Interview with Leah Napolin
Playwright Leah Napolin is a multi talented, thoughtful and courageous woman who was singing, dancing, drawing and reciting the poetry and stories she’d written was by the time she was 4 or 5. In college she was bitten by the “acting bug” and discovered her interest in writing plays. Still she was to teach music in Venezuela (until the revolution closed the school), get married, have children and lead a “bourgeois life,” before getting her chance to become the writer she always was. Her friend Robert Kalfin who’d started The Chelsea Theatre Center in Brooklyn suggested that she read Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Yentl the Yeshiva Boy.. And after being “thunderstruck,” Leah found away to dramatize the folk tale. The production was very successful but she didn’t reap much of the financial benefit because of the roadblocks put up by Barbara Streisand (listen to that interesting story). Finally she was able to hold on to the copy write for her work and the play has found many homes most recently having finished a successful run at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota Florida (in which Hilary Clemens -see above- played the role of Yentl). Listen to Leah talk about her journey towards finding her voice as a playwright and a person.