Genesis Theatrical Productions presented a staged reading of the play The Natural History of Mozart Street, on 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. The play detailed how the teenager, with help from a fiery socialist editor, and from Chicago social reformer Jane Addams, overcame family and personal conflicts and his own status as an outsider to find a way to potentially realize his dream.
Leonard Dubkin did not become a naturalist but he went on to write six books about nature in the city and to write a nature column, first for the Chicago Tribune and then, for many years, the Lerner Newspapers. Pauline’s play uses a number of excerpts from the journals Leonard kept as a boy.
The reading, directed by Brian Plocharczk, featured Alex Turner, Christine Heckman, Brian LeTraunik, Cory Krebsback, Barb Eulenberg, Allison Tort, and Alex Radtke. Katie Horwitz read stage directions.