Posted by Anne Marie Hagenaars on August 2, 2017
I just finished reading a novel that I would recommend to anyone: ISAAC by Robert Karmon. I read the novel as part of the research for a double role that I am working on for the next few weeks. Robert Karmon is also a playwright and he adapted his novel to the stage play “The Resettlement of Isaac” in which I will play two of the lead roles. We will perform it at the third annual Jewish Film Festival in Southampton on August 21st, directed by Robert Kalfin (founder New York’s Chelsea Theatre Center, winner of five Tony Awards, four Tony nominations and 21 Obie Awards).
I am truly astonished by Karmon’s book. In Dutch we have an expression that says: “This book reads like a train”. And it means that you can’t put it down once you start reading. It is exactly what happened to me.
Karmon’s novel is inspired by the true-life story of Isaac Gochman, a 16 year old Polish Jew, who looses all his family and friends in one night stripped, shot to death and buried by the Nazis in an endless trench. Miraculously Isaac survives the slaughter and when he wakes up he finds himself among the dead bodies of over 20,000 Jews. Then his incredible journey of survival in the Polish forest begins. For months he travels by himself with whatever the woods have to offer. Then he adopts a new identity and he joins the Russian Partisan Brigade where he becomes a hero and falls in love for the first time. ISAAC is a beautiful story about survival, courage and love. For more information on the novel check it out here.
If you happen to be in the Hamptons on August 21st, come out and see the staged play reading at 7pm. For more details and information, click here.
Talk Back with Playwright Robert Karmon
In concert with this year’s film festival we are pleased to present the Playwright’s Theater of East Hampton’s premiere staged reading of “The Resettlement of Isaac”. This play is based on the true, incredible story of Isaac Gochman, a 17-year old from Rovno, Poland, who, in one horrific night, survives a Nazi massacre of his entire family along with 20,000 other Jews.
Thrust alone into the forest and the wilderness of war, Isaac finds the courage to fight back as a Russian partisan blowing up Nazi trains, and finds the passion to fall deeply in love with Anya, a Russian partisan nurse– in love for the first time in his young life. It is a tragic love that transcends religious differences.
Many years later in New York, the elderly Isaac is still haunted by the memory of his first love. His only friend, a young German-American woman, is tormented herself by doubts about her father’s role as a German soldier during the war. Deeply affected by Isaac’s past, she becomes the loving caretaker of his memories after he is gone. The play confirms what Faulkner once wrote, “The past is never dead, it’s not even past.”
Robert Kalfin founded New York’s Chelsea Theatre Center, winner of five Tony Awards, four Tony nominations and 21 Obie Awards. Mr. Kalfin directed more than 200 productions and new play workshops, musicals and the classics on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in major American regional theaters, in Europe, and the Middle East.
His many Broadway productions include Strider, Yentl and Candide. He also directed the television production of The Prince of Homburg starring Frank Langella, for the PBS Great Performances “Theatre in America” Series.
Robert Karmon is an American playwright and screen writer. Several of his plays have been produced off Broadway and in regional theaters. Karmon’s screen writing credits include scripts for CBS, Columbia Pictures, and Eddy Murphy Productions. He is currently a professor of English and creative writing at Nassau Community College.
The Resettlement of Isaac (Script)