“Tony Kushner’s A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY … is unabashedly political, thought-provoking, a little scary, and frequently a good deal of theatrical fun … BRIGHT ROOM is … an examination of Nazi Germany in an attempt to shed insight on our own time. It’s brash, audacious, and, depending on your politics, anything from infuriatingly naïve to intoxicatingly visionary. In its 1932-33 span, it tells of a group of Berlin artists and friends, with varying degrees of communist leanings, and of the changes in their lives as democracy falls and Adolph Hitler takes over.” —Sid Smith, Chicago Tribune
“It’s fun to see a show this engaged. This passionate and ready to talk. Wild, uneven, pugnacious, ragged, committed, smart, dumb, satirical, and utterly serious … Always dramatically and intellectually forceful. And most important, always passionately committed. More than a diatribe against Reagan or a falling-into-the-Nazi-abyss history play, A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY is an assertion of the need for commitment.” —Anthony Adler, The Reader
Born in New York City in 1956, and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Tony Kushner is best known for his two-part epic, ANGELS IN AMERICA: A GAY FANTASIA ON NATIONAL THEMES. His other plays include A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY, SLAVS!, HYDROTAPHIA, HOMEBODY/KABUL, and CAROLINE, OR CHANGE, the musical for which he wrote book and lyrics, with music by composer Jeanine Tesori. Kushner has translated and adapted Pierre Corneille's THE ILLUSION, S.Y. Ansky's THE DYBBUK, Bertolt Brecht's THE GOOD PERSON OF SEZUAN and MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN, and the English-language libretto for the children's opera BRUNDIBÁR by Hans Krasa. He wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols' film of Angels in America and Steven Spielberg's Munich. In 2012 he wrote the screenplay for Spielberg's movie Lincoln. His screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award, and won the New York Film Critics Circle Award, Boston Society of Film Critics Award, Chicago Film Critics Award, and several others. His books include But the Giraffe: A Curtain Raising and Brundibar: The Libretto, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak; The Art of Maurice Sendak: 1980 to the Present; and Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict, co-edited with Alisa Solomon. His recent work includes a collection of one-act plays entitled TINY KUSHNER, and THE INTELLIGENT HOMOSEXUAL'S GUIDE TO CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM WITH A KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES. In addition, a revival of ANGELS IN AMERICA ran Off-Broadway at the Signature Theater and won the Lucille Lortel Award in 2011 for Outstanding Revival. Kushner is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, an Emmy Award, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, an Arts Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a PEN/Laura Pels Award, a Spirit of Justice Award from the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, a Cultural Achievement Award from The National Foundation for Jewish Culture, a Chicago Tribune Literary Prize for lifetime achievement, and the 2012 National Medal of Arts, among many others. CAROLINE, OR CHANGE, produced at the National Theatre of Great Britain, received the EVENING STANDARD Award, the London Drama Critics' Circle Award and the Olivier Award for Best Musical. In September 2008, Tony Kushner became the first recipient of the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, the largest theater award in the US. He is the subject of a documentary film, Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner, made by the Oscar-winning filmmaker Freida Lee Mock. He lives in Manhattan with his husband, Mark Harris.
If original stage producers credits appear in bold below, all licensees are required to include them in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:
Originally produced by the Heat and Light Company, New York
In addition, the following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
A Bright Room Called Day is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC
A comedy set at that epicenter of misunderstandings in 1990, just a year after the Berlin Wall was opened up and as its slow demolition was underway, and a year after the “Velvet Revolution” in Czechoslovakia.
Cast: 9 total (4 female, 5 male) Short Comedy (about 45 minutes) Minimal Set Requirements Contemporary Costumes
Simone Weil, a French girl of Jewish extraction whose death in 1943 was caused primarily by self-imposed starvation, is the subject of this striking theatrical exploration into the nature of faith and spirituality. APPROACHING SIMONE gives fascinating insights into this extraordinary woman who was later canonized as a saint.
Cast: 16 total (6 female, 10 male) Full Length Drama (about 120 minutes) Minimal Set Requirements Contemporary Costumes
A love story and a murder mystery, LOVE IN A THIRSTY LAND uses materials from an actual case, the first trial of a Jew for murder in the New World, 1875. The circumstances — a very religious young married man, alone in America, is accused of killing the young woman with whom it’s been rumored he has been having an affair. Flesh vs spirit, old world ways and the new drive the four character two-act play.
Cast: 5 total (2 female, 3 male) Full Length Drama (about 100 minutes) Minimal Set Requirements Period Costumes
High atop a railroad trestle that spans a bone dry creek, two teenagers plan to race across the bridge against an oncoming locomotive. At first their scheme adds excitement to life in a small factory town during the Great Depression, then sensual experience awakens dangerous passions in an era of stifled ambitions. With theatrical flourish and lyrical finesse, Naomi Wallace delves into a world where people struggle to change lives that bear down upon them.
Cast: 5 total (2 female, 3 male) Full Length Drama (about 110 minutes) Single Set Period Costumes
Hallie Flanagan Davis headed the Federal Theater in the 1930s and 40s — until the anti-art element in Congress decided that federal support of what they saw as lazy left-wing artists must end. This play, based on the tumultuous hearings before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, pits artists against philistines and demonstrates that then, as now, politics and art don’t mix.
Cast: 8 total (2 female, 6 male) Full Length Drama (about 100 minutes) Single Set Contemporary Costumes
The play chronicles the selfless acts of Janusz Korczak, the teacher and director. Korczak strove to give the children of the Warsaw Ghetto a sense of normalcy despite the horrific conditions and eventually chose to leave with them for the Treblinka death camp.
Cast: 13 total (4 female, 9 male) Full Length Drama (about 100 minutes) Minimal Set Requirements Period Costumes
Mark Harelik, conceived by Mark Harelik and Randal Myler
Rural Central Texas, 1909. A young Russian-Jewish immigrant, newly arrived in America through the port of Galveston, pulls his banana cart into the hamlet of Hamilton. Fleeing the vicious pogroms of his homeland, he has sought refuge in the land of the free. Able to speak only Yiddish, alone in the midst of a staunchly Christian community, he begs for shelter. Over the next 30 years, he makes a home and raises a family in this tiny town. THE IMMIGRANT is the story of a young Russian-Jewish couple and the local couple that take them in, as religion meets religion, culture meets culture, fear meets fear, and love meets love. This is the true story of Haskell Harelik, “the Immigrant.”
Cast: 4 total (2 female, 2 male) Full Length Drama (about 120 minutes) Minimal Set Requirements Period Costumes
Friedrich von Schiller, translated by Laurence Senelick
Ferdinand is an army major and son of President von Walter, a high-ranking noble in a German duke’s court, while Luise Miller is the daughter of a middle-class musician. The couple fall in love with each other, but both their fathers tell them to end their affair. The President instead wants to expand his own influence by marrying Ferdinand to Lady Milford, the duke’s mistress, but Ferdinand rebels against his father’s plan and tries to persuade Luise to elope with him.
Cast: 9 total (2 female, 7 male) Full Length Drama (about 120 minutes) Multiple Sets Period Costumes
Frank Wedekind, English version by Kenneth Tigar and Clayton Koelb
Possibly the ultimate coming-of-age drama. The play follows a group of high-school friends in Victorian-age Germany who begin to experience their first sexual desires in a world where even talking about sex is taboo. Each struggles to travel the route from childhood to adulthood without a roadmap. Along the way they touch the heights of elation and the depths of despair while being forced to confront the problems of lust, sadism, masochism, rape, abortion, and homosexuality. Some survive the journey, others do not. Funny and horrifying by turns, the play explores the budding of those basic drives that make us who we are.
Cast: 25 total (7 female, 18 male, some doubling) Full Length Drama (about 120 minutes) Minimal Set Requirements Period Costumes