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In the Vise of Evils

 

May 8 & 15, 2007

Both shows sold out, with CPI's highest ever sales records

Written by Kalman Kivkovich, and directed by Carrie-Ellen Zappa

My wife Sandi and I were standing in line to see a show at the Cincinnati Ensemble Theater. An architect friend, who happened to design the renovated establishment, knew about my Holocaust-themed novel “In the Vise of Evils.” He suggested that I write a play adaptation of the book. I liked the idea. First I tried to find an established playwright to tackle the assignment. D. Lynn Meyers, the Producing and Artistic Director of Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, suggested local playwright Joe McDonough. Joe liked it, but lacked the time to tackle the project. He suggested joining the Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative (CPI), a local group that supports emerging playwrights. Well, I pulled up my sleeves and a play was born.

 

 

There are many stories about the Holocaust, but this story is viewed from an angle rarely known to the public---the Russian side.  The novel and its offspring play are based on actual events.

August 1938.  Poland.  A Jewish couple meets at a resort.  They both have hopes and dreams, but Hitler's dreams are in their way.  As the Germans invade, the brutal treatment of Jews begins.  NATEK, his fiancée, FRYDA, and his brother, BEREK, escape from the Nazis' monstrous claws straight into the Soviets' vicious jaws.  They are arrested, separated, crammed into boxcars and sent on a long voyage to hell.  The brothers are fortunate to remain together.  They struggle to survive.  They are determined to find Fryda . . . .

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1- Poster: Stephanie Brait (Fryda) and Kellen York (Natek)

2- Stephanie Brait (Fryda) and Kellen York (Natek)

3- Ben Jones, Craig Boldman (Narrator), Kellen York (Natek) and Graham Galloway (Berek) are Polish prisoners in a Russian boxcar, heading to Siberia.

4- Ellie Shepherd (Pesla), Ross Bradley and Steve Adkins (Nazi SS soldiers)

5- Ben Jones (Nazi SA-man) and Alan McLaughlin (Chaim)

6- Ben Jones (Nazi SA-man)

7- Ellie Shepherd (Pesla), Kellen York (Natek), Graham Galloway (Berek), and Alan McLaughlin (Chaim)

8- Dean Hammers (Russian Interrogator), Ross Bradley (Russian Guard), and Kellen York (Natek)

9- Ellie Shepherd (Pesla), Alan McLaughlin (Chaim), and Michael Carozza (Lajb) - Victims of the Holocaust.

10- Ernie Rowland (Russian Officer)

11- Barbara Taggart (Musician)

12- Team L-R: Front- Carrie-Ellen Zappa, Kalman & Sandi Kivkovich. 2nd - Stephanie Brait, Kellen York, Graham Galloway, Ellie Shepherd, Alan McLaughlin, & Michael carozza. Back - Barbara Taggart, Dean hammers, David Speer, Ross Bradley, Steve Adkins, Ben Jones, Ernie Rowland, Craig Boldman, Andi Wainscott, Heather Gritton, and David Rice. Not in photo - Carola Timmerding and Bill Hartnett.

13- Director Carrie-Ellen Zappa instructing Graham Galloway (Berek).

14- Playwright Kalman Kivkovich

 

 

Embers from the Ashes:  A Girl's Holocaust Diary

May 13, 2008

The show sold out, with CPI's second highest sales record

Written by Kalman Kivkovich, and directed by Tom Manning

Embers from the Ashes: A Girl's Holocaust Diary is loosely based on a recently found journal, Rutka Laskier's. A 14-year-old Israeli girl discovers having a sister who had perished in the Holocaust. Decades later, in 2006, she learns that a Polish woman had found her sister's notebook, but kept it a secret for 61 years. A flashback takes us to 1942, Nazi-occupied Bedzin, Poland. We stay with a family who faces foreseeable destruction. We witness the struggle of an adolescent coming of age in the foreground of formidable evil. It echoes the voices of a million and a half Jewish children who didn't live to tell their stories.

 

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1- In memory of Rutka Laskier

1a- Poster: Stephanie Brait (Ruthka).

2- Stephanie Brait (Ora) and Michael G. Bath (Moishe)

3- Stephanie Brait (Ruthka) writes her diary.

4- Alana Ghent (Sonia) and Michael G. Bath (Moishe)

5- David Ryan Speer (Romek) and Stephanie Brait (Ruthka)

6- Alberta Schneider plays Kivkovich's Kamionka 1942.

7- Stephanie Brait (Ruthka) and Emily Matlack (Stasia)

8- Kate Wilford (Ora, as she finds out about Ruthka's diary)

9- Herb DuVal (Moti, on the phone with Ora)

10- Team L-R: Alberta Schneider, Craig Boldman, Michael G. Bath, Stephanie Brait, Tom manning, David Ryan Speer, Herb DuVal, Emily Matlack, Andi Wainscott, Alana Ghent, Sandi Kivkovich, danny Clay, Carola Timmerding, Kalman Kivkovich, and Kate Wilford. Not in photo Lee Rasmussen.

11- Director Tom Manning at grand rehearsal

12- Playwright Kalman Kivkovich

 

 

 

A Stop in Paris

May 19, 2009

The show sold out, tying CPI's second highest sales record

Written by Kalman Kivkovich, and directed by Jim Waldfogle

The play is based on a true story.  It takes place in early ’70s.  An Israeli architectural student in Florence, Italy, is on his way to the USA with a stop in Paris.  DANNI visits and stays with his friends ANDRÉ and NICOLE.  He then continues to New York on a two-month research trip.  On his way back he revisits his friends.  He soon finds out that he must have had a guardian angel . . . .

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1- Poster: An Israeli student explores the 'City of Lights' in Kalman Kivkovich's A Stop in Paris.

2- Wendy Braun (Jeanette) & Parker Searfoss (Danni) in rehearsal.

3- Doreen Beatrice (Choreographer), Clare Ward (Nicole) & Jared Wilson (André) in rehearsal.

4- Tom Deren [Accordionist]

5- Parker Searfoss (Danni)

6- Clare Ward (Nicole), Jared Wilson (André), & Tom Deren [Accordionist] in the background.

7- Jared Wilson (André), Parker Searfoss (Danni), & Clare Ward (Nicole)

8- Jared Wilson (André), Clare Ward (Nicole), & Parker Searfoss (Danni)

9- Parker Searfoss (Danni), & Wendy Braun (Jeanette)

10- Greg Wool (Patrick)

11- Craig Boldman [Moderator]

12- The Team L-R: Doreen Beatrice, Jared Wilson, Parker Searfoss, Clare Ward, Wendy Braun, Sandi Kivkovich, Greg Wool, Kalman Kivkovich, Jim Waldfogle, Carola Timmerding, Craig Boldman, & Michael Carozza. Not in photo: Tom Deren, Nick Castle, Lee and Mark Rasmussen.

13- Director Jim Waldfogle

14- Playwright Kalman Kivkovich

 

 

 

An Apartment for Rent

March 9, 2010

Written and directed by Kalman Kivkovich

 

A bizarre sequence of comical events occurs in the process of renting a luxurious apartment.

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1- Poster: An Apartment for Rent; art by Kalman Kivkovich

2- Tom Manning (Mark) & Barbara Manning (Julie) in rehearsal.

3- Tom Manning (Mark) in rehearsal.

4- Casey Campbell plays rhythm guitar

5- Craig Boldman moderates

6- Carola Timmerding on the video

7-12- Tom Manning (Mark) & Barbara Manning (Julie) in rehearsal.

13- The Team L-R: Sandi & Kalman Kivkovich, Casey Campbell, Bob Pavlovich, Herb DuVal, Tom & Barb Manning, Craig Boldman, and Carola Timmerding. Not in photo: Lee Rasmussen, Chris Fortin, Hagit Limor, LoraBeth Barr, Richard Valittuto, and Gary Honer.

14- Playwright & director Kalman Kivkovich

 

 

Hell on I-71

March 9, 2010

Written and directed by Kalman Kivkovich

A son says good-bye to his dad; is it for the last time . . . ?

 

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1- Bob Pavlovich (Son) & Herb DuVal (Papa) in rehearsal

2- Bob Pavlovich (Son) & Herb DuVal (Papa)

3- Herb DuVal (Papa) & Bob Pavlovich (Son) in rehearsal

4- Bob Pavlovich (Son) & Herb DuVal (Papa)

5- Bob Pavlovich (Son) & Herb DuVal (Papa) in rehearsal

6- Herb DuVal (Papa) & Bob Pavlovich (Son)

7- Playwright & director Kalman Kivkovich

 

 

Cicadas on Us

March 9, 2010

Written and directed by Kalman Kivkovich

We know that Cicadas can sing, but can they make you dance . . . ?

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1-3 Bob Pavlovich (Architect) in rehearsal

4-7 Bob Pavlovich (Architect)

8- Playwright & director Kalman Kivkovich

 

 

 

From Auschwitz to Cincinnati:

The Surviving Tunes

The play is based on the life of a phenomenal violinist and Holocaust survivor, Henry Meyer.  Through a series of interviews and flashbacks we get a glimpse into one of the deepest and darkest pits of human history—recent history.  We seize the enormous desire to survive against all odds.  We witness a success story of one very lucky man.  “I am a winner,” he often said, “with me, all their effort failed.”  For artistic purposes, the playwright uses some fictional elements and supporting roles in order to shine a true light on his protagonist.

 

Henry Meyer

Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative (CPI):

CPI New Voices Presents

From Auschwitz to Cincinnati: The Surviving Tunes

Written by Kalman Kivkovich

Directed by Ed Cohen

 

The play is based on the life of a phenomenal violinist and Holocaust survivor, Henry Meyer. We get a glimpse into one of the deepest and darkest pits of human history -- recent history. We seize the enormous desire to survive against all odds. We witness a success story of one very lucky man.

The staged reading had its world debut to a sold-out house at the prestigious Jarson-Kaplan Theater on April 26, 2011. 


For more go to:  http://www.cinciplaywrights.org/