Louisville play about Heschel postponed

The world premiere of Imagining Heschel, a play based on the life of the famous rabbi, has been postponed due to the coronavirus.

Jewish Louisville will have to wait a little longer to see the world premiere of a play based on the life of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.
The Bunbury-ShPIeL Identity Theatre Project, which has been staging a series of Jewish-themed plays for local audiences, announced this week the postponement of its next production Imagining Heschel, due to the onset of the coronavirus. A new date for the premiere has not been set.
The play had been scheduled to premiere on April 13 at the Bunbury Theatre at the Henry Clay, downtown.
“We are so very disappointed,” the theatrical group said in a prepared statement. “We would have achieved our goal of building strong bridges across multiple segments of our community, bringing them together for culture, engagement, education and inspiration.”
Five years in development, Imagining Heschel is based on a script by New York playwright and author Colin Greer. It has already enjoyed successful staged readings, which have included famed actors such as Richard Dreyfus.
A leading rabbi and theologian of the 20th century, Heschel is remembered for his active support of the civil rights movement, his opposition to the war in Vietnam and his support of and friendship with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
A Jewish representative to the Second Vatican Council, he proved influential in the drafting the 1965 Nostra Aetate (In Our Time) document, which repudiates the Catholic Church’s ages-old deicide charge against the Jews, reaffirming their covenant with God.
A prolific writer who expressed himself in four different languages, Heschel also taught at Hebrew Union College and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
His influence on races and religions has endured since his death in 1972.
“Go to every prayer book in any synagogue – Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist – [there are] quotes and prayers,” said David Chack, artistic director of the ShPIeL-Performing Identity. “And African Americans quote him all the time.”
Chack just returned from a conference in Connecticut. “Every room in the center had a quote from Heschel.”

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