January 23 – February 17, 2019

Regarded as one of the most influential American plays of the 20th century, Awake and Sing! chronicles the lives of the Bergers, a Jewish family struggling to survive The Great Depression. Gritty, heartbreaking and often hilarious, Odets’ 1935 masterpiece captures both the dreams and the struggles of an unforgettable American family. Can hope survive or will reality tear the complex and loving family apart? Film, Television & Stage legends, Buzz Roddy and Lawrence Pressman join Quintessence in bringing this powerful play to Philadelphia.

Run time: 2 hours


(in alphabetical order)

Steve Connor as Schlosser

Lee Cortopassi as Moe Axelrod

Trevor William Fayle as Sam Feinschreiber

DJ Gleason as Ralph Berger

Melody Ladd as Hennie Berger

Bradley Mott* as Myron Berger

Lawrence Pressman* as Jacob

Sabrina Profitt* as Bessie Berger

Buzz Roddy* as Uncle Morty


Directed by Max Shulman

Lighting Design by Natalie Robin

Set Design by Meghan Jones

Costume Design by Summer Lee Jack

Sound Design by Tom Carman


In the mid-1930s, Odets was widely seen as the potential successor to Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O'Neill. Odets' socially relevant dramas were extremely influential, particularly for the remainder of the Great Depression. His works inspired the next several generations of playwrights, including Arthur Miller, Paddy Chayefsky, Neil Simon, David Mamet, and Jon Robin Baitz. Odets' first produced play was the one-act Waiting for Lefty, on January 5, 1935 at the former Civic Repertory Theatre on 14th Street in New York City. Waiting for Lefty's unexpectedly wild success brought Odets international fame, though its’ strong socialist bent caused it to be banned in many towns and cities in the United States. It was produced by a number of left-wing theaters in Britain, Australia, and other English-speaking countries, and has been widely translated. After the success of Waiting for Lefty, Odets followed with Awake and Sing!. Produced by The Group Theatre in February 1935, Awake and Sing! is generally regarded as Odets' masterpiece. Odets became the Group's signature playwright with the debuts of Waiting for Lefty and Awake and Sing! and his reputation is inextricably connected to The Group Theatre.

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