From the playwright of the smash-hit musical Dear Evan Hansen and previous Roundabout shows The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin and The Language of Trees comes the fiery new family drama, If I Forget. Charting a family journey from 2000 to the months leading up to 9/11, the play follows the eruption of a family feud swirling around liberal Jewish studies professor Michael Fisher who has written a controversial new book, on the eve of his father’s 75th birthday. If I Forget is a powerful tale of a family and a culture at odds with itself. To give the show a greater context, check out our latest installment of To Read/Watch/Listen below!
The Nineties: Reliving a decade
If I Forget opens half a year into the year 2000 and ends a few months before 9/11. This was a time of great change in American society, with new technology such as mobile phones and the internet really starting to take off. CNN has a fascinating documentary series available on Netflix, which charts the major structural changes which occurred in the various decades in the Twentieth Century. They will be releasing their next installment, The Nineties in late spring of this year. In anticipation of this, they have released a number of great articles, including the one below, looking back on the Nineties with some nostalgic photos.
The Israel-Palestine Conflict: A Brief, Simple History.
News reports coming from the TV in the background are a constant reminder in this play of the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. We hear snippets and the characters discuss their own thoughts and feelings on the matter, but it acts more as a backdrop, a constant reminder of what is happening elsewhere in the world. The Israel-Palestine Conflict is a very complex issue, and Vox have created a very informative and impartial short documentary charting the conflict’s history. It is worth watching if you want to find out more about the history of this region and how this conflict began.
The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering by Norman G. Finkelstein.
On the flip side to being impartial, this book written by Finkelstein argues that there is a "Holocaust Industry" which has negatively affected authentic memory of the Holocaust as it is exploited for political and financial gain, especially on the subject of Israel. An incredibly controversial and divisive text, it is included here as the book and its author are part of the research Steven Levenson undertook for the play. The book was released in 2000 and, much like Fisher; Finkelstein was denied tenure but later in his career in 2006.
Dear Evan Hansen on Spotify
And to round off, Steven Levenson wrote the book for the hit Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen. It is a fantastic show surrounding a teen Evan Hansen who finds himself surrounded by turmoil following the death of a classmate. The original Broadway cast recording is available to Spotify, and you can listen to it here:
If I Forget is now playing at the Laura Pels Theatre. For tickets and information, please visit our website.
2016-2017 Season, If I Forget