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The Witches of Lublin!

Some crazygood news:  Our feminist-shtetl-magic realist musical audio drama has gotten 2 Audie Award nominations!

And some other honors, as well.

And it's being offered again this year free to public radio stations, so please go HERE and tell them you want it in your town!

For the deets, I really can't do better than to cut and paste this announcement by co-author Elizabeth Schwartz:


I'm so excited to share some wonderful updates about our klezmer-feminist-historical audio drama, "The Witches of Lublin", starring the extraordinary Tovah Feldshuh and featuring Broadway's Simon Jones and Barbara Rosenblat... and even author Neil Gaiman (along with a host of generous and talented voice actors).  "The Witches of Lublin" is set in 18th-Century Poland, when a family of women -- all talented musicians -- struggle to live and love in a time of peril and daily hardship. 
Our show has been racking up a nice list of nominations and awards:
Nominee, Best Audio Drama, 2012 Audie Awards
Nominee, Best Packaging, 2012 Audie Awards
Winner, 2011 Earphone award, Audible.com
Top Ten "Most playlisted piece", 2011 Zeitfunk Awards, PRX.org
2011 "Best Books for Women", Booklist Online
2011 Top Ten Best Full Cast Audio Drama, Audiofile Magazine
Quarterfinalist, Scriptapalooza writing contest
Needless to say, notice and recognition for original Jewish art (featuring lots of klezmer and Yiddish) is beyond gratifying -- and when that original Jewish art also includes obscure Jewish history, feminism, Polish history and magical realism... it's beyond even that!
What's more, the play's companion music CD, "The Devil's Brides" (Arc Music UK) is garnering terrific reviews - "The Devil's Brides" features traditional and original klezmer and Yiddish songs from "The Witches of Lublin", along with beloved favorites.  Aside from the wonderful music (cough, cough, ahem), the CD features some truly marvelous hosting by the great Miriam Margolyes.
"The Witches of Lublin" is available FREE to radio stations for Passover/spring broadcast.  If your local public radio affiliate didn't air the show last year (or if they did and you want to hear it again), you can personally contact them to request the show.  Now is the time to help spread the word for 2012 - please check the website, www.thewitchesoflublin.com, to see if your affiliate is among those who have already scheduled it for this year. [ACTUALLY, DON'T: WE HAVEN'T UPDATED IT YET!]
(The fine print: We honestly don't make a penny from this.  We created "The Witches of Lublin" to help keep klezmer culture and Jewish art alive and moving ever forward.  In this, we had the support of some amazing and generous artists.  Sometimes it doesn't take a village... it takes a shtetl).
On behalf of the Witches team (Director-Producer Sue Zizza and my co-authors Ellen Kushner and Yale Strom), a hartsikn, sheynem dank!
XO, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Schwartz
VoiceOfKlezmer.com
HotPstromi.com
CommonChordsMusic.com


 

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
la_marquise_de_
Feb. 23rd, 2012 10:56 am (UTC)
Many congratulations and best wishes.
britmandelo
Feb. 23rd, 2012 03:58 pm (UTC)
Congrats!
(Anonymous)
Feb. 23rd, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
may I ask about your historical sources?
because in 1797 Lublin wasn't even part of Poland anymore, and before that Lublin's elected city president was Teodor Gruell-Gretz, a Jewish apothecary.

nalmissra@lj
ellen_kushner
Feb. 24th, 2012 09:04 pm (UTC)
The historical research & background come from co-author & music director Yale Strom's extensive work. On the "Extras" page on our website
http://www.thewitchesoflublin.com/extras.html
Yale explains:

"Our choice of the date of 1797 was not an accident; it was right after Poland ceased to exist as a independent country and was partitioned by Austria, Russia and Prussia. Under the Poles, the Jews had quite a bit of autonomy and lived relatively well under The Council of Four Lands (Va'ad Arba' Aratzot) in Lublin. It was the central body of Jewish authority in Poland from 1580 to 1764."

I'll let him know about your question, though!
ellen_kushner
Feb. 25th, 2012 02:18 am (UTC)
Yale Strom sent this reply to your question: The Witches of Lublin - History
Lublin was part of Poland that was taken over by Czarist Russia in 1795. However Jews living in Lublin and for that matter other parts of former Poland considered themselves Jewish Poles and living in Poland - yes under the thumb of Czarist Russia. My zeyde who was born in Poland but at the time it was still occupied by Russia considered himself a Polish Jew not a Russian Jew. So you are incorrect for the man on the street, Jew or Catholic Pole they considered themselves living in Poland under the rule of Russia. And in fact at this time the partition was only 3 years old so the Jews had not had the years even to get used to paying taxes to the Czar. When my zeyde was born it had been 100 years of Czarist rule and guess what he still said I was born and lived in Poland. These Jews in Lublin never considered themselves Russian Jews.

Please do enjoy the story and the music and tell others. Thank you for your interest.

zay gezint, Yale Strom
(Anonymous)
Feb. 25th, 2012 02:11 am (UTC)
The Witches of Lublin - History
Lublin was part of Poland that was taken over by Czarist Russia in 1795. However Jews living in Lublin and for that matter other parts of former Poland considered themselves Jewish Poles and living in Poland - yes under the thumb of Czarist Russia. My zeyde who was born in Poland but at the time it was still occupied by Russia considered himself a Polish Jew not a Russian Jew. So you are incorrect for the man on the street, Jew or Catholic Pole they considered themselves living in Poland under the rule of Russia. And in fact at this time the partition was only 3 years old so the Jews had not had the years even to get used to paying taxes to the Czar. When my zeyde was born it had been 100 years of Czarist rule and guess what he still said I was born and lived in Poland. These Jews in Lublin never considered themselves Russian Jews.

Please do enjoy the story and the music and tell others. Thank you for your interest.

zay gezint, Yale Strom
nalmissra
Feb. 25th, 2012 08:12 am (UTC)
I admit to being confused by your reply. I have not claimed that Jews would not consider themselves Polish in Lublin under austrian or russian rule (also: Lublin was taken over by Austria in 1795, and only later by Russia). Also, I am Polish so you do not have to explain to me the feelings of Polish people during that time, thank you.

The problem I have is your portrayal of the city; where does the "count Sobieski" come from? Lublin is and was a multicultural city of many religions, and the Jewish people were an important part of the community. EDIT: I apologize, checked the sources again, Gruell-Gretz was a polonized German. In 1797 the city was under austrian rule, though.


Edited at 2012-02-26 10:12 am (UTC)
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