If I Forget
Jun 7Jul 6, 2019
by Steven Levenson

Synopsis

In the final months before 9/11, Michael Fischer reunites with his two sisters to celebrate their father’s 75th birthday. Each deeply invested in their own version of family history, the siblings clash over everything from Michael’s controversial book to the pressures of caring for an ailing parent. As secrets and resentments bubble to the surface, the three negotiate how much of the past they’re willing to sacrifice for a chance at a new beginning.

Video

Artists

Steven Levenson, Playwright

Devon De Mayo, Director

Cast

Alec Boyd, Joey Oren
Daniel Cantor, Michael Fischer
David Darlow, Lou Fischer
Keith Kupferer, Howard Killberg
Elizabeth Ledo, Sharon Fischer
Gail Shapiro, Holly Fischer
Heather Townsend, Ellen Manning

Production Team

Andrew Boyce, Scenic Designer
Izumi Inaba, Costume Designer
Heather Sparling, Lighting Designer
Kevin O’Donnell, Sound Design and Original Composition
Rachel Watson, Props Designer
Kanomé Jones, Casting / Line Producer
Skyler Gray, Dramaturg
Erica Sandvig, Production Manager
Katie Klemme, Production Stage Manager

Press

  • ★★★½ “A Jewish ‘August: Osage County’… shrewdly crafted, darkly comic and intellectually rigorous… An audience-pleasing hit.” 
    Chicago Tribune
  • ★★★½ “Outstanding… [the] Victory Gardens production is both clear-eyed and complex.”
    Chicago Sun-Times
  • “See this tour de force before it closes.”
    NewCity Stage
  • ★★★★ “A powerhouse of a story…a wonderful experience…”
    Around the Town Chicago
  • ★★★★ “Relevant and…entertaining.”
    Chicagoland Theater Reviews
  • “One of the finest, most riveting recent productions by Victory Gardens.”
    Chicago Theatre Review

Gallery

Public Programs

Post-Show Conversation
After every performance of If I Forget (unless otherwise noted)

Join us for one of our intimate post-show conversations led by members from the Victory Gardens community, reflect on what you’ve seen, and share your response.

Post-Show Conversation
June 9 | Sunday | 5:45 PM

Made possible by the support of The David Rockefeller Fund

In If I Forget, Michael publishes a divisively titled personal thesis on the Holocaust, thrusting his family, university and community into a heated moral and political debate. How do educators choose what to say, what not to say, and how to express themselves within their larger institutions? What are the rules of personal political expression when you are constantly held to the standards and rules of an institution in and out of the classroom? And how is that scrutiny only exacerbated by our social media culture? Join us in conversation with educators and students from across Chicago discussing the responsibilities and consequences of speaking your mind.

Post-Show Discussion
June 16 | Sunday | 5:45 PM

Made possible by the support of The David Rockefeller Fund

In If I Forget, Michael talks about the rich history of Jewish Americans and their fight for civil rights and social justice in this country. While there is an incredible history of Jewish Americans fighting for change, there is also a robust number of Jewish organizations and activists continuing that fight for equality today. What are the Jewish American social justice organizations in Chicago and how do they partner with other groups in the city and country to inspire change? How do these partnerships intersect with national movements, and how can we help promote their activism? Join us after the show as we discuss the continued fight for social justice with Jewish American activists and community organizations in the city.

Post-Show Conversation
June 23 | Sunday | 5:45 PM

Made possible by the support of The David Rockefeller Fund

In If I Forget, the Fischer house in Washington D.C. is a crossroads for three generations of vastly different Jewish identities. Nineteen years after the events of the play, the Jewish American experience remains just as complex. In an age where over one-third of American Jews identify as non-religious, what does it mean to be Jewish in America today? How do modern American Jews express their Judaism and how are they in conversation with past generations? Join us as we discuss the social, political, and emotional realities of Jewish identity in the 21st century.

Post-Show Conversation
June 30 | Sunday | 5:45 PM

Made possible by the support of The David Rockefeller Fund

In If I Forget, sparks fly in opposition to the idea of selling the family-owned business because the store resides in a gentrifying neighborhood. How can we begin to understand our role in the gentrification of neighborhoods in Chicago? Not only are family-owned stores and spaces being bought up, but important centers for community are as well. What happens when community spaces like synagogues and churches get renovated into apartment buildings? And what is the emotional cost? Join us after the show for a discussion led by experts and activists as they discuss gentrification in Chicago and the complicated trend of renovating religious and community spaces.

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