The Holocaust in the Arts

June 22, 2011, 7pmFifth Avenue Synagogue, 5 E. 62nd Street, Manhattan Free to attend

We thank all for attending the conversation with best-selling novelist Iris Rainer Dart about her latest work, the broadway musical "The People in the Picture," and the role the arts play in Holocaust remembrance and education.

About "The People":

Once the darling of the Yiddish Theatre in pre-war Poland, now a grandmother in New York City, Bubbie has had quite a life.  But what will it all mean if she can't pass on her stories to the next generation? Though her granddaughter is enchanted by her tales, her daughter Red will do anything to keep from looking back.  A fiercely funny and deeply moving new musical that spans three generations, The People in the Picture celebrates the importance of learning from our past, and the power of laughter.

Show’s website:

About Iris Rainer Dart: Iris Rainer Dart is a best selling novelist, whose work includes The Boys In The Mail Room, 'Til The Real Thing Comes Along,  I'll Be There,  The Stork Club, Show Business Kills, When I Fall in Love, Some Kind of Miracle and Beaches, which was made into a film starring Bette Midler. Her co-authored children’s book Larry:The King of Rock and Roll was released in January of ’07.

The daughter of Russian immigrants, Iris was born in Pittsburgh where her father was a social worker in a settlement house. Iris took up an acting career at age six at The Pittsburgh Playhouse. In 1966 she received her degree in theater from the drama department at Carnegie Mellon University, where she won the BMI awards for the libretto and lyrics she wrote for the varsity musical. Upon graduation she moved to Hollywood where she survived on small acting parts. Discouraged, she turned to writing as a career.

She wrote episodes for many situation comedies and was hired in 1975 as the only woman writer to write "The Sonny and Cher Show." It was during this time when Iris had the idea to write a woman character loosely based on "the no holds barred outrageous person" that she found in Cher. The character became Cee Cee Bloom in her best-selling novel Beaches later made into the iconic film of the same name starring Bette Midler. 

Iris’s most recent project is a musical called The People in The Picture. “It’s my passion project,” she says. “I grew up in a hosehold where they spoke more Yiddish than English, and even though we had no money I never look back on my childhood as deprived. When I thought about why that was, I realized I always gave credit for the joy my family felt to the Yiddish culture. It’s so filled with humor and warmth and I love the language. I know the generation that spoke it fluently is all but gone, and my generation only has a passing relationship with it, and my children know very little. How can we let this magical language disappear?” The People in the Picture talks about how the Yiddish sensibility is an important factor in the Jew’s survival.

Please RSVP to Felice Cohen at