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Remembering Amelia Hertz – Decadent Histories: Four Plays

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Mar 28, 2016
Mar 28, 2016
Segal Theatre

book cover from Jadwiga Kosicka's Decadent Histories
Book cover from Jadwiga Kosicka’s Decadent Histories

Monday, March 28
Segal Theatre
6:30pm Readings + Discussion

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

A celebration of the new Segal Theatre Center publication—Decadent Histories: Four Plays by the recently rediscovered extraordinary Polish-Jewish playwright Amelia Hertz (1878-1942). After earning a doctorate in chemistry in 1904, Hertz followed careers as both playwright and historian in fields traditionally dominated by men with in-depth studies of history, archeology, and ancient Middle Eastern languages. In her plays, which evoke perverse and macabre decadence and the ends of old worlds, she reworks legendary, historical, and fairy-tale materials and reinterprets well-known legends, such as Tristan and Isolde and Gilles de Rais. Hertz died in the notorious Pawiak Gestapo Prison in Warsaw in 1942, a victim of the Nazis.

Excerpts directed by Jane House. With Jadwiga Kosicka, editor and translator. Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center; The Center for the Study of Women and Society, GC CUNY; Jane House Productions; and the Polish Cultural Institute, New York (Agata Grenda, Director; Tomek Smolarski).


Jadwiga Kosicka was born and educated in Poland. She has translated numerous works from Polish which have appeared in many scholarly journals such as Theatre Quarterly, Theatre Three, Formations, The Polish Review, yale/theatre, New York Review of Books, Performing Arts Journal, SEEP (formerly called Soviet and East European Performance), among others. She has also translated and edited To Steal a March on God by Hanna Krall and A Dream by Felicja Kruszewska published by Routledge Harwood’s Polish and East European Theatre Archive; and Jan Kott’s autobiography, Still Alive (Yale University Press); and Zygmunt Hübner’s Theater and Politics (Northwestern University Press), among others.

Jane HouseJane House, Ph.D., has performed off-off-Broadway, on Broadway, in regional theatre and national tours, in film, and on TV. Her translations from Italian have appeared in Twentieth-Century Italian Drama: An Anthology, 1900–50 (1995) and The Mellen Collection of Twentieth-Century Italian Drama 1950–2001 (2015). Many of them have been presented as staged readings at the Segal Theatre, most recently in an evening focused on prize-winning Italian playwrights of the last few years. She is delighted to be celebrating the publication of translations from Polish by Jadwiga Kosicka.