Grippo Stage Company’s revival of “The God of Isaac,” James Sherman’s semi-autobiographical account of a young American Jew searching for his Jewish identity in the wake of the threatened 1977 neo-Nazi march in Skokie, runs through Aug. 27 at the Piven Theatre in Evanston.
The new production is helmed by Dennis Začek, who directed the play’s world premiere at Victory Gardens Theater in 1985, the beginning of a decades-long collaboration between Sherman and Začek
The cast of the production that opened Saturday includes Jolie Lepselter, Brian Rabinowitz, Charles Schoenherr, T. Isaac Sherman, Anita Silvert and Annabel Steven.
When Isaac Adams, a second generation American Jew, learns of plans for a neo-Nazi group to stage a demonstration in Skokie, he wonders what, if anything, his involvement should be. Determined to find the truth, Isaac ultimately comes to terms with his heritage, his mother and himself. Since its world premiere at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater in 1985, “The God of Isaac” has enjoyed productions worldwide.
“When I opened the play in 1985, the idea of a Neo-Nazi group marching in Skokie was deeply disturbing, particularly since the community was heavily populated with Holocaust survivors at the time,” comments playwright James Sherman. “I never imagined that 30 years later the questions raised in the play would suddenly feel so resonant and topical, with white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups once again making news headlines nationwide.”
The production team includes Nels Anderson and Abigail Reed (scenic design), Liana Prokopis (costume design), Michael Rathbun (lighting design), Nathan Speckman (sound design), Jake Engram (lighting asst.), Don Vanasek (general manager/photography), Josh A. Raether (stage manager) and Hannah Siglin (asst. stage manager).
Tickets are available online or by calling (800) 838-3006.