Family Secrets are Revealed in CST’s ‘The Book of Joseph’


The Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) at Navy Pier presents The Book of Joseph, a new play by award-winning playwright Karen Hartman. Chronicling three generations of the Hollander family in a sweeping story that spans history from occupied Poland to present-day America, The Book of Joseph is now playing in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare.

About The Book of Joseph

Richard Hollander was devastated when his parents were killed in an accident. While cleaning out their attic, he discovered a suitcase of letters written in Polish and German during World War II by a family he never knew—depicting day-to-day life under the most painful of circumstances in occupied Poland. Richard went on to discover that, at the time the letters were written, his father Joseph was fighting the United States government to avoid deportation and death—a campaign that involved such historic figures as Eleanor Roosevelt, Secretary of State Cordell Hull, senators and judges. He was astounded to learn that his father saved the lives of many but, despite heroic efforts, could not save his own family. Richard published his father’s story and the collection of letters in the book Every Day Lasts A Year.

Chicago Shakespeare, working alongside the Hollander family, has commissioned Karen Hartman to adapt this deeply resonant and historically significant story into a new play that not only paints a compelling portrait of a family torn apart by war, but also shines a light on the immigrant experience across the globe.

Info & Tickets

The Book of Joseph will be performed at Chicago Shakespeare Theater through March 5, 2017. Tickets are on sale now for $38–$58 (subject to change). Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more, as well as CST for $20 tickets available for patrons under 35. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at

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