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Golgotha at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club


La MaMa E.T.C. in association with American Sephardi Federation with Sephardic House presents Golgotha, by Shmuel Refael, at the La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club from the 14 - 22 Dec 2005.

Golgotha tells of the memories of Greek Jews and Ladino-speaking Jews, whose suffering during World War II is usually overshadowed in the world's memory by the abundant history of their Ashkenazi brethren.

It is a one man show, performed in English by Victor Attar. He plays Albert Salvado, a Holocaust Survivor re-living the atrocities of the concentration camps as he prepares for his long awaited dream to come true: the honor to light the torch at the annual Holocaust commemoration ceremony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

However, Albert's honor is compounded by the intense guilt and pain surrounding his being chosen as the torch bearer, which makes Albert question not only his right to the honor of lighting the torch but also his identity as a Sephardic Jew. The estrangement many Ladino-speaking Jews felt is captured in the play through the inner turmoil experienced by Albert in the isolation of his own, dark apartment where he has nothing but a photograph to remind him the family he left behind as the only survivor of his household.

Golgotha is written by Shmuel Refael, adapted by Haim Idissis, translated by Howard Rypp, directed by Geula Jeffet-Attar. It comes to La MaMa E.T.C. after a premiere performance at the Tzavta Theatre in Tel-Aviv and subsequent Israeli tour (2003-2005).

Author Shmuel Refael is head of the Department of Literature of the Jewish People at Bar Ilan University, Israel. He drew from the experience of his father, a Greek Holocaust survivor, molding stories he heard as a child. The play was inspired by research he conducted in 2001, under a commission from the foreign ministry of Spain to research a book on the Holocaust experiences of Ladino-speaking Jews.

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