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This profile was last updated on 7/11/15  and contains information from public web pages.

Mr. Ron Hirsen

Wrong Ron Hirsen?

Resident Playwright

Phone: (312) ***-****  HQ Phone
Local Address:  Illinois , United States
Chicago Dramatists
1105 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago , Illinois 60622
United States

Company Description: Chicago Dramatists is a professional theatre, dedicated to the development and advancement of playwrights and new plays. The primary goal is to discover, develop...   more

Employment History

  • Playwright
    The Dionysos Cup
  • Playwright

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • advanced degrees , theatre
    University of Illinois
  • advanced degrees , theatre
    University of Iowa
24 Total References
Web References
By Resident Playwright RON ..., 11 July 2015 [cached]
By Resident Playwright RON HIRSEN, Directed by KEVIN CHRISTOPHER FOX
Chicago Dramatists - Board Members, 10 April 2015 [cached]
Ron Hirsen Resident Playwright Representative
Plays, books, films about the Holocaust ..., 1 Nov 2013 [cached]
Plays, books, films about the Holocaust are plentiful, but Chicago playwright Ron Hirsen doesn't think there's ever been one about the children of survivors.
So he wrote one.
The play grew partially out of his own experiences, Hirsen said in a recent phone interview. His father was forced into hiding in his native Germany after Kristallnacht and left for the United States a year later.
"He was not in the (concentration) camps but he did live through the 1930s in Germany as a young adult," Hirsen says.
Hirsen, a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists who has had his plays produced in Chicago and throughout the country, felt he wanted to write about those feelings but knew he needed to go beyond his own family's experiences.
"As a playwright I felt motivated to write about my experiences and feelings but I didn't feel my personal story or my father's was stageworthy," he says.
"In most (Holocaust survivor) families, eventually there are issues that come up," Hirsen says, citing research he says shows that when children of survivors began to come of age they sought help from mental health professionals in greater numbers than the general population.
"There is something that happens in survivor families that doesn't always get solved without professional help, and that resonated with me," he says.
Apparently it resonated with audiences too, both at a production in 2002 in Philadelphia and a reading in Chicago two years ago as part of a Kristallnacht commemoration, Hirsen says.
For the current production, Hirsen established a not-for-profit corporation, the Elegy Project, to produce the play. A portion of ticket revenue goes to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center and a benefit performance will be held Nov. 9 for the Holocaust survivor services of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.
The project, Hirsen says, was "established specifically to produce this play as a Holocaust survivor awareness event.
Polarity Ensemble Theatre Blog [cached]
The Thursday, March 7th performance of Never The Bridesmaid will be followed by a panel discussion on new play development featuring playwright Bill Jepsen, director Richard Shavzin, artistic director Richard Engling and 2012 Dionysos Cup winning playwright Ron Hirsen.
Ron will be awarded the Dionysos Cup for his play Land Where My Fathers Died on this occasion.
Winning the 2012 Dionysos Cup is Land Where My Fathers Died by Ron Hirsen, a funny, poignant play about the collision of indigenous rights with contemporary property rights. In it, a middle aged school teacher returns from work to find a traditional Native American tepee on the front lawn of her Rogers Park home.
Ron Hirsen
Ron Hirsen
Ron Hirsen, author of the 2012 Dionysos Cup-winning Land Where My Fathers Died is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists. He has worked professionally in Chicago as both director and actor, appearing in productions at Wisdom Bridge, Court Theatre, and Northlight Theatre. His early plays had readings at Wisdom Bridge and the Goodman Theatre. Elegy was read at the Jewish Repertory Theatre in New York, before receiving its premiere production at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia in 2002.
As part of its annual O'Neill celebration, The O'Neill presented a reading in 2005 of Mr. Hirsen's Gene, a one-act play intended as a companion piece to Eugene O'Neill's Hughie.
Mr. Hirsen is a member of The Dramatists Guild and a former member of Actors' Equity and is represented by Elaine Devlin Literary in New York.
Resident Playwright Ron ... [cached]
Resident Playwright Ron Hirsen's TWELVE for Chicago Dramatists's 28-Hour Workshop
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