JAMES SHERMAN - THE GOD OF ISAAC
Previews begin this weekend for the Grippo Stage Company's revival of long-time Chicago playwright and actor James Sherman's God Of Issac at the Piven Theatre at Noyes Cultural Arts Center in Evanston. The semi-autobiographical piece centers around a young American Jew searching for his Jewish identity following the threatened 1977 neo-Nazi march in Skokie. The play premiered in 1985 at the Victory Gardens Theatre under the direction of Dennis Začek and led to decades of collaborations between Začek and Sherman. Začek returns to direct this revival from July 8 through August 27.
Sherman joined us at the Skokie Theatre during our first season of CONVERSATIONS to discuss his own identity, the production of last year's run of The Ben Hecht Show and the Chicago theater community. Listen and subscribe to this conversation and more on your favorite podcast player. PODCAST
On an evolving Jewish consciousness ... “As I’m reading this book 'A Guide for the Bedeviled' which is his [Ben Hecht’s] memoir, what got me excited was he is talking about his assimilated Jewish upbringing, which was just like my upbringing. He talks about his growing Jewish consciousness in the face of anti-Semitism ... and that call to action, that question that pops up in one’s mind, [which is] in the face of this anti-Semitism, what is my response to that? And if you accept the fact that there must be a response then that connects you to your Jewishness in a way that one has never had before.”
Advice to aspiring actors ... “I think when you’re young you should try everything, any opportunity that comes along is worth pursuing, within obvious parameters."
On the Chicago theater community ... "If you really want to get started in the business, Chicago is the place to do it."
GOD OF ISAAC
Piven Theatre at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center
927 Noyes St., Evanston