By Joel Shatzky
A Staged Reading
June 17, 2013
In Room for Doubt, 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.
Under the original title, Nazi, the play was produced in an earlier version in 1982 at the Society Hill Playhouse in Philadelphia where it received a favorable review by the Philadelphia Inquirer drama critic, Doug Keating, who called it an “engrossing tale.” In 2008 a reading of a revised version of the play was presented at the New Yiddish Repertory Theatre in NYC.
A prolific author, Joel Shatzky has twelve published books, several of which he collaborated on including a two-volume reference work with Michael Taub: Contemporary Jewish-American Novelists and Contemporary Jewish-American Dramatists and Poets (Greenwood Press, 1997, 1999). The first of these was judged an “Outstanding Book of 1997” by Choice. Novels include Iago’s Tale (Drybones Press, 2002) and a memoir he wrote with his wife, Dorothy, Facing Multiple Sclerosis: Our Longest Journey. (Drybones Press, 1999). His interest in Holocaust Studies led him to edit and self-publish a memoir by a Holocaust survivor, Susan Cernyak-Spatz, Protective Custody Prisoner 34042 which was adopted by a major German publisher in a German translation. He also edited another Holocaust memoir, by Norbert Troller, Theresienstadt: Hitler’s “Gift” to the Jews (UNC Press, 1991). His latest work, Option Three, a satire on the privatizing of public higher education, was published this year by Blue Thread Press.
Stefanie Johnsen, Chris Woolsey, David Laub and Ray Kasper