Article originally appeared in the September 10th publication of the St. Louis Jewish Light
The power of theater lies not only in its ability to entertain but also in its capacity to provoke thought and ignite conversations.
The upcoming production of “The Lehman Trilogy” performed at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (the Rep) is a perfect example, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis (JCRC) is partnering with the Rep to facilitate a public post-show talkback on September 20th as a reflection of a profound commitment to fostering deeper understanding and engagement to challenge elements with the potential to perpetuate stereotypes or biases that, when unexamined, lead to discrimination and harm.
“The Lehman Trilogy,” written by Stefano Massini and adapted into English by Ben Power, traces the remarkable and complex journey of the Lehman family – Jewish immigrants who founded one of America’s most iconic financial institutions, Lehman Brothers. While the story of the Lehman family is based on actual events, it also exists in a much larger historical context.
For centuries, the Jewish community has been subject to the persistent stereotype that they are greedy or avaricious, willing to make themselves rich by any means. The entertainment industry, in particular, has been a driving force in steering the public perception of Jews.
To that end, the JCRC and the Rep are working together to bring awareness and address these themes and the implications for our world today. Attendees of the play will find a note in their playbill from the JCRC identifying these concerns, as well as information to learn more via the JCRC, the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum, and ADL Heartland. Staff from the JCRC met with staff from the Rep together with individuals involved in the production of the play to dialogue about the show and about antisemitism more broadly.
All who are interested in engaging more deeply are invited to a post-show talkback on Wednesday, September 20th at approximately 5:30 pm following the matinee performance of The Lehman Trilogy. The panel will include Maharat Rori Picker Neiss, Executive Director of the JCRC; Helen Turner, Director of Education at the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum; and Tamyka Perine, Executive Director of Cultural Leadership.
Everyone is invited to use the code JCRC to get 20% off tickets to the 9/20 matinee show.
The talkback is free and open to the public (online registration required). Attendance of the show beforehand is encouraged, but not required.