Schwartz’s New Opus Small Scale Jewish “passion Play”

A Jewish “Passion Play” on a small scale describes fairly accurately “The Witch of Castile,” with which opus Maurice Schwartz’s Yiddish Art Theatre opened this season in New York. The play, written by Sholom Asch, seeks to portray Jewish life during the Inquisition period of the Roman-Catholic Church under Pope Paul IV in the 16th Century. It undertakes to describe the horrors which the Jewish Ghetto lived through during this era.

The production is very elaborate as far as scenic effects are concerned. The types, however, are very much misrepresented, especially the Pope who plays the leading role. Joseph Buloff, who plays the role of the Pope, exaggerates too much by presenting Paul IV as a half-mad, weak and sadistic character.

Both Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Buloff keep the audience on edge. Miss Stella Adler is drawing attention in the leading feminine role. The play has provoked great interest in the Jewish theatrical world and is one of the outstanding productions of the current Jewish theatrical season.

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