PHILADELPHIA, March 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- "In every generation, they rise up against us." Each year, Jewish families around the world recite these words from the Passover Haggadah, about the continuation of hatred and anti-Semitism. Seventy years ago, it was the Holocaust in Europe. Fifty years ago, it was the Six-Day War in Israel. This year, the ugly face of anti-Semitism has risen yet again as Jews across America and around the globe are dealing with bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers and the desecration of Jewish cemeteries. And in a "ripped from the headlines" confluence, a new play, written by British playwright and attorney, Timothy M. Kolman will have its world premiere in June, illustrating how a generation of the past deals with the all too familiar situations we're now facing in the present. Inspired by his knowledge of London's Jewish community and his personal family history, Kolman wanted to shine a spotlight on the effects of anti-Semitism – how it elicits fear and trauma for those who have been victimized, tears communities apart and illustrates how each generation copes with the emotional devastation.
Now, award-winning director, Stephen Stahl (Lady Day, 2014) brings The Roses in June to Philadelphia's historic Plays and Players Theatre from June 14 through July 1, 2017. The powerfully gripping work tells the story of Ingrid and George Rose – a couple who have successfully rebuilt their lives in Britain after fleeing Nazi Germany. But when their 15-year-old son Paul becomes a victim of bullying and anti-Semitism at school, the trauma of their own persecution reemerges with almost deadly consequences. The Roses in June, set in swinging London on the eve of Israel's 1967 Six-Day War, explores the overwhelming struggle of love, fear and forgiveness amidst the possibility of a second Holocaust and against the burdens of prejudice, traumatic memory and the complex attitude of the British towards the Jews as the school attempts to stifle and avoid any scandal. "I was stirred by the characters' struggle to cope with their memories of the Holocaust, and how their victimization continued to haunt them and their son as they tried to move ahead with their lives," commented Stahl. "And with the 50th Anniversary of the Six-Day War this June, plus the realities of the wider world at this moment – this was a play that I felt had to be brought to the stage."
Born and raised in London and educated at the prestigious St Paul's School, Tim Kolman's parents were German Jewish refugees, and while his play is not autobiographical, it does take elements from various parts of his life. A combat veteran of the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces), Kolman lived in Israel for more than three years, was married in Jerusalem, and arrived in the United States to continue his study of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School where he was an editor of the Law Review. He has practiced law in the USA since 1988 and with his own successful firm, Kolman Ely PC since 1991.
Despite its personal relevance, the first-time playwright was not expecting its universal themes so oft-told by generations of Jewish families to once again become present day experiences. "The trauma of a refugee does not end when the refugee finds sanctuary," said Kolman. "It simmers, barely below the surface. Trauma is a memory and no people remember and integrate trauma better than Jews. The Jewish people have memorialized their trauma, which runs five thousand years, from their slavery in Egypt through the destruction of the First and Second Temples all the way to the Holocaust and beyond. Their suffering and experience are always a warning to the rest of the world."
The Roses in June will open June 14 and run through July 1, 2017 at Plays and Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Performances are Tuesdays – Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm and 7pm. Ticket prices are $47 for orchestra seating; $35 for balcony seating. To purchase tickets, call: 866-811-4111 or visit www.therosesinjune.com. For groups of 10 or more, call: 267 299 8822. Student Rush tickets are $15 orchestra and $10 balcony, 10 minutes prior to showtime if available. Seniors with ID can purchase tickets at 20% discount at the box office 1 hour prior to showtime if available. For information, call: 844 -7ROSE67 (844-776-7367).
About Stephen Stahl: An internationally-recognized writer and director, Stephen Stahl studied with Lee Strasberg at the Actor's Studio in New York City, and at Philadelphia's Hedgerow Theatre early in his career. He has produced and directed more than 150 stage shows including Lady Day, featuring the Tony Award winning actress, Dee-Dee Bridgewater. He has also worked with many actors and performers including: Patty LaBelle; Billy Joel; Jason Bateman; Evander Holyfield; Bill Cosby; and many others. Stahl also directed an independent feature film, Consequences, that won the Los Angeles International Film and Video Festival for best feature in the thriller category. For a complete biography visit: www.stephenstahl.com .
About Timothy Kolman: Originally from London, England, Timothy Kolman received his first law degree from the University of Glasgow in Scotland with high honors and is a lifetime member of the Middle Temple Inns of Court in London. He then attended and received his second law degree from The University of Pennsylvania Law School where he was an Editor of the Law Review. Kolman is a member of the United States Supreme Court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the United States District Court for the Western District and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
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SOURCE Seagull Production Corp.