Playwright-in-residence

Winnipeg Jewish Theatre is very pleased to host Emil Sher as our playwright-in-residence in Fall 2021.  During his residency Emil will work on an adaptation of By Chance Alone, Max  Eisen’s acclaimed memoir of surviving Auschwitz as a teen.  The winner of Canada Reads 2019 — the theme was One Book to Move You — Eisen’s account has been described as “a cri de cœur and a reminder that small acts of kindness can have an immeasurable impact on another person’s life.” In addition to creating a new play, Emil’s residency will include workshops, presentations and mentoring young playwrights.

An award-winning author, Emil brings a deft and experienced hand in transforming By Chance Alone for the stage.  His adaptation of Hana’s Suitcase, the beloved Holocaust book by Karen Levine, has been staged across Canada — including a run at Manitoba Theatre for Young People — and in the U.S. and Israel.  Emil’s adaptation of Ian Brown’s The Boy in the Moon was selected as a Top Ten Production of 2017 by The Globe and Mail.

The timing of Emil’s residency comes as we begin to slowly emerge from a pandemic that has taken a terrible toll.  It has also left some theatres shuttered or on the brink of drawing the curtain.  Although our resources were stretched to the limit we persevered in the face of significant challenges. Hosting a residency at this time is an act of faith, a reflection of our unwavering belief in the singular power of live theatre to tell the stories that need to be told.  Your donation will provide Emil with the time he needs to shape a new play rooted in age-old truths about finding light in the midst of darkness.  Art can make a difference, and you can, too.