Rodeph Shalom Presents...

The Soap Myth
A play reading

One Night Only at Rodeph Shalom, Wednesday, January 31, 7pm
Starring Seven-time Emmy Award Winner Ed Asner and Three-time Emmy and Tony Award Nominee Kate Burton

The Soap Myth by Jeff Cohen takes place more than a half century after WW II, 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.

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.

Purchase tickets by clicking here. Underwritten by Julia & Scott Engel.

Thank you to our sponsoring organizations:  Temple University's Feinstein Center for American Jewish History



Ed Asner
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.  Most recent credits include a recurring role on the CBS series The Good Wife starring Julianna Margulies, the NBC telefilm Buddy The Elf, the CBS series Criminal Minds starring Joe Mantegna, Hawaii 5-0 starring Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, Mom starring Allison Janney, and The Crazy Ones with the late Robin Williams. 

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
Three-time Emmy Award and three-time Tony Award nominee Kate Burton is one of America’s most highly acclaimed stage and screen actresses.  Television audiences know her from starring roles on the hit series “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”  Broadway audiences know her from over a dozen critically acclaimed and award-winning roles in such classics as Henrik Ibsen’s  “Hedda Gabler,” Noel Coward’s “Present Laughter,” and “The Elephant Man”.  She has been honored with three Primetime Emmy Award and three Tony Award nominations. She is the daughter (and step-daughter) of Hollywood legends Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.


Jeff Cohen
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
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.