Edward Einhorn has been the Artistic Director of Untitled Theater Company #61 since he founded it in 1992. He curated the recent Václav Havel Festival, The Ionesco Festival, the 24/7 Festival, and the NEUROfest (plays about neurological conditions), among other events. Perhaps most prominently, he wrote and directed the Off-Broadway production, Fairy Tales of the Absurd, which The New York Times called “almost unbearably funny.” He is also the author of the modern Oz novels Paradox in Oz and The Living House of Oz (both from Hungry Tiger Press), The Golem, Methuselah and Shylock: Plays (Theater 61 Press) and the upcoming picture book on probability, A Very Improbable Story (Charlesbridge Publishing). Other plays of his include Unauthorized Magic (“exquisitely ingenious”—The New York Times), Strangers and Linguish (“inspired absurdist comedy”—The Village Voice), Golem Stories (“original, provocative, and, above all, humorous” – New Jersey Jewish News), and A Shylock (“The play moves with wit and madness from absurdity to absurdity”—All About Jewish Theatre). As a director, he has worked in such venues as St. Ann’s Warehouse, The Ohio Theatre, HERE, The Connelly Theater and the John Houseman Studio. More information on him can be found at his theater company’s web site, www.untitledtheater.com.
PART OF THE BOOK: THE GOLEM, METHUSELAH, AND SHYLOCK: PLAYS
This play retells the legend of a clay man in 16th century Prague. Rabbi Loew creates a Golem to defend the Jews, but this Golem seems more interested in listening to the Rebbetsin’s stories and falling in love with the Rabbi’s daughter. Is he the reincarnated spirit of her murdered lover? Or does his childlike façade hide the face of a demon?
(4-5M, 3F, one unit set, 90 minutes)
THE LIVING METHUSELAH
The world’s oldest man has lived through the Flood, the Plague, Sodom and Gomorrah, Pompeii, and his own extremely poor judgment, thanks to his wife Serach, the world’s oldest woman. Now age and a poor health regimen have caught up with him, and the doctor tells him he won’t make it past the end of the play. Afflicted with every disease known to man, Methuselah fights on, flashing back in his delirium to former disasters and fantasizing about having handmaidens. Will he survive? It ain’t necessarily so.
(2M, 3F, one flexible set, 80 minutes)
Antonio says that Shylock was a capitalist. Jessica says that he was a Freudian nightmare. Tubal says he was a good Jew. Whom is Jacob Levy to believe? Perhaps Hamlet can guide him. Although this Hamlet seems to be a woman. In A Shylock, a mild mannered professor is taken on a tour of Shakespeare’s Venice, as he tries to find his own answer to Shylock’s legacy.
(5M, 3F, one flexible set, 80 minutes)
ONE-EYED MOSES AND THE CHURNING RED SEA
Rabbi Tzipporah Finestein is having dreams that Moses is a pirate captain, battling Pharaoh on the high seas. Are they nightmares, or more? Two congregants may be the key to an answer.
(1M, 2F, one set, 15 minutes)
This play posits a disease which causes aphasia, the neurological disorder that takes away one’s ability to use language. Four relative strangers are among the first to be affected, and are thrown together in quarantine. As the disease affects them, they are forced to try to find new ways to communicate.
(3M, 2F, one set, 70 minutes)
A man and a woman are in what seems to be a waiting room. Is it a doctor’s waiting room? If so, what’s wrong?
(1M, 1F, one set, 35 minutes)
POSSESSED BY A REBELLIOUS SPIRIT
The plays follows a teen by the name of Casey as she gets a little “visit” from her recently deceased grandmother. In an effort to grab just one more taste of reality, grandma gets a chance to see the world out of the eyes of her teenage granddaughter. In the process, Casey learns a lot she didn’t know about her family history and herself.
(2M (teenage), 2F (teenage), 1F (adult), 45 minutes)
ONE HEAD TOO MANY
Produced as part of the Off-Broadway show, Fairy Tales of the Absurd. A play about a Princess from a different planet, who falls in love with her second head.
(3M, 2F, 45 minutes)
THE BOY WHO WANTED TO BE A ROBOT
A Pinocchio tale in reverse, presented as a fairy tale from a foreign culture-the culture of people with Asperger’s Syndrome (a form of autism).
(1M, 3F, 35 minutes)
A new adaptation of Aristophanes’ philosophical comedy focuses on three elements of the human condition that have not changed in nearly 2500 years: war, sex, and, most of all, laughter.
(M:5, F:11, 75 minutes)
Doctors Jane and Alexander
Using found, fabricated, and occasionally finagled text, Edward Einhorn explores the life of his grandfather Alexander Wiener, the co-discoverer of the Rh factor in blood, through interviews with his mother Jane Einhorn, a PhD psychologist who recently retired due to a debilitating stroke. In the course of these interviews his grandfather’s ambitions and achievements are contrasted with his mother’s and ultimately with his own.
(4M, 3F, one flexible set, 100 minutes)
Rudolf II ruled in Prague in 1600 and was a great collector of the exotic. His thirst for knowledge, whether artistic, scientific, or mystical, was insatiable–as was his desire for lovers of both sexes. It was from his reign that the legends of the Golem and Faust spring, and it is also from his court that the most influential minds of the age–Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Arcimboldo, the poetess Westonia, and many others–gained their prominence. Yet perhaps the two people closest to him were the mistress who had borne his only children, and his valet, a converted Jew whose secret relationship with Rudolf makes him the emperor’s most valued confidant. Set completely in Rudolf’s bedroom, the play is a portrait of an emperor who is both extraordinary visionary and self-destructive, as he confines himself and those closest to him to an increasingly suffocating atmosphere of paranoia and mounting madness.
(5M, 3F, one set, 2 acts, 120 minutes)
Playing Dreidel with Judah Maccabee
A contemporary American boy meets Judah Macabbee. Judah is at first horrified to learn that his accomplishments are commemorated with dreidels and latkes, but then comes to understand what those symbols mean to the boy, whose father is a soldier, like Judah himself. It is a story of struggle and hope, told with humor, in eight scenes spanning the nights of Hannukah.
(1 adult M, 1 child M, one set, 60 minutes)