Concord Players present ‘God of Vengeance’

March 7, 2023

As a follow up to the recent production of “Indecent,” The Concord Players are pleased to host The Senior Arts Collaborative’s staged reading of “God of Vengeance,” the play written by Sholem Asch in 1906 that inspired Paula Vogel’s “Indecent.”

“God of Vengeance” was written in 1906 by a young, but well-established Polish poet who was part of the Yiddish literature renaissance that was spreading throughout Europe at the end of the 19th and into the 20th century. The story centers around a family living in a traditional eastern European shtetl with a very untraditional secret. The patriarch of the family, Yankl, and his wife, Sorah, run a brothel in their basement. While Yankl believes that their only child, Rivkele, is completely in the dark regarding her parent’s business, she is actually having a love affair with Manke, one of the prostitutes. Yankl is obsessed with ensuring the purity of his daughter and is even convinced by Rav Ali (a local matchmaker) that he can atone for his sins by purchasing a Torah scroll and placing it in Rivkele’s room. The play explores themes of lust, abuse, freedom, and guilt and was considered groundbreaking in terms of humanizing some of the most marginalized people of its time.

The production successfully toured all of the major capitals in Europe and made its American Broadway debut in 1923, only to be shut down after opening night by the vice squad with the producer and the actors arrested for “indecency.”

This 90-minute presentation will be performed by a group of avid theater lovers, many of whom are retired academics who have performed in the Cambridge area over the last 10 years and who have come together expressly to perform this seminal piece of theater.

Whether or not you attended a performance of Indecent, the Players welcome the opportunity to help share this remarkable tale.

The performance takes place on Saturday, March 11 at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, 51 Walden Street, Concord. Admission is free with open seating.