The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center & Burke-Cohen Entertainment will present a live virtual reading of Jeff Cohen’s new play The Righteous on Monday August 24 @ 7:30 pm EDT. The reading stars Tony Award-winners Frank Wood and Denis O’Hare, Tony Award-nominees Johanna Day, Jessica Hecht, Daniel Jenkins, and Richard Kind, SAG Award nominee Peter Jacobson and Drama Desk Award winner Ned Eisenberg. Also featured in the cast are Jimmy Burke and Dee Pelletier. Directed by Shana Cooper, the reading is free, although registration is required by visiting -https://www.emanuelnyc.org/event/virtual-streicker-righteous-a-play-reading/.
What would you do if you learned that your country planned to exterminate an entire race of people? That is the horrible question faced by Eduard Schulte, a captain of German industry and member of Hitler’s inner circle. Righteous is the true story of the man who sounded the alarm of Hitler’s plan to murder all the Jews in Europe. Schulte’s warning reached the desk of President Roosevelt in December 1942.
His identity was a closely guarded secret for over forty years and his heroic act to stop the Holocaust was kept hidden from his family and from the world. Righteous tells his story through the lens of Priscilla Schulte, the American granddaughter who never knew him. She uncovers a compelling and poignant portrait of a man who risked his life and the lives of his family to stand up against evil. In 1988, Eduard Schulte was posthumously honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations – a Righteous Gentile.
The reading will be presented in association with the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the Florida Holocaust Museum, the United Jewish Association of Toronto, The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, and the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
The Righteous had an initial developmental reading in April 2017 at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts as part of the National Jewish Theater Foundation Holocaust Theater International Initiative.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
JEFF COHEN (Playwright). Jeff Cohen’s other plays include The Soap Myth which was slated to come to Broadway in the 2020-2021 season starring Ed Asner and Tovah Feldshuh. Mr. Asner has toured the country in The Soap Myth as a “concert reading” at such notable venues as The Adrienne Arsht Center (Miami), Lincoln Center, The Kirk Douglas Theatre (LA), The Williamstown Theatre Festival, and The Parker Playhouse (Ft. Lauderdale). The play was filmed in April 2019, by PBS/WNET’s All-Arts channel and is available for free live streaming. Mr. Cohen’s play The Man Who Ate Michael Rockefeller (from the Christopher Stokes short story) was a Critics’ Pick in the New York Times and Time Out New York. His play Men of Clay was selected Best New Play of 2005 by the Baltimore City Paper. He received a special 2002 Drama Desk Award for 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) which featured such stars as Kristen Chenoweth, Phylicia Rashad, Sandy Duncan, Colin Quinn, Mario Cantone and many more.
SHANA COOPER (Director). Ms. Cooper’s directing credits include Julius Caesar (Theatre For A New Audience, Oregon Shakespeare Festival); The Taming of the Shrew (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and California Shakespeare Theater, NY Times Critics’ Pick); Indecent (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Cressida on Top (Workshop of new script by Paula Vogel at The Goodman), HIR and The Nether (Woolly Mammoth); Straight White Men (Studio Theatre); Love’s Labor’s Lost (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). She is Asst. Professor in the M.F.A. Directing Program @ Northwestern University (2017-present), Director-in-Residence at Woolly Mammoth Theatre (2014-2017) and was a Drama League Directing Fellow.
JIMMY BURKE (Otto Fitzner / Thomas Elting). Jimmy’s credits include regional and Off-Broadway theater, numerous TV commercials and dozens of TV guest appearances including as a recurring character on the hit Denis Leary series Rescue Me. Most recently, Jimmy was featured as arch-villain “Flat-Top” in the soon-to-be-released blockbuster Wonder Woman 1984.
JOHANNA DAY (Priscilla Schulte). Ms. Day has won an Obie Award and has been nominated for two Tony Awards for her performances in Lynn Nottage’s Sweat and David Auburn’s Proof. Additional Broadway credits include August: Osage County, The Nap, and the highly anticipated revival of How I Learned to Drive that was a casualty of the pandemic.
NED EISENBERG (Gerhart Riegner). Mr. Eisenberg won a Drama Desk Award for the Broadway revival of Clifford Odets’ Awake and Sing. Additional Broadway credits include the revival of Odets’ Golden Boy, the musical Rocky and the revival of Six Degrees of Separation. Numerous TV credits include the recurring roles of James Granick in Law & Order and Roger Kressler in Law & Order SVU.
JESSICA HECHT (Dora Kurz). Ms. Hecht has won an Obie Award and received a Tony Award nomination for the 2010 revival of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge opposite Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson. Additional Broadway credits include The Last Night of Ballyhoo, the 2009 revival of Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs, the 2012 revival of Harvey opposite Jim Parsons, and the 2016 revival of Fiddler on the Roof. Among her numerous TV credits, she is perhaps best known for the role of Susan Bunch in Friends.
PETER JACOBSON (Rabbi Stephen Wise). Mr. Jacobson is known for the role of Dr. Taub in the hit TV series House. Additional TV credits include Lee Drexler in Ray Donovan, Agent Wolfe in The Americans and Alan Snyder in Colony. Law & Order fans know him for his memorable episodes as defense attorney Randy Dworkin.
DANIEL JENKINS (Ruprecht Schulte / Allen Dulles). Dan Jenkins received a Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for his portrayal of Huck Finn in Big River and a second Drama Desk nomination for his portrayal of Josh Baskin in Big. Additional Broadway credits include Mary Poppins and Oslo for which he won a 2017 Obie Award.
RICHARD KIND (Isidor Koppelmann). Mr. Kind is well known to TV audiences for such roles as Dr. Mark Devarow in Mad About You, Paul Lassiter in Spin City and Larry David’s brother Andy in Curb Your Enthusiasm. His memorable feature film voice work credits include Larry the Anaconda in The Wild, Molt in Disney/Pixar’s A Bug’s Life and Van in Disney/Pixar’s Cars and Cars 2. On Broadway, he won the Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award nomination for The Big Knife and in 2005 starred as Max Bialystock in The Producers.
DENIS O’HARE (Heinrich Himmler / FDR). Denis won the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Richard Greenburg’s Take Me Out. He also received a Tony Award nomination for Assassins and a 2nd Drama Desk Award for Sweet Charity. He’s won two Obie Awards (for Take Me Out and An Illiad, for which he was also the author). His numerous TV credits include True Blood, Big Little Lies and American Horror Story (two Emmy Award nominations). He has a third Emmy nomination for This Is Us. Feature films include Michael Clayton, Dallas Buyers Club and Milk.
DEE PELLETIER (Clara). Dee created the roles of Esther Feinman and Brenda Goodsen in the Off-Broadway production of Jeff Cohen’s The Soap Myth. On Broadway she appeared in August: Osage County. Extensive regional credits include Denver Center Theatre Company, Geva Theatre Center, Indiana Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, Yale Rep and Actors Theatre of Louisville.
FRANK WOOD (Eduard Schulte). Frank won the Tony Award for his performance in Warren Leight’s Side Man. Additional Broadway credits include August: Osage County, Clybourne Park, The Iceman Cometh (w/ Denzel Washington), Network and The Great Society. Off Broadway credits include the role of Roy Cohn in Signature Theatre’s 2011 revival of Angels in America. Recent feature film credits include Joker and Michael Clayton. TV credits include The Knick and Greg on the much-loved comedy series Flight of the Conchords.
THE TEMPLE EMANU-EL STREICKER CENTER operates at the cutting edge of Jewish culture, offering a broad range of events with some of the world’s most renowned figures in politics, music, activism, entertainment, law and religion.
BURKE-COHEN ENTERTAINMENT has been at the forefront in developing and producing vital and often challenging artistic work. It’s production of Jeff Cohen’s The Soap Myth has toured the United States as a “concert reading” starring legendary actor Ed Asner and co-stars that include award winning actors Tovah Feldshuh, Johanna Day and Jayne Atkinson. Filmed by PBS in April 2019, The Soap Myth is considered one of the most important plays about the Holocaust.