Today, instead of her usual weekly review, theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck shares the conversation she had last week with the celebrated playwright Paula Vogel, whose works include A Civil War Christmas, The Baltimore Waltz, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning How I Learned to Drive. Vogel's most recent play, Indecent, opens in previews tonight at Baltimore Center Stage. It's being produced in collaboration with Arena Stage and Kansas City Rep. Eric Rosen is directing the play, which runs through March 31.
Indecent tells the true story of another play: an early 20th-century Yiddish drama called “The God of Vengeance,” by Sholem Asch. The sexually avant-garde play was a hit all over Europe – and in New York. But when its English-language version opened on Broadway in 1923, the cast was arrested and the play closed down.
Paula Vogel’s Indecent, for its part, had a successful Broadway run, and this season is one of the most-produced new plays in American regional theaters. It pays homage to artists who are ahead of their time, and who sometimes pay dearly for their passion.
Playwright Paula Vogel speaks with Judy from her home in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.