On October 5, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director Charles Newell provided a riveting overview of Tom Stoppard’s most recent play. Here are 5 takeaways from Session 1 of our Deep Dive series, “An Introduction to the World of Leopoldstadt.”
- There’s a lot going on, but don’t get overwhelmed.
The character cast is monumental by itself, but we put together a family tree to help you out! You can access the materials in your digital program.
2. Since there is so much going on, we recommend you read the play yourself first.
While it’s not necessary, we strongly encourage our audiences to read the play before they embark on this in-depth intellectual journey our programs provide. You can purchase it at the Seminary Co-op.
3. It’s not autobiographical, but it has biographical elements.
Stoppard was inspired to write the essay after learning of his own Jewish roots. The characters are not real, but the historical events and documents mentioned are. However, there IS an autobiography now available about Tom Stoppard by Hermione Lee!
4. The part where Leo gets stitches is inspired by a real event.
Stoppard met a patient of his biological father’s years later. His father stitched a wound for a young woman, and she showed him the scar when they met. The experience was deeply touching for Stoppard, who has nothing left of his father, and the mark was a last vestige of his father’s existence. The character Leo and Stoppard do share some parallels, as all writers embed bits of themselves in their work.
5. Every little thing matters.
There is a lot of deeper content than you may think at first read. Every detail is significant. Tune into our next sessions to dive deeper into Stoppard’s play!