IF I FORGET
by Steven Levenson
Originally produced at Roundabout Theatre Company, New York, NY
February 16 to May 14, 2017
About the Premiere Production:
Synopsis: In the final months before 9/11, liberal Jewish studies professor Michael Fischer has reunited with his two sisters to celebrate their father's 75th birthday. Each deeply invested in their own version of family history, the siblings clash over everything from Michael’s controversial scholarly work to the mounting pressures of caring for an ailing parent. As destructive secrets and long-held resentments bubble to the surface, the three negotiate—with biting humor and razor-sharp insight—how much of the past they’re willing to sacrifice for a chance at a new beginning. IF I FORGET tells a powerful tale of a family and a culture at odds with itself.
Artistic Statement: IF I FORGET will mark Steven Levenson’s fifth work to be produced in New York, and his talent has only grown in depth and maturity from one play to the next. He has touched on war, grief, bullying, lying, and the plight of the average American. His style frequently focuses on a few deeply specific characters while managing to reflect on society as a whole. In this new play, Steven looks closely at one family with unrelenting honesty and vicious humor, in order to reveal truths about the fading American middle class, modern Jews and their relationship to Israel, and the pain of making the right choices to help aging parents. Everything Steven touches on in If I Forget is written with empathy and authenticity, and it will resonate in a meaningful way with audiences. Steven is a major American playwright coming into his own – perhaps reaching that all-important bridge from “emerging playwright” to “mid-career.” It’s a career that will be a long and varied one, with this writer continuing to ask tough questions and examine them with the kind of careful eye that that marks him as a special talent.
Grant Statement: An additional week of rehearsal will have a significant impact not only on the cast and creative team but also on the script itself. Our artistic staff works to create an environment in the rehearsal room that is creative and collaborative, where artists can come together and experiment. It is not unusual for dialogue to be rewritten, for characters to be adjusted, or for scenes to be added or cut. Steven continues to make changes to IF I FORGET and we always work to have the playwright in the rehearsal room as much as possible. For IF I FORGET, a play with deeply personal and political themes, it is even more essential. This funding from the Edgerton Foundation ensures that Steven and the cast and creative team have the time, space, and resources to give this important work the world premiere production it deserves.
Additional Funders Supporting IF I FORGET: The Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Xerox Foundation, Bulova Stetson Fund, Funds under cultivations, and General Funds.