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Old Wicked Songs (2013)

The Cast and Director 

Mark Kamie directed The Price by Arthur Miller in 2011 and Donald Margulies’ Brooklyn Boy in 2012 for the Jewish Theatre of Bloomington. He has an MFA in directing from the Indiana University Department of Theatre and Drama.

The role of Professor Mashkan is played by Ray Fellman. Ray is Associate Professor for Vocal Instruction for Musical Theatre for Indiana University’s Department of Theatre and Drama. He most recently appeared as Falstaff in the IU Jacobs School of Music’s production of the opera Falstaff.

John Stender will play the role of piano prodigy Stephen Hoffman. John is a graduate student in organ studies at the IU Jacobs School of Music. 

Written by Jon Marans
Directed by Mark Kamie


Old Wicked Songs is an emotional journey that recounts the relationship between an older Viennese music professor with a hidden past and a young Jewish American piano prodigy. It intertwines the emotions of sorrow, joy, and inspiration as the young pianist discovers his professor’s secret and the music of Robert Schumann that accompanies this exploration. This play is a complex piece, with many themes including teacher-pupil relationships, the power of redemption through music, and the discovery of one’s Jewish self-identity.

The setting for the play is Vienna in the spring of 1986. Stephen Hoffman is a technically brilliant pianist who lacks passion in his playing and whose career is plagued by an artistic block. He arrives in Vienna with hopes of regaining his confidence and to study accompanying with Professor Schiller, a master teacher.  However, Stephen is first assigned to Viennese music professor Josef Mashkan to study voice which is meant to prepare him as a vocal accompanist. Hoffman’s first assignment is to learn the "Dichterliebe" song cycle by Robert Schumann and it is through this music that past collides with present, dark secrets are revealed, and the discovery that they possess greater commonalities than just music alone.

The play is accompanied with music. A talk back led by Darrell Ann Stone will follow the opening night performance on June 8.

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