Why a Polish Resistance Fighter’s ‘Failure’ to Stop the Holocaust Resonates Today

Jan Karski, and a New Play About His Life, Remind Us of the Importance of Truth, Valor, and Memory

A man leaps into the air. The theater audience gasps, then relaxes as he safely lands. Jan Karski—scholar, diplomat, World War II Polish Resistance fighter, and the messenger who brought news of the then-secret Holocaust to the world when there was still time to stop it—has just escaped from Gestapo custody into the literal arms of Polish Resistance fighters, who will nurse him back to health.

The actor playing Karski, David Strathairn, tells the audience in Karski’s melodious Eastern European accent that after the escape, the Gestapo rounded up 100 Poles …

Can Uncle Vanya Work in Four Different Languages? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can Uncle Vanya Work in Four Different Languages?

The Play Featured in the Oscar-Nominated Japanese Film Drive My Car Offers a Window Into How Drama Brings Us Together

“If you want to work on your art, work on your life.” —Chekhov

Like any great aphorism, the dramatist Anton Chekhov’s advice can be taken many ways. In our 21st century …

Theater Understands Your Holiday Dinner Angst

Family Tables, Real and Imagined, Serve Up 'Birthrights, Grudges, Feuds, Illicit Unions, and Deeply Buried Secrets'

This is the time of year when families come together, crossing county and state lines and national borders, traversing bodies of water and mountain ranges that made cannibals of our …

Why Ghosts Gave Comfort to the Ancient Greeks | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Ghosts Gave Comfort to the Ancient Greeks

Classical Playwrights Used Spirits to Deliver Wisdom and Counsel—Some of It Still Relevant Today

The pandemic struck at a time when people’s confidence in their government was already shaky. Many decried the lack of attention being paid to information about public health and safety, …

Why Not Let the Church You Loathe Save the Theater You Love? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Not Let the Church You Loathe Save the Theater You Love?

Across California, Growing Congregations and Communities Have Bridged Differences to Preserve Historic Movie Palaces

Have a little faith, Californians.

Even if you can’t stand the religion or politics of your local churches, you might find their congregations to be valuable saviors—of your historic and …