Indecent, the third production in Fordham Theatre’s mainstage season, is a Pulitzer prize winning play about the true story of the staging of another play—God Of Vengeance, by Sholem Asch.
God of Vengeance was written in 1906 in Yiddish, and after great success in Europe, it was translated into English, and performed on Broadway in 1923. The plot, which revolves around a love story between a woman prostitute and the daughter of a brothel owner, did not sit well with the authorities, however, and Asch was arrested.
Director Julie Kramer, who made her Fordham debut when the curtain on the production rose on Feb. 23, was moved by Indecent when she saw it on Broadway in 2017, but didn’t realize just how relevant it is to the current climate.
“What’s stunning about God Of Vengeance is how modern it feels. The way it portrays two women; it’s just stunning. I’m older than the students, but I still think of when it starts, in 1906, as being so long ago,” said Kramer, is helming the production as a guest director for Fordham Theatre.
“Then you read this, and you realize that this play was a huge hit all throughout Europe. It’s both fascinating and discouraging the ways that we sort of have to keep fighting for the same battle of representation and truth telling.”
The students have shown not only to be talented and dedicated, but also very connected to the show’s material, she said. The response from the audience has also been heartening.
“It is fascinating to me watching the play in the audience with so many students,” she said.
“In the very beginning, the playwright’s wife says ‘It’s the 20th century, you know? Everyone’s attracted to both sexes.’ It gets a huge laugh, which surprises me. But I think there’s something just incredibly delightful and surprising to this audience hearing that people fought about that in 1908.”
Indecent finishes with three more performances from March 2-4.