Transfixed, Transformed

In the play—that scene—

falling rain, a soft drumming on the stage,

two women in white nightgowns, dance and kiss

glorious, not indecent—


later, in the Lodz ghetto,

they perform again–

the drumming of jackboots looms–


the play’s not indecent, their reality is.



Paula Vogel’s play, Indecent, is a play about a play Sholem Asch’s 1903 drama God of Vengeance, which was performed in Yiddish in Europe, then in Yiddish theaters in the U.S. When it was translated into English and performed on Broadway it triggered an obscenity trial in 1923. The play was performed in the Lodz ghetto with a diminishing cast and audience. This sounds very depressing, but I love this play, and there is humor and joy in it, too. And that rain dance scene. (If you’re a PBS member and have Passport you may be able to see the play on Great Performances online.)

This is a quadrille for Mish’s dVerse prompt using the word, “drum,” and it also addresses Anmol’s Pride Month prompt  








31 thoughts on “Transfixed, Transformed

  1. Indecent is as indecent does… I swear. If people would stop judging based on their close-mindedness, this world would be so much friendlier. Glorious is! As is your wonderful Quadrille. Hope it comes ’round again in some form for me to see.

    • Thank you. Yes, if you ever get the chance to see the play, I think it’s excellent. I agree. It was only when the original play hit the more conservative audiences that it was closed and the obscenity trial took place. But I’m sure there are people now who would think both the original play and this one are indecent.

  2. This is so evocative! ❤️ I would love to watch this play 🙂 I feel the world is becoming more and more judgemental as the decades pass. If only they would see beyond race, religion, ethnicity, and sexual preference.

  3. thanks for the reference. will need to find it. having grown up in my context, I was SHOCKED! SHOCKED! when I came to realize that it was not indecent of me to being both transgender and lesbian, finally feeling decent and whole and right after decades. We have always been here.
    Appreciate you.

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