The Gund


The Yellow Ticket

Information About the Event

On View

Community Foundation Theater, Free Admission


This program is a collaboration of professors of modern languages and literatures Leo Riegert (German) and Natasha Olshanskaya (Russian) and the Gund Gallery.

Co-sponsors: Modern Languages and Literatures, Religious Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Music, The Office of the Provost, Hillel, The Kenyon Review

The Yellow Ticket production was commissioned by the Foundation for Jewish Culture’s New Jewish Culture Network, a league of North American performing arts presenters committed to the creation and touring of innovative projects. The Yellow Ticket received its debut at the Washington Jewish Music Festival presented by the Washington DC Jewish Community Center through a commission made possible by the Arthur Tracy “The Street Singer” Endowment Fund. The New Jewish Culture Network has received major support from the Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by Sylvia M. Neil, the Milken Family Foundation and other donors.

The Gund programs and exhibitions are made possible, in part, by The Gund Board of Directors and the Ohio Arts Council.

The Yellow Ticket, a 1918 silent film, starred legendary actress Pola Negri and was made in Europe before Negri became a Hollywood star. The film tells the story of a young Jewish woman from a Polish shtetl who, due to anti-Semitic laws, is constrained to lead a double life in a brothel while attending medical school in Tsarist Russia. The film is surprising in its themes, raising fascinating questions, and includes rare footage of the Jewish quarter of Warsaw. Violinist Alicia Svigals has composed a new live score for the film, which she will perform at the screening along with Canadian jazz pianist Marilyn Lerner.

Composer/musician Alicia Svigals is the world’s leading klezmer violinist and a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics, which she co-directed for seventeen years. She has written for violinist Itzhak Perlman, the Kronos Quartet, playwright Tony Kushner, documentary filmmaker Judith Helfand, singer/songerwriters Debbie Friedman, Diane Birch et al, and has collaborated with them as a performer and improviser as well as with poet Allen Ginsburg, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Gary Lucas and Najma Akhtar, and many others. She has appeared on David Letterman, MTV, Good Morning America, PBS’ Great Performances, on NPR’s Prairie Home Companion, Weekend Edition and New Sounds, and on the soundtrack for the L-Word.