Between 1937 and 1947, eighteen thousand European Jews were refused entry to the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, South Africa, Central America and Australia. Only Shanghai, the colorful and corrupt international city teeming with displaced persons from around the world, accepted them without visas. Although originally allowed anywhere in the city, they were eventually forced into a square mile ghetto, which they shared with 100,000 of the poorest Chinese.
Linda Alper’s new play, Shanghai (formerly called The Best Worst Place), will follow Eva Broder, an adolescent girl from Berlin who grows to maturity in one of the most crowded, crime-ridden and unhealthy places on the planet. During her journey to adulthood, Eva discovers how her life is interwoven with that of others and what kind of responsibilities, even under extreme adversity, she has the courage and obligation to embrace. Writing for families and young adult audiences, Linda’s project will be part adventure story, part coming-of-age and part exploration of a fascinating, nearly forgotten, piece of history.
A Resident Artist at Artists Rep, Linda has co-written adaptations and translations produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, ACT in San Francisco, Denver Theatre Center, Virginia Rep; Santa Cruz, Colorado, Stamford (UK) and other Shakespeare festivals, as well as The Acting Company. Those scripts include: Saturday, Sunday, Monday; Napoli Milionaria!; The Three Musketeers and Tracy’s Tiger. With Penny Metropulos, she wrote an adaptation of Great Expectations, which is currently playing in OSF’s Bowmer Theatre.