The People's Violin tells the story of Sol Shank, experimental filmmaker, transplanted New York Jew, and unhappy son of a famous father. When Sol undertakes a film about his father, he discovers a mysterious violin, launching him on a quest that uncovers hidden chapters in his father's past.
Evidence mounts that his father was not who he claimed to be, forcing Sol to question what it means to be Jewish — and forcing the audience to question the meaning of identity, tribe and self.
Charlie plays 20 characters in the solo play — men and women, filmmakers and psychotherapists, Americans and Israelis, and a tricky violin salesman.
The play intersperses Sol's narrative with family members, friends, and other characters speaking about his father's life.
The People's Violin is not a comedy, although it frequently employs humor in its exploration of family relationships, culture, and identity.
"As I wrote this play," says Charlie, "I became absorbed with my characters, their lives and deceptions; with the voices of old people remembering the past; and with what it means to be an American and a Jew."
Listen to excerpts from The People's Violin:
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