A new musical comedy based on the (alleged) life of Yiddish folk
hero Hershele Ostropoler.
Music and Lyrics by Joshua H. Cohen
Book by Brooke Pierce
Hershele the Storyteller follows an eventful week
in the life of charismatic Ukrainian peasant and folk hero, Hershele Ostropoler.
After years of spending his time and money at the local tavern, Hershele
finally vows to earn enough money to provide his family a nice Sabbath
dinner. To accomplish this, he uses his wit and ingenuity, doing
everything from posing as a blind beggar to entertaining at the court of
a famous rabbi. Hershele the Storyteller is a funny and ultimately
bittersweet tale that explores the difference between the myth and the
On October 6, 2002, we had a staged reading of Hershele the Storyteller
at the American Theatre of Actors in New York City.
We are currently working on getting a full production of the show.
you are a theater company that would be interested in producing Hershele
or if you know of any theaters or groups that might be, please contact us.
We have a demo tape available.
If you would like to keep apprised of our progress with Hershele,
please join our mailing list by typing your e-mail into the box down below.
Any questions or comments about Hershele? E-mail
ABOUT Hershele the Storyteller
One night, many years ago, in a small town somewhere in
the Ukraine, a stranger gets stranded in a tavern. There, he meets
an old man who tells him a tale about Hershele Osropoler, a folk hero
of the working class. But, the old man insists, Hershele isn't just
a legend, he was a real man ...
In this play-within-a-play, we meet the charismatic Hershele,
a clever peasant who loves to delight the locals with his jokes and stories.
But Hershele's family is nearly starving, and after yet another
bawling out from his wife, he declares that in a week's time he will earn
enough money to provide them all with a fine Sabbath feast. To accomplish
this, Hershele pursues scheme after scheme, selling used goods, posing
as a blind beggar, duping the wife of a wealthy businessman, and even performing
at the court of a famous rabbi.
And does Hershele succeed in his aim? Well, that
all depends upon your perspective. The stranger was surprised by the
ending, and you might be too.
song clips from the Hershele demo tape
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