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A play about more than getting on base
n the midst of what feels like this monumental struggle, our lead character joins his grandfather in learning about the great Jewish ball players.
The play, like the book, reminds us about why we love the game: the battle between batter and pitcher; or an afternoon between father and son (or daughter), tossing a ball in the backyard or watching a game unfold from the grandstands. It will help us see that it's more than a game, as well. It's something into which we invest dreams and hopes and expectations; where we're close enough to the action to know that those players can hear our cheers and jeers.
Brilliant! Fantastic vaudeville acting and costumes. A great bridge of the generations.
- Kim Amzallag, Advertising Director, Jewish Daily Forward
nd for newly-arrived Jews in America, when it mattered most, baseball became a symbol of belonging, and a symbol of "making it" in a new world: to watch your own people, otherwise isolated culturally and geographically, play and win alongside everyone else.
To be a fan - or better yet, to sit in the bleachers at the Polo Grounds or Detroit Stadium - was to feel like an American. To cheer a Jewish major leaguer was to feel pride. Perhaps the play will help us imagine that sense of pride that blacks must have felt, decades later, when they watched Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby take to the stadium field finally.
Now will someone pass the kugel to this end of the table.
A Quick Q & A with the Playwrights
Q: What were your biggest challenges in writing this play?
A: The biggest challenge was to create characters that an audience will care about. Our next challenges: How to integrate themes from the book (Jewish identity, culture and history) so they become part of the story. Then, how to raise questions and issues without making anyone feel as if they're attending a lecture. This is entertainment, after all.
Q: Is this play primarily for baseball fans?
A: We’d say the book informs the play. Another challenge for us: How to integrate enough baseball to satisfy those who read the sports pages, but not bore someone who cares little for the game. As you will see, the book becomes sort of a character in the play; it’s another device for telling stories.
Get A Nosh of Our Script
Rabbis With Reason
In this scene, Grandpa has assumed the identity of Hank Greenberg in the play. He tries to explain to Aaron how fans of baseball, both Jews and gentiles, sought approval, or a reason from local rabbis that would allow Greenberg to play in a crucial game scheduled for Rosh Hashanah.
Bring 'Jews On First' To Your Venue!
Take a look at our technical details rider to ensure that your venue has what we need for 'Jews on First.' Or contact us for more info.
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