Adam Rothenberg, NY Theater Critic

adam-rothenberg-new-theater-adams-appleThere have been several shows written about the Holocaust, but  I saw one of the most riveting new plays I have seen in a while—When Yellow Were the Stars on Earth, written and directed by Robert Williams When Yellow Were the Stars on Earth tells the story of a German cabaret singer and Jewish Resistance fighter who cross paths in the most unexpected way in Berlin 1943, with both women making the ultimate sacrifice for one another.

Robert has written a powerful and emotional play that includes a topic that has not been dealt with in theatre before: the considerable number of Germans who died opposing the horrors of the Nazi machine. Helping to bring this show to life is a terrific cast . The cast as a whole performed great together, each character necessary to tell this story.

There were so many intense moments in this show that I couldn’t wait for the next scene.

While some might think, “Why do I need to see another show about the Holocaust?” my answer is simply because it’s a topic that still needs to be talked about and because you haven’t seen Robert Williams When Yellow Were the Stars on Earth, which gives a different viewpoint about the brave heroes who risked their life to save the Jews.

Adam Rothenberg, NY Theater Critic

How the Play has been Received

I once read that it will take no less than 300 years to heal from the event of the Holocaust. That is about 12 generations. It’s been only 71 years.

I wrote this play with the intent of sharing the tragedy of the Holocaust from a new angle—that of unsung heroes who achieved transcendence by fighting for the lives of others during that dark time. My original intent has been suddenly augmented and transformed by our incredibly successful run.

Our audiences’ reactions were outstanding,  beyond my most optimistic expectations.

So many  were moved to tears and taken so deeply into the story that they had difficulty leaving their seats and the end of the play. Many shared with me that they felt the play had the power to heal old wounds.

I never planned for this to be the result of watching When Yellow Were the Stars on Earth, but so many urged us to please continue to share this play.

 Sincerely

 

Robert Williams

whenyellowwerethestarsonearth@@gmail.com

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE
CABRINI REPERTORY THEATER
PLAYING IN JANUARY & FEB 2014!

Yellow Stars Poster Landscape POSTCARDS

WHEN YELLOW WERE THE STARS ON EARTH

A WWII Drama About The Holocaust by Franco Moschetti

January

4 @ 8:30pm * 5 @ 3:00pm * 10 @ 8:30pm * 11 @ 8:30pm
12 @ 3:00pm * 17 @ 8:30pm * 18 @ 8:30pm * 19 @ 3:00pm
24 @ 8:30pm * 25 @ 8:30pm * 26 @ 3:00pm * 31 @ 8:30pm

 February 1 @ 8:30 – 2 @ 2:30

 

Cabrini Repertory Theatre

701 FT Washington Ave
New York, NY, 10040

Directions

 

 

•§•

One night in Berlin, 1943, during an SS raid, a German Cabaret singer opens her door to save a Jewish Resistance fighter. As the hours unfold, destiny winds their lives more tightly together until there is no turning back. When Yellow Were the Stars on Earth tells a story of two rarely written about realities: Jewish female fighters and Germans who died refusing to be part of Nazi machinery. Amidst the atrocities of WWII, these women transcend enemy lines and, in their final moments, make an ultimate sacrifice for love.

The tragedy of the Holocaust is written in indelible ink on our past. It has left a deep scar on our history and is profoundly connected to another subject that has little been dealt with; the considerable number of people who died opposing the horrors of the Nazi machine. Most of them are not remembered as heroes and their stories were never known; they’ve just been forgotten, swallowed by time. When Yellow Were the Stars on Earth was written out of a personal wish to create an imaginary place in time and space where, for once, a German Jew (Miriam) and a German (Klara) could meet, look at each other beyond the tragedies that linked them during WWII, and express the primal love that is common to all souls.

 

The Cast

Director – Franco Moschetti

Michele Farbman
- Miriam

Gudrun Buhler
- Klara

Curtis Nielson – Gunter

John Larkin – Joseph

Matt McAllister
- Herman

Marcello Padilla – Hans

Kazy Tauginas
- Fritz

Franco Moschetti- Wolfgang

Wanda O’Connell – Eva

Rhea Ross – Ann

The Crew

Tech Director and light designerPatrick Bakalli


Franco Moschetti
Writer/Director

Franco Moschetti is a playwright and director of theater and film. He is the founder and Artistic Director of The Cabrini Repertory Theater, and creator of the Thespis and Venus/Adonis Theater Festival/Competitions. His recent work includes writing and directing War Is Over, a short film denouncing war, that was screened in Rome, Milan, Ghent, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Ottawa, New York, San Diego and Las Vegas.

He also wrote and directed It Was A Girl, a short film that raised awareness about the controversial tragedy of abortion. It was screened at New York Film Academy in New York. In 2012, he directed and co-wrote with Michele Farbman That is How I Left (thatishowileft.com), a powerful biographical play staged at the Living Theater to critical acclaim. Franco is currently writing a film adaptation of When Yellow Were the Stars on Earth.

 

Letter from the Writer/Director Franco Moschetti

It is with great pleasure that I invite you  to become familiar with a play I’ve written.

When Yellow Were the Stars on Earth

The play takes place in Berlin in 1943 and explores two areas of WWII phenomena that are rarely spoken of. To my knowledge, a play that deals with female Jewish Resistance fighters and Germans who oppose the Nazi Regime enough to die for their beliefs has never been written. The story centers on two such characters, both women.

The Jewish Resistance fighter is a German that risks her life every day to defeat the Nazi machinery responsible for killing so many members of her race, including her husband and the second German woman is a Cabaret singer who, while trapped in a relationship with a brutal SS Captain, sheds secret tears of pain knowing that her fellow countrymen are murdering millions in Forests shootings in Germany occupied countries, most of them Jews.  It would have been a rare moment in time for these two women to meet.

I have been immersed in studying Holocaust phenomena for many years and continue to be deeply pained by the killing of 12 millions people of which 6 million Jews. I have collected a large number of documentaries from around the world and many books that report in detail on the long journey of despair that Jewish European citizens endured. It’s no coincidence that my closest friends are Jewish. Although I am Italian and was raised Catholic, my empathy runs so deep that I feel I am a member of the Jewish race. I’ve also thoroughly studied the history of Germany from the beginning of the 20th Century until the 1960s. I and many others have always been startled by how German citizens were completely seduced by Hitler and forced into events created by the Führer and his fellow aids. The question of questions asked so many times before is how could a group of people like the Germans, so refined and evolved, masters in so many fields of art and, above all, lovers of the intimate essence of nature, be drawn into the dark events of WWII?

What many don’t know is that a considerable number of Germans died opposing the horrors of the Nazi machine. They are not remembered as heroes.

My play was written out of a personal wish to create an imaginary place in time when, for once, a German (Klara) and a German Jew (Miriam) could meet, look at each other beyond their ethnic imprint and the tragedy that linked them during WWII, and find the primal love that is common to all souls.

Klara dies under interrogation in an SS station for hiding and not revealing the whereabouts of Miriam, the resistance fighter she sheltered in her apartment for just a few hours. Miriam, in turn, dies while attempting to liberate Klara from the grip of the SS that tortured and killed her. By the end of the play, it is apparent that the good and heroic nature of the German tradition is at its best in Klara and Miriam who would rather lose her life than be party to the Nazi regime, and the transcendent heroism is equally alive in both, whom are ready to love one of their “enemies” and die knowing that to attempt to save them is equal to a suicide verdict.

 

FOR PRESS AND INDUSTRY COMPS – Contact: cabrinireptheater@gmail.com

http://yellowstars.org/press-release/

Letter from writer and director Robert Williams

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to get to know a play I’ve written.

When Yellow Were the Stars on Earth

letter-from-the-directorThe play takes place in Berlin in 1943 and explores two areas of WWII phenomena that are rarely spoken of. To my knowledge, a play that deals with female Jewish Resistance fighters and Germans who oppose the Nazi Regime enough to die for their beliefs has never been written. The story centers on two such characters, both women.

The Jewish Resistance fighter is a German that risks her life every day to defeat the Nazi machinery responsible for killing so many members of her race. The second German woman is a Cabaret singer who, while trapped in a relationship with a brutal SS Captain, sheds secret tears of pain knowing that her fellow countrymen are murdering millions, mostly Jews, during shootings in German-occupied countries. It would have been a rare moment in time for these two women to meet.

I have been immersed in studying the Holocaust for many years and continue to be deeply pained by the killing of 12 million people, six million of which were Jews. I have collected a large number of documentaries from around the world and many books that report in detail on the long journey of despair that Jewish European citizens endured. Although I am Italian and was raised Catholic, I have a deep love and respect for Judaism. I’ve also thoroughly studied the history of Germany from the beginning of the 20th Century until the 1960s. I and many others have always been startled by how German citizens were completely seduced by Hitler and forced into events created by the Führer and his fellow aids. The question of questions is how could a group of people like the Germans, so refined and evolved, masters in so many fields of art and, above all, lovers of the intimate essence of nature, be drawn into the dark events of WWII?

What many don’t know is that a considerable number of Germans died opposing the horrors of the Nazi machine. They are not remembered as heroes.

My play was written out of a personal wish to create an imaginary place in time when, for once, a German (Klara) and a German Jew (Miriam) could meet, look at each other beyond their ethnic imprint and the tragedy that linked them during WWII, and find the primal love that is common to all souls.

Klara dies under interrogation in an SS station for hiding and not revealing the whereabouts of Miriam, the resistance fighter she sheltered in her apartment for just a few hours. Miriam, in turn, dies while attempting to liberate Klara from the grip of the SS. By the end of the play, it is apparent that the good and heroic nature of the German tradition is at its best in both Klara and Miriam, who would rather lose their lives than be party to the Nazi regime. A transcendent heroism is equally alive in both, who are ready to love one of their “enemies” and lose their lives rather than be party to merciless killing.

 •§•



Truly Yours,

Robert Williams Writer/Director

 

A Better World Radio & TV

mitchell-rabin-a-better-world-radioWe went in, sat down, and were suddenly transported to a scene in Nazi Germany wherein an SS officer was having an affair with a German woman, and in the same apartment building was a cell of members of the Jewish Resistance. The play, When Yellow Were the Stars on Earth, explored the relationships between these characters in depth. It was heart-wrenching, and the female lover’s brother at one point returns from the Russian front absolutely frantic and out of his mind with a mixture of profound grief and rage, having borne witness to the murder of a large group of Jewish children who were shot at point-blank range and thrown into a ditch.

Franco-Moschetti-director-actor-playwrightThe shock of exactly the same kind of story I had just heard from people I personally knew resounded inside me–there was no escaping or marginalizing, nor denying this time; there was just pure pain and sadness at the low ebbs of the human psyche and condition. I sat in the theater tearing as I watched the scene dramatized before me. Franco Moschetti skillfully hit a spot in the human psyche that makes people bleed in their hearts from pain, yet at the same time, a Jewish woman and the SS officer’s German lover well, I don’t want to say more now in case you get the golden opportunity to see it, but just to say, there is the low ebb and the high triumph of the human spirit. We need to remember that both co-exist in the human being and to the extent that we can call upon the higher nature of ourselves, we will be forging a new future and a better world.

So I visited the theater twice, and had no idea that was in the making. I visited the story of the ditch twice, once as a true story, the next as a fictionalized version though based on a true story, and dramatized, with heart-piercing impact.

So the psyche works, weaving a story within a story. Even though the holocaust happened now some 70 years ago, the heart doesn’t forget and remembering the horror can help us to appreciate the beauty of relative peace, respect for other and the power of compassion.

A Better World

 

 

 from: Mitchell Jay Rabin/ founder of A Better World
August 13, 2011
http://www.abetterworld.net/a-better-world-newsletter-2011-08-14/

To order tickets you can go to

 

Paul Sladkus
, Founder of Good News Planet & Good News Corporation, Former CBS & PBS Executive

paul-sladkus-good-news-broadcastI want to film the show just as it is and stream it on my website.

Paul Sladkus
, Founder of Good News Planet & Good News Corporation
Former CBS & PBS Executive
Founder of Milestone Broadcast Corporation (MBC)


GoodNewsPlanet.com

Ronni Kolotkin Writer

yellow-stars-logo-150pxThe play was totally amazing, a very emotional experience. I was riveted, glued to my seat and totally engrossed. Everyone in the cast played their parts excellently! When Yellow Were the Stars on Earth is better than most plays I’ve seen on Broadway, and I’ve seen and slept through many!

Ronni Kolotkin, Writer