AMHERST, Mass. – The Yiddish Book Center of Amhearst has announced the premiere of Sholem Asch’s “On the Road to Zion,” a radio drama translated and directed by Caraid O’Brien, with original music by Zeke Levine, on Sunday, May 21, at 7 p.m. This free event will be presented via Zoom, and registration is required.
Originally debuted in 1905, “On the Road to Zion,”Asch’s first full-length play, is about Jewish thought in Poland at the turn of the 20th century. The play follows a family that gathers from across Europe to say goodbye to their octogenarian grandparents, who are moving to Palestine to live out their final years. The family includes the traditionally religious, capitalists, Germanophiles, a Zionist, a Socialist Democrat, a secular Yiddishist, a Polish nationalist, and an artist in search of himself—all of whom have a different idea about the future of Jewish life.
O’Brien has been translating and performing Asch’s work since 1998 and has translated seven of his plays. She was a 2019 Yiddish Book Center translation fellow along with Zeke Levine, who wrote original music for the play and performs the role of Andre, the young artist in search of himself. O’Brien’s translation, Sholem Asch: Underworld Trilogy, was recently published by White Goat Press, the Yiddish Book Center’s imprint.