THE JEWISH WIFE, taken from Brecht’s seminal work “Fear and Misery of the Third Reich”, which charts the submission of the German people to the Nazi Party line, shows the agonizing challenges faced by an ordinary couple to a fast-changing, nightmarish social and political landscape. Suspicion, fear and the ever-narrowing parameters of patriotism are all surprisingly relevant in Brecht’s response to regime change in his native Germany in the 1930s.
New York-based ROUST THEATRE COMPANY premiered THE JEWISH WIFE in the spring of 2006 at the Walkerspace Theatre in New York City in a new contemporary American translation by Binyamin Shalom. “This Brecht is angry, passionate, bare-bones and uncompromisingly personal and political”, reviewed George Hunka of the NY Times, “Tracy Hostmyer is especially affecting and controlled as a Jewish woman leaving her Aryan husband in “The Jewish Wife”… James Phillip Gates directs with an eye to simplicity. Mr. Shalom’s translation is vivid, clever and spare, preserving the spirit of Brecht’s complex moral and social vision. It offers a fluid rendering of the language that doesn’t get in the way of the dialogue’s directness: a translation that doesn’t sound like a translation.”
Directed by James Phillip Gates. Starring Tracy Hostmyer and James Phillip Gates.