Literature and memory are essential to a culture's survival. For Jews, that literature is Yiddish -- 26 of its greatest writers and poets were murdered in a 1952 Stalinist purge. As Zunser (Ron Rifkin) explains to his four jailed comrades: "We are all here because of the fifth line on the form: Jewish."
If Shakespeare is less prominent on the stage, perhaps it is best to not fly him as the company banner, especially since conventional wisdom holds that many people find the works of the playwright to be difficult and off-putting, a perception aided by years of dull literature teachers in secondary schools.
"Word on the street is you went to see an 8-hour play. WTF?" I can't decide whether it's a good thing or a bad thing that it seemed completely incongruous to those who know me that I went to the marathon event that is Elevator Repair Service's "GATZ" at the Public Theater. Not only was I willing to go see this long-ass play, but I also happened to love it.