The history of Genesis Theatrical Productions since our founding in 2006. Wherever possible we also include updates on projects that we premiered.
August 17 – September 10, 2017
Stephanie Liss’ play draws from her own experiences travelling to the Democratic Republic of the Congo with members of Jewish World Watch, an activist organization dedicated to ending genocide and mass atrocities worldwide and to providing support and building resilience to those living in conflict-affected communities.
May 18 – June 11, 2017
Set one hundred years ago in Paris, The Radiant centers on the true, tempestuous, and love-torn life of Madame Marie Curie.
Thicker Than Water
October 13 – November 6, 2016
A somber look at the tragic case of Andrea Yates, who admitted to drowning her five children in the bathtub.
The People’s Choice
September 21 – October 30, 2016
A political satire about presidential politics, the play has been reworked by the playwright to reflect the current political season including a singing, dancing nominee with a remarkable head of hair.
August 4 – 28, 2016
Based on a true story, German scientist Fritz Haber is renouncing his faith, fearing persecution from an increasingly oppressive and militaristic government. In this award winning play, Haber’s friend, Albert Einstein, fears Haber’s work has taken a dangerous turn. Einstein makes a desperate and emotional appeal that will resonate for generations and define the course of history.
Satie et Cocteau: A Rehearsal of a Play of a Composer
May 12 – June 5, 2016
The play is set 15 years after the death of Satie during the final rehearsal of a play which Cocteau has written and where, in an opium haze, he directs an Actor in a series of ‘scenes’ which run the length of Satie’s life and career. Intertwined with Satie’s music, we discover that Cocteau’s intentions are for the Actor to fully embody Satie and bring him to life so Cocteau can finally exorcise him from his life. Cocteau and the Actor embark on a journey through time and theatrical space which the Actor describes in his opening monologue as “What you are about to see is a re-creation of a memory of a memory of actual events.” Satie et Cocteau is a play about the reality of memories, the possession of art and the ‘truth’ of the theater.
Muse of Fire
February 13 – March 13, 2016
In Auschwitz, 1942, Jewish prisoners took it upon themselves at grave personal risk to perform comedy. This is their story, as one group struggles to perform a farce based on the first great anti-Semitic tragedy of the 20th century: the infamous Dreyfus Affair. As the play goes on, and dark secrets begin to emerge about the reason for its performance, those performing must ask themselves, can comedy truly have meaning in the face of horror? Who really has the last laugh?
Hope Throws Her Heart Away
November 27 – December 20, 2015
Hope Throws Her Heart Away is a comedy/drama about a woman who has gone adrift trying to be all things to all people – pleasing everyone but herself. In tune with Hope’s conflicted personality, this is a one-woman show – performed by three actresses.
Zelda at the Oasis
August 6 – August 23, 2015
While living under the shadow of her husband’s success, Zelda at the Oasis reveals the struggles of an emotionally and mentally unstable woman trying to reclaim herself as an artist. Transport yourself to the dark corners of The Oasis – the New York City bar which Fitzgerald adopts as her solitary abode – to explore the equally dark corners of a damaged woman who desperately seeks to find some light through the cracks of her life.
July 2 – August 2, 2015
Jihad is the story of the terrorist actions of Hamas against the Israeli people, as lived through the eyes of Israelis and Hamas, and the ramifications of those actions in all of their lives.
March 26 – April 19, 2015
Creation’s Birthday brings to life the story of the Big-Bang Genesis through the legendary battle between astronomer Edwin Hubble and the scientific icon Albert Einstein.
August 7 – 31, 2014
In Down Range, two twenty-plus-year veterans return home after their convoy is hit by an IED in Iraq. Torn between family and the call of duty, their wars continue at home, opening old wounds of betrayal, fear, infidelity, and loneliness for them and their wives.
On Holy Ground
May 5 – May 14, 2014
On Holy Ground is a combination of two one-act plays by Stephanie Liss: Daughter of My People which tells the story of an older woman deeply in love for the first time with a much younger man; and Jihad, which examines the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the stories of two mothers: an Israeli Orthodox mother living in a settlement, and a Hamas mother living in Gaza.
The Last Cyclist
August 17 – September 1, 2013
On Holy Ground is a play written and rehearsed in the Terezín Concentration Camp but never performed. It was feared that its bitter satire of the treatment of the Jews by the Nazis would bring reprisals down on the inmates. The play was thought to be lost but has been pieced together and adapted by Naomi Patz and is a valuable contribution to Holocaust literature.
April 5 – April 29, 2012
Genesis Theatrical Productions presents the U.S. premiere of Tunnel Rat by acclaimed Australian playwright Neil Cole. In late 1965, after a run-in with the law, 17 year old Ronnie Giles was given the option of joining the Army…or going to jail. He chose the Army and inevitably-VietNam. Because he was short, he was “volunteered” to go into the Vietcong Tunnels in and around the jungles of Chu Chi. By now it is early 1966. He is 18 years old and yet another reluctant Tunnel Rat is born.
The People’s Choice
October 3 – October 25, 2011
Genesis Theatrical Productions presented the World Premiere of The People’s Choice, a new comedy written by Philip Pinkus. Want to know how to solve the nation’s debt crises? Pam and Sam know how! This wickedly funny satire of politics and media hype comes right out of today’s newspapers. This is a shovel ready project, so watch where you step!
From Generation to Generation
March 30 – May 1, 2011
Genesis Theatrical Productions presented the Chicago premiere of From Generation to Generation, a new musical written by Elaine Jabenis and award-winning songwriter Karen Sokolof Javitch. Mannheim Steamroller conductor Chuck Penington arranged the songs. Filled with humor, song and many touching moments, the loveable and courageous Rose Lieberman takes unusual steps to share her memorable life with a granddaughter she may never see.
Zelda at the Oasis
March 6, 2015
Zelda at the Oasis looks at the life of Zelda Fitzgerald through one night at which takes place during one night at The Club Oasis. Zelda was an accomplished woman in her own right but could never escape from the shadow of her famous husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald. On this magical night in the 1930s, Zelda escapes to drink alone … until a unique and unexpected friendship is forged with an aspiring musician who plays piano and tends bar at The Oasis.
November 19, 2013
The Holocaust was a horrific tragedy for all humanity and drama-tizing the topic is difficult at best. That is why playwright Richard Atkins has chosen to focus on one Jewish family’s journey. The place, New York City, circa 1972, long after the war has ended. Yet
the past continues to haunt one man’s soul so profoundly, he is faced with immeasureable choices no man would want to make…
Satie Et Cocteau: A Rehearsal of a Play of a Composer by a Poet
July 22, 2013
Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau were both giants in the world of art and music and the relationship between these two brilliant, eccentric men, sometime collaborators, sometime rivals, marks the basis of this United States premiere. Mixing both high and low art, which was Cocteau’s wish, this play includes elements of meta-theatricality and a little surrealistic magic.
In this play by Mike Czuba set in a deserted theatre in 1939 New York, Cocteau attempts to direct an actor in a play about Satie based on Cocteau’s memories of him. We see the actor as himself or is it the actor as Satie or perhaps Satie himself.
Room For Doubt
June 17, 2013
In Room for Doubt by Joel Shatzky, Karl Dorfman, a highly respected Professor of German Literature at a prominent American university is confronted by his past which conceals a terrifying secret he has hidden for decades. Accused of murder as a Nazi official in the Warsaw Ghetto by the son of one of his victims, he is forced to reveal a secret that would change his life, his son’s, and, most of all, his accuser’s.
The Natural History of Mozart Street
October 4, 2010
The play, written by Chicago Jewish News Managing Editor Pauline Yearwood, was based on the real-life history of Leonard Dubkin, Pauline’s father, whose ambition to become a naturalist mystified and horrified his immigrant Jewish parents in the early 1900s.
October 11, 2009
Based on the men who created and administered the Auschwitz concentration camp, the play shows the physical and moral deterioration of men who were doing what they told themselves was a noble task.
The Boys of Winter
March 29, 2007
Written by Barry Brodsky, Dean Kaner and Eric Small, the work is a memory play about a Vietnam veteran who reflects on his youth in the Midwest of the 1960’s while reconciling his demons in the present.