EXCERPTS FROM THE FEATURE
Below are excerpts from the WBAL-TV feature published online on May 21, 2018 by Deborah Weiner.
FORMER WBAL-TV REPORTER'S STORY BROUGHT TO LIFE IN PLAY
Everyman Theater in Baltimore is in the midst of a boom, specifically, setting a record for best advance ticket sales in the theater's 27-year history.
A play called "The Book of Joseph" is based on a book Rich Hollander wrote after he unearthed scores of letters in his parent's attic that document the pain and impermanence of life in Krakow, Poland, during World War II.
It all began with a briefcase, Hollander discovered in 1986 after his parents, Joseph and Vita Hollander, were killed in a car crash.
"Inside that briefcase were hundreds of letters written in Polish and German from my father's mother, his three sisters, their spouses and children to him in the U.S.," Rich Hollander said.
The play, "The Book of Joseph," is based on those letters.
"It is the story of this man's family in Poland, and how some emigrated to America and the majority did not," actor Bruce Nelson said.
"We only have our loved ones for so long and it’s important to open those closets, and in the case of our play, open your briefcase now and learn who you are, what you're made of, and what you can give to the next generation," director Noah Himmelstein said.
On the verge of his 70th birthday, Rich Hollander knows he is providing a voice to those in his family who were silenced, calling on his skills as a journalist to tell his most important story yet.
This play will have legs outside Baltimore. It is powerful, poignant and leaves you wondering how much you really know about your own family and makes you want to ask questions of them now.