Zalmen or the madness of God


A play by Elie Wiesel

Directed by Guila Clara Kessous

Edwin Geist

EDWIN GEIST composed the kind of music Hitler called “degenerate” and was forced to flee from Berlin, his city of birth, after the Nazis came to power because he was prohibited to compose or work because his father was Jewish. He then lived in Lithuania with his Jewish wife, pianist Lyda Bagriansky Geist, and was interned with her in the Kovno Ghetto when the Nazis occupied Lithuania. He was temporarily released, but he convinced the authorities he could not compose unless his wife would also be freed and after cruel and inhumane restrictions on their lifestyle, she finally joined him. Their reunion was short lived. He was eventually murdered in 1942 and Lyda, unable to live without him, committed suicide within weeks of his death. Friends then broke into their boarded apartment, filled a suitcase with his musical scores whereas the diary he wrote for Lyda while separated from her was already with his friends, Helene and Margarete Holzman. That was all that survived from Edwin. The lives and love of Edwin and Lyda are described in Dies Kind Soll Leben , (This Child Must Live). This memoir, written by Helene Holzman and edited by Reinhard Kaiser and Margarete Holzman, won the coveted Geschwister Scholl Prize. Reinhard Kaiser then went on to write a biography of Edwin Geist, Unerhoerte Rettung:Die Suche nach Edwin Geist (Amazing Rescue: The Search for Edwin Geist). A CD of Edwin Geist's Chamber Music and Songs was released in 2007 and received an award from the biggest and most prestigious musical publication in Germany.


Guila Clara Kessous

Assistant Director

Kathryn Kozlark

Graphic Designer

Samuel Bak


Roberto Mighty


Heather Simon

make up wig designer

Lenna Kaleva

Puppet creator and coach

Yavni Bar-Yam

Props Manager

Kaitlan Hannan

Costumes & Props

Devorah Oxman

Casting & PR

Dan Yonah Ben-Dror Marshall

Poster Designer

Zachary Bos


Edwin Geist


Tristan Govignon

Seacia Pavao