Friday, February 17, 2023

The Rosenberg/Strange Fruit project in world premiere at NJ Rep




The Rosenberg/Strange Fruit Project

Award-winning actor\playwright John Jiler, along with jazz clarinetist "Sweet" Lee Odom, tell the remarkable story of the youngest child of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Orphaned at six following his parents' execution for espionage, the boy was adopted by the man who wrote the song 'Strange Fruit'----seared into our consciousness by Billie Holiday. Playing a gallery of rogues, heroes and saints, Jiler takes us on a journey of our politics from then 'til now…

"Jiler….bursts with the talent, wit and energy that separates living theatre from all entertainment that comes in a can." —New York Times


From playwright John Jiler

Question: Why is it important to tell this story now?
John: To me the guilt or innocence of the Rosenbergs is beside the point. The unimaginable trauma of children essentially watching the public execution of their parents is eternally relevant to the vulnerability of children everywhere caught up in the maelstrom of violence; be it in the Ukraine, the Middle East, or the streets of an American city. I’m also eternally fascinated by the relationship between Blacks and Jews, a major concern of this piece—thematically and musically.

Schedule of Talk Backs

Thursday, March 9, 10 - following the first 2 performances there will be a Q and A with the cast and director.

Saturday, March 11 - following the evening performance, a discussion with Barbara Krasner, author of Ethel's Song: Ethel Rosenberg's Life in Poems.

Thursday, March 23 - following the performance, a discussion with Rabbi Douglas Sagal and Reverend Terrance Porter.


Group Rates

For group rates please call SuzAnne at 732-229-3166.



John Jiler and Lee Odom
photo: Andrea Phox Studio


Barbara Krasner

Rabbi Douglas Sagal

Pastor Terrance Porter



New Jersey Repertory Company

179 Broadway, Long Branch, New Jersey 07740   732-229-3166