 2009 box-office-hit UP!, Asner is best known for his comedic and dramatic talent as the gruff but soft-hearted journalist Lou Grant, the role he originated on the landmark TV news room comedy The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and continued in the newspaper-set drama Lou Grant, which earned him five Emmys and three Golden Globe Awards. Asner received two more Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for the mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man and Roots. Asner served as National President of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms. He was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1996 and received the Ralph Morgan Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 2000, presented periodically for distinguished service to the Guild's Hollywood membership. In March 2002, he was again honored by The Guild as the 38th recipient of the prestigious Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment, presented annually to an actor who fosters the highest ideals of the profession.
Asner served as National President of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms. He was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1996 and received the Ralph Morgan Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 2000, presented periodically for distinguished service to the Guild's Hollywood membership. In March 2002, he was again honored by The Guild as the 38th recipient of the prestigious Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment, presented annually to an actor who fosters the highest ideals of the profession.
Kate Burton (Esther Feinman and Brenda Goodsen): Kate Burton has amassed a wide range of credits in theatre, film and television. Most recently, Kate was nominated for an Emmy for her work as Vice President Sally Langston in Scandal. She has also been nominated for two other Emmy Awards as Ellis Grey on Grey’s Anatomy. On stage, Burton has been nominated for a Tony Award for her work in The Constant Wife at Roundabout Theatre, Hedda Gabler and The Elephant Man. Other Broadway appearances include Some Americans Abroad (Drama Desk nomination), Present Laughter (Theater World Award), and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Burton has recently appeared in Present Laughter with Kevin Kline on Broadway and Cymbeline at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park and starred in the new A.R. Gurney play The Grand Manner at Lincoln Center Theatre. Other recent performances include Arthur Miller's The Price for the Centre Theatre Group in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum, Chekov's The Seagull at the Huntington Theatre in Boston and in Tom Stoppard’s Hapgood at the Williamstown Theatre Festival where she has performed for eighteen seasons.
Ned Eisenberg’s Broadway credits include Six Degrees of Separation (with Allison Janney and John Benjamin Hickey), Rocky, Golden Boy, Awake and Sing (Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Ensemble) and The Green Bird. Off-Broadway credits include his Lortel nominated performance as Iago in Othello, Fagin in Oliver Twist and the title role in Shakespeare’s King John. Regional credits include Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls and Menachim Begin in Camp David. Ned’s feature films include Asher, Experimentor, Won’t Back Down, Limitless, Flags of Our Fathers and the Oscar winning Million Dollar Baby. He is known to TV audiences for such shows as “The Night Of,” “Bull,” “Person of Interest,” and the “Law & Order” franchise.
Blair Baker's Broadway credits include David Mamet's Oleanna (understudy to Julia Stiles) and The Humans (understudy to Cassie Beck and Sarah Steele). Off-Broadway: Roundabout Theatre Company, The Public Theater, The Barrow Street Theater, and The Beckett Theater/Theater Row. Regional: The Mark Taper Forum, Marin Theater Company, Arizona Theatre Company, Bristol Riverside Theatre, and Kansas City Rep. She is the co-artistic director of Missing Bolts Productions.
As a playwright, Jeff Cohen is known for original work and adaptations including “The Soap Myth,” “Men Of Clay” – a memoir about his father Stan “Squeaky” Cohen and tennis in 1970s Baltimore (Best New Play, Baltimore City Paper), “The Man Who Ate Michael Rockefeller” - adapted from the Christopher Stokes short story (Critics Pick, The New York Times and Time Out New York), “Whoa-Jack! – his racially charged adaptation of “Woyzeck” starring Golden Globe nominee Michael Ealy (AUDELCO Award), and “The Seagull/The Hamptons,” his highly acclaimed American adaptation of “The Seagull” whose various productions have featured Tammy Grimes, D.B. Sweeney, Marin Hinkle, Lizbeth Mackay, Neil Huff and the New York stage debut of Laura Linney (Ten Best of the Year – The Boston Globe). He has recently finished two new plays: “Righteous” about a “righteous gentile” who warned the world about the Final Solution in August, 1942 and “Squeaky,” a sequel to “Men of Clay” about end-of-life events with his father Stan “Squeaky” Cohen.
Mr. Cohen was founder and artistic director of three small but significant Off Broadway theaters – the RAPP Arts Center, the Worth Street Theater Company/Tribeca Playhouse, and Dog Run Rep. Directing highlights include Christopher Shinn’s “Four” (New York Times Critics Pick, Lortel Award, Drama Desk nominee), Tristine Skyler’s “The Moonlight Room” (Critics Pick and Annual Ten Best list – New York Times, two Lortel nominations, Outer Critics nominee) and Marlene Meyer’s “The Mystery of Attraction” (Obie Award). Mr. Cohen is best known for his signature theatrical event responding to the Attacks of 9/11: “THE TRIBECA PLAYHOUSE STAGE DOOR CANTEEN” – a 10-week USO style variety show to ‘entertain the troops’ (the rescue and recovery workers at Ground Zero) that featured such stars as Kristin Chenoweth, Sandy Duncan, Phylicia Rashad, Colin Quinn, Mario Cantone, and received a special 2002 Drama Desk Award.
Pamela Berlin's New York directing credits include ENDPAPERS at the Variety Arts Theatre, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, which ran for three years off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, TO GILLIAN ON HER 37TH BIRTHDAY (Ensemble Studio Theatre and Circle in the Square downtown), THE CEMETERY CLUB (Broadway), CROSSING DELANCEY (Jewish Rep), JOINED AT THE HEAD and PRETTY FIRE (Manhattan Theatre Club), THE FAMILY OF MANN and THE RED ADDRESS (Second Stage), THREE IN THE BACK, TWO IN THE HEAD (MCC), BLACK INK and ELM CIRCLE (Playwrights Horizons), SNOWING AT DELPHI and CLUB SODA (WPA), FAMILY TIES and numerous one-acts in the Marathon at the Ensemble Studio Theatre. Regionally, she has directed RED, A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN, CLYBOURNE PARK, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, COPENHAGEN, TEA, THE LOUDEST MAN ON EARTH, DANCING AT LUGHNASA, THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, THE PLOUGH AND THE STARS, TALLEY’S FOLLY, TRUE WEST, ON THE VERGE, TRANSLATIONS, and JOE EGG, among others, at such theatres as the Kennedy Center, Seattle Rep, Long Wharf, Huntington, Pittsburgh Public, Pasadena Playhouse, Theatreworks Palo Alto, Virginia Stage Co. and Portland Stage. Opera credits include LA TRAVIATA, RIGOLETTO, MADAME BUTTERFLY, LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, EUGENE ONEGIN, COLD SASSY TREE, OF MICE AND MEN, BERNSTEIN’S MASS and the world premiere of POCAHONTAS. She has participated in the Sundance Playwrights Institute, Chautauqua, Theatreworks Palo Alto, Cape Cod Theatre Project and the New York Theatre Workshop Dartmouth Summer Residency. She taught directing in the MFA program at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, acting in the MFA program at Brooklyn College, and frequently directs at Juilliard and the NYU Graduate Acting Program. Pamela served as the President of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers from 2000 to 2006.
Burke Cohen Entertainment
With partners Jimmy Burke and Jeff Cohen, Burke Cohen Entertainment’s credits include the film of “THE SOAP MYTH” – a film of the 2012 Off Broadway production at the Roundabout Black Box which has aired nationally on PBS through American Public Television and is the first American production to be featured on Britain’s prestigious Digital Theatre. Currently, BCE is developing a soon-to-be-announced Broadway musical about the legendary Patsy Cline starring a multi-platinum, multiple Grammy Award winning artist. Projects in development include the reality TV show “Tennis Bums”, where crazy tennis players around the country are coached by big-name tennis stars and vie for the title – World’s Biggest Tennis Bum.