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On Being An Artist: Three Plays and a Libretto

A NOTE FROM THE PLAYWRIGHT-LIBRETTIST

ABOUT THE BOOK
The three plays and the libretto in this collection were all written by Judith Weinshall Liberman when she was in her eighties. All four dramatic works are semi-autobiographical and give expression to the insight the author gained through half a century of creating visual art and of writing. The first play, SOUL MATE, was inspired by Ms. Liberman's collaboration with a gifted young composer on her own first musical play. Both VINCENT'S VISIT and JUDITH AND ANNE were inspired by the author's experience as a visual artist, especially by the years she devoted to creating her three series of artworks about the Holocaust. TO BE AN ARTIST integrates elements from VINCENT'S VISIT and JUDITH AND ANNE into a musical play in which the characters express themselves not only through frank dialogue but also in twenty lyrics which provide insight into their minds and hearts. Also included in the book are black-and-white reproductions of twenty-five of Judith Weinshall Liberman's artworks. These reproductions are designed to help the reader better understand some of the matters discussed in the book. Works include:

1. SOUL MATE A one-act play
The artist's collaboration with a composer on the artist's first musical

2. VINCENT'S VISIT A one-act play
An imaginary encounter between the artist and Vincent van Gogh

3. JUDITH AND ANNE A one-act play
An imaginary encounter between the artist and Anne Frank

4. TO BE AN ARTIST A musical in two acts
Libretto by Judith Weinshall Liberman Music by Stephen Feig
Based on VINCENT'S VISIT and JUDITH AND ANNE

More about ON BEING AN ARTIST or TO PURCHASE

looking back

Looking Back: Four Plays

A NOTE FROM THE PLAYWRIGHT

ABOUT THE BOOK
The four plays in this collection were all written after Judith Weinshall Liberman reached her eighties. One play, EMPATHY, was inspired by a period in the playwright's life, when her husband, then only 52, suffered a stroke which rendered him unable to play the piano and led to his severe depression. The other three plays - GOOD OLD ABRAHAM, MICHAL and SISERA'S MOTHER - were inspired by Old Testament stories which the playwright studied in elementary school in her native Israel but upon which she bestows, in her plays, a mature perspective that raises questions relevant to our times.

The playwright's book LOOKING BACK was chosen as Play of the Week by the Jewish-Theatre on Line atwww.jewish-theatre.com,October 2010.

About LOOKING BACK: FOUR PLAYS A note from the playwright

1. EMPATHY A one-act play
A family's reaction to a debilitating stroke suffered by the head of the family

2. GOOD OLD ABRAHAM A full-length play in three acts
(Also see "GOOD OLD ABRAHAM: The Musical)
A present-day American teenager's reaction to the biblical story of Abraham

3. MICHAL A short play in three acts
inspired by the tragic biblical story of Michal, first wife of King David

4. SISERA'S MOTHER A ten-minute play
Inspired by the biblical story of a mother awaiting her son's return from battle

More on LOOKING BACK or TO PURCHASE

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The play GOOD OLD ABRAHAM was performed by the Shades Repertory Theater under the direction of its Artistic Director, Samuel Harps, at the historic Central Presbyterian Church in Haverstraw, New York, in April 2010. VINCENT'S VISIT was staged by the Shades Repertory Theater under the direction of its Artistic Director, Samuel Harps, at the historic Central Presbyterian Church in Haverstraw, New York, in April 2012.

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To Be an Artist

ABOUT THE MUSICAL
A musical in two acts
Libretto by Judith Weinshall Liberman
Music by Stephen Feig
Based on VINCENT'S VISIT and JUDITH AND ANNE from ON BEING AN ARTIST: THREE PLAYS AND A LIBRETTO
Read the libretto for the musical in the book ON BEING AN ARTIST: THREE PLAYS AND A LIBRETTO (iUniverse, 2012)(With permission)

LIST OF SONGS
by Judith Weinshall Liberman
Copyright (c) 2012 by Judith Weinshall Liberman

  1. ARTISTS DON'T DIE
  2. COLOR IN OUR WORLD
  3. DYING YOUNG
  4. EASILY SHAKEN
  5. FLOWERS
  6. GETTING ALONG
  7. GUILT AND INNOCENCE
  8. HOW STRANGE IS FATE
  9. LIKE SHEEP TO THE SLAUGHTER Listen to Cantor Kathy Sebo of Temple Tifereth Israel, Beachwood, Ohio, U.S.A.
  10. Listen Read the lyrics
  11. MAN AND WOMAN
  12. MY GRANDMA'S AN ARTIST
  13. RED, GRAY AND BLACK Listen to Cantor Kathy Sebo of Temple Tifereth Israel, Beachwood, Ohio, U.S.A.
  14. Listen Read the lyrics
  15. SOLITUDE
  16. SOUL MATE
  17. TAKE CARE, MY DARLING
  18. THE PURPOSE OF ART
  19. WHAT ARE GRANDMAS FOR?
  20. WHAT IS AN ARTIST?
  21. WHEN AN ARTIST FALLS IN LOVE
  22. WHO NEEDS ART?

Good Old Abraham: The Musical

ABOUT THE MUSICAL
The musical is based on Judith Weinshall Liberman's play GOOD OLD ABRAHAM published in the book LOOKING BACK: FOUR PLAYS (iUniverse, 2010)
Read the libretto for Good Old Abraham: The Musical

LIST OF SONGS
by Judith Weinshall Liberman
Copyright (c) 2011 by Judith Weinshall Liberman

  1. ALTAR
  2. BANISHMENT
  3. FAITH
  4. GETTING TOGETHER
  5. HERITAGE
  6. I LOVE MY WIFE
  7. JEALOUSY
  8. JUST PLAIN OLD GOOD
  9. LOSS OF FAITH
  10. MOM, I MISS YOU!
  11. ON NINE - ELEVEN Listen to Thomas Dawkins singing with piano accompaniment by the singer and Jagan Nath Singh Khalsa on violin.
  12. Listen Read the lyrics

  13. ONE-MAN WOMAN
  14. PARTING
  15. SACRIFICE
  16. SAVE THE CHILD
  17. SODOM
  18. WEEKEND
  19. WHERE ARE YOU?

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ABOUT THE SONGS
Many of Judith Weinshall Liberman's poems/lyrics have been set to music by Stephen Feig, composer of the music for her musicals.
Read the lyrics in REFLECTIONS: POEMS, LYRICS, AND STORIES by Judith Weinshall Liberman and Laura Liberman, M.D. (iUniverse, 2012) (With permission)
TO PURCHASE REFLECTIONS: POEMS, LYRICS, AND STORIES

LIST OF SONGS
Lyrics by Judith Weinshall Liberman
Set to music by Stephen Feig
Copyright (c) 2012 by Judith Weinshall Liberman

LOVE SONGS:
WHEN WE MET Listen Read the lyrics
SOUL MATE (From the play "Soul Mate" in On Being An Artist: Three Plays and a Libretto)Listen Read the lyrics

SONGS ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST:
LIKE SHEEP TO THE SLAUGHTER (From the musical "To Be An Artist") Listen Read the lyrics
RED, GRAY, AND BLACK (From the musical "To Be An Artist") Listen Read the lyrics

SONGS ABOUT WAR:
IN THE MILITARY CEMETERY Listen Read the lyrics
ENDLESS WAR Listen Read the lyrics

SONGS ABOUT ELEMENTS:
THREE HUES Listen Read the lyrics
TWENTY-SIX LETTERS Listen Read the lyrics
TWELVE NOTES Listen Read the lyrics

SONGS ABOUT MY WORK:
WHAT IS THE FORCE? Listen Read the lyrics
IF WE COULD SOAR Listen Read the lyrics
SO MANY ROADS Listen Read the lyrics

AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SONG:
IF YOU REMEMBER ME Listen Read the lyrics

OTHER SONGS:
A POEM A DAY
BENEATH THE SAND
BETRAYAL
CHAIN
DEAR ANNE-MARIE
HER LETTER
HOWLING WIND
ICE CREAM SNOW
IF I KNEW
IN A STORMY LAND
IN HAIFA BAY
IN THE NAME OF GOD
LET GO
LETTER TO MY HUSBAND
LOVE IS LOVE
MY BROTHER, SAUL
MY DARKEST SECRET
MY HOME
MY NANNY
MY PRINCE
NOT FOR ME
ON COLLABORATION
ON LONGING
ON THE BEACH
PINK ROSES
QUEEN FOR A DAY
RIVAL
SHOP AND SHOP
STOOD UP
THE BEST THING ABOUT LIFE
THE BLANKET
THE FINGER OF GOD
THE LETTER THAT YOU DID NOT WRITE
THE MAGIC FLOWER
THE TUNNEL
THE WAY HE WAS
THE WORLD'S DEAREST MATE
WHAT IS THE STAR?
YOUR CALL

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ABOUT THE FILM
A feature film was produced by award-winning producer/director Samuel Harps, using the play EMPATHY as a screenplay.

Watch Empathy: A Motion Picture

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