"Grunwald’s story-telling is riveting, clear and original throughout. I have written previously on Holocaust drama and on memory and performance (NY TIMES; 25 February, 2001) and was delighted to find The Mitzvah both unique and on the highest level among these works…”
- Cindy Rosenthal, Ph.D., Associate Professor Drama and Dance, Hofstra University
The Mitzvah (“The Good Deed”) is a one-person play that dramatically explores one of the most shocking stories of the Second World War. More than a hundred thousand German men — classified as “mischlinge” (the derogatory term the Nazis used to describe those descended from one or two Jewish grandparents) — fought in the German armed forces.
The story of one such mischling is at the center of The Mitzvah and actor (and child of survivor) Roger Grunwald seamlessly transforms himself into an array of characters to tell that story. In addition to Christoph (the “mischling”), other characters include Schmuel, a Polish Jew from Bialystok and the play’s Chorus who offers edgy commentary that probes the boundary between the absurd and the horrific. The Mitzvah is a touching and tragic tale told in a powerful one-act solo performance created by Grunwald and Broadway veteran Annie McGreevey.
"The Mitzvah Project is enrichment for the heart and the mind. Mr. Grunwald sheds light on an important aspect of the European Jewish story that many of us do not know, and offers a story that is compelling and moving. It is a powerful evening of learning and reflection."
- Rabbi Jacqueline Mates-Muchin, Temple Sinai, Oakland, CA