4 Questions for “Postville” Author Fried

It’s not even Purim, and you would think we’re all getting ready for Passover!  More 4 Questions, this time for local writer Don Fried, author of the award-winning play “Postville.”

For 30 years, my family and I lived all over Europe while I worked in the Information Technology industry. In 2003, my wife, Rhonda, and I were getting ready to retire. We made a list of what we wanted and a list of places, and Boulder won. While we’d been in Colorado a couple of times on business and for vacation, we had no other connection to the area. It was quite a gamble, but it has worked out splendidly.

Tell us a little about your play, “Postville”
About 20 years ago, the small northeast Iowa town of Postville was in the process of dying; the local meatpacking plant had closed down and all the young people were moving away. Then, a Hasidic entrepreneur from Brooklyn bought the plant to re-open it as a kosher facility. The locals thought all their problems were over, but a culture clash ensued that turned the American melting pot into a pressure cooker that eventually exploded. Literally!

The play is a fictional account, inspired by the real life events in Postville. It won a prestigious 2009 playwriting award and will be performed March 5th – 27th at the Theater Company of Lafayette.

What do you plan to do at the Purim Party at Chabad?
Two professional actors and I will read excerpts from the play.

What’s the wildest Purim you’ve ever celebrated”?

In 1974, Rhonda and I were living in Tehran. We discovered that our real estate agent was Jewish, and he invited us to his house for a Purim party. We’d just arrived in Iran; we spoke very little Farsi, and he spoke no English. But the similarities in customs between two Jewish branches that had been separated for nearly 3,000 years spoke for themselves. We had a wonderful time together.

Meet Don at Lubavitch of Boulder County’s “Purim a Paris” on Sunday, February 28, 4 pm. 4900 Sioux Drive. RSVP: lubavbldr@cs.com or chabadofboulder.com. Theater Company of Lafayette presents “Postville“, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30, March 5 through March 27, also 2 p.m. March 14 and 21. At the Mary Miller Theater, 300 E. Simpson St., Lafayette.  $12-$15. For more info: 720-209-2154 or tclstage.org. Read more here (Daily Camera).

About Chany Scheiner

Co - Director of Boulder Center for Judaism. Any successful organization needs a heart and that is what Chany provides, along with organization, marketing, innovative programming, and countless Shabbat dinners. Some of her accomplishments are large and public like the annual menorah lighting on Pearl Street and the matzo and shofar factories, while others are quiet and private like the time she spends counseling individuals and sharing the wisdom that comes from study.

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