Jewish Telegraph - Nov. 10, 2000

Warren helps to stage Austrian culture revival

New Yorker Warren Rosenzweig is reviving Jewish culture in Austria.
Rosenzweig, who has lived in Austria since 1998 after eight years there from 1982, is artistic director of the Jewish Theatre of Austria. The travelling theatre explores themes of Jewish identity and seeks to promote a broader understanding and friendship between Jews and non-Jews in the Austrian community and abroad

The company`s logo features a broken pencil – symbolising the taping together of broken pieces and bringing new life to a creative process that was violently interrupted. Until 1938, Austria had an active Jewish theatre culture. The artistic aim of the Jewish Theatre of Austria is a contemporary of this important aspect of Austrian culture.

As a director and playwright, Rosenzweig`s work has appeared on stages in New York, Berlin, Vienna and other cities. The former director of OBIE-award-winning Off-Broadway forum for experimental theatre and performance art, BACA Downtown, he has also directed and produced shows in Austria and elsewhere. He conceived the Jewish Theatre of Austria as "an antidote against the recurring mood of intolerance and the playing down of the lessons of the past in present-day (Austrian) society".

With this in mind, he and his team selected Arthur Miller`s Incident at Vichy as the first full production, which will open in March 2001. To mark yesterday`s opening of a new synagogue in Graz, Austria`s second largest city, the Jewish Theatre of Austria performed Arthur Miller and the Theatre of Responsibility, specially created by Robert Skloot, American theatre and Judaic scholar.The synagogue is on the site of the city`s former school which was destroyed on November 9, 1938.

Prof Skloot is speaking on ´The Theatre of The Holocaust` in Graz today, in Innsbruck on Monday and Vienna on Tuesday. Arthur Miller and the Theatre of Responsibility will also be performed in Vienna on Wednesday.

Mike Cohen

© 2000 Jewish Telegraph