Sholem Asch's On the Road to Zion, Translated by Caraid O'Brien

A Radio Play Presented by the Yiddish Book Center

Sholem Asch’s On the Road to Zion, a radio drama translated and directed by Caraid O’Brien, with original music by Zeke Levine, premiered in English on Sunday, May 21, 2023.

In 1905, Sholem Asch debuted his first full-length play, a symbolist drama about Jewish thought in Poland at the turn of the twentieth century. In it, a family gathers from across Europe to say goodbye to their octogenarian grandparents, who are moving to Palestine to live out their final years. The family includes the traditionally religious, capitalists, Germanophiles, a Zionist, a Socialist Democrat, a secular Yiddishist, a Polish nationalist, and an artist in search of himself— and everyone has a different idea about the future of Jewish life. On the Road to Zion’s 1905 Russian-language premiere introduced the Russian intelligentsia to the existence of an exciting new literature in Yiddish. Produced by the grande dame of Russian theater, Vera Komissarzhevskaya—who played the original Nina in Chekhov’s The Seagull—it was a sensation. Jacob and Sarah Adler starred in its Yiddish-language premiere, in New York City.

Made possible with support from the Association of Jewish Studies.

Purchase Caraid's O'Brien's Sholem Asch: Underworld Trilogy in our bookstore. 

Listen to "On the Road to Zion" radio play

See below PDF for information on musical score and cast and crew bios.