Alumnus Jason Jacobs Directs Lavender Songs at the Playroom Theater
November 25, 2016
Jason Jacobs ‘05 directed Lavender Songs; A Queer Cabaret In Weimar Berlin, at the Playroom Theater. The show ran from November 3 – 13. Written and performed by Jeremy Lawrence, the show is set in a nightclub during the last performance by “Tante Fritzy,” an aging cabaret dancer in Weimar German, which brings to life the personal and sexual freedom that was soon to be destroyed.
“This haunting show… conveys the decadence and despair of Weimar Germany,” writes Darryl Reilly for Theater Scene. “The stage is bare except for a piano, a stool, a chair, and a vintage screen to hang clothes. Out of this minimal landscape, director Jason Jacobs creates a vibrant, small-scale panorama with his precise staging.”
The show is based on an evening created by Alan Lareau for the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. in conjunction with the exhibition Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945. The material for the show—which is performed primarily in drag—includes bawdy jokes, double-entendres, and Lawrence’s new translations of songs that were written or performed by queer cabaret artists in pre-war Berlin.
Lavender Songs is produced by TOSOS, “The Other Side of Silence,” a theater company “dedicated to preserving the theatrical heritage of the LGBT community through the development of new plays by emerging artists as well as revivals of established works.”
Jacobs was identified as a 2007 Person of the Year by NYTheatre.com for his outstanding contributions to the cultural landscape. In addition to his collaboration with Lawrence, he has directed new works by Kathryn Blume, founder of the Lysistrata Project, Richard Sheinmel (Post Modern Living), Jason Schafer (i google myself) and David Koteles (The Trick and Bald Diva). Jacobs is also passionate about adapting classical texts and historical materials. As a teaching artist, he co-founded The Theatre Askew Youth Performance Experience, which empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth in the NYC area to develop their unique theatrical voices.