Dramatists Legal Defense Fund Speaks Out About Musical Canceled Over Jewish Themes | Playbill

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Industry News Dramatists Legal Defense Fund Speaks Out About Musical Canceled Over Jewish Themes

Danielle Wirsansky's The Secrets We Keep was to be presented over four performances beginning May 23.

The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund is providing emergency support for an upcoming presentation of Danielle Wirsansky's new musical The Secrets We Keep. The work was scheduled for a four-performance presentation at the American Theatre of Actors in New York City beginning May 23, but was canceled due to its Jewish themes.

The team working on the presentations had been working with venue director James Jennings to implement safety precautions for the cast and audience. There were concerns there could be issues as the piece centers on a Jewish Polish woman during the Holocaust, a subject that has become incendiary in light of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. Wirsansky wrote the piece with Frank Sanchez.

According to DLDF, shortly after a safety plan was reached, the performances were canceled by the venue citing concerns risen by their insurance company.

“We were shocked to learn of the theatre’s breach of contract, denying this author the stage she rented because of the fear that a play with Jewish themes was too dangerous, even a play that has nothing to do with Israel,” shares DLDF Executive Director Ralph Sevush in a statement. “In light of their cowardly capitulation to antisemitism and the complete lack of credible threats against the production, we felt it was more dangerous for the show and the creative forces behind it to be silenced by fear."

DLDF has provided funds to remount the production at The Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater at The West Side YMCA, where the performances will be given on the originally planned dates, running May 23-26. Tickets are available at OvationTix.com.

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