Shortly before World War II, Rose Weiss and her father escaped Poland for America, but were forced to leave Rose’s sister Lusia and her mother behind. When the two sisters reunite in New York City many years later, Rose is confronted by an older sister who, having survived the horrors of war overseas, now seems nothing more than a stranger. And Lusia—haunted by vivid memories of her past—struggles to connect with a family she’s never known and to believe in the potential of life in a new land. A SHAYNA MAIDEL explores family, faith, and forgiveness in the pursuit of a better future.
Written in 1984, A SHAYNA MAIDEL was widely produced by America’s leading regional theaters and became a long-running success Off Broadway from 1987 to 1989. The New York Times called the play “a tribute to the sustaining power of family and to man’s indomitability,” the Hartford Journal Inquirer hailed it as “an emotional powerhouse of almost overwhelming proportions,” and the Atlanta Constitution raved that “anyone who sees it will not soon forget it.” The Chicago Reader underscored the play’s fit with TimeLine’s mission, describing it in a 2002 review as “history as intimate as a snapshot.”