BY: Israel Horowitz
DIRECTED BY: Michael S. Pieper

Opened March 2000

Winner of 3 Jeff Citations:
Best Ensemble; Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Sharon Gopfert; Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Eric Johnson

Winner of an After Dark Award:
Outstanding Production

“Trap Door is known for its gritty humanistic works, but never has this daring and aggressive company deliviered an examination of life as gripping and as sharply etched as “Lebensraum.” It is their finest work to date and one of the year’s very best.”
-Jeff Rossen, Gay Chicago Magazine


CAST: Sharon Gopfert, Danny Belrose, Eric Johnson
LIGHTING DESIGN: Richard Norwood
COSTUME DESIGN: Michael S. Pieper
SET DESIGN: Michael S. Pieper
GRAPHIC DESIGN: Peat Wollaegher

A modern look at the effects of the Holocaust on today’s youth.

Three actors play some 50 characters in this stunningly theatrical drama following a family that accepts Germany’s offer of work and citizenship to 6,000,000 Jews.

Germany Chancellor extends an invitation to six million Jews to come live and reestablish a Jewish Community in Germany, and help reduce as much as possible the immeasurable shame Germans feel each day for what they did to their Jewish neighbors.


Israel Horowitz is author of more than fifty produced plays, of which several have been translated and performed in as many as thirty languages, worldwide. Horovitz has won numerous writing awards, including the OBIE (twice), the EMMY, the Prix de Plaisir du Theatre, The Prix du Jury of the Cannes Film Festival, The Prix Italia, The Christopher Award, The Drama Desk Award, The Elliot Norton Prize, a Lifetime Achievement Award from B’Nai Brith, an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Salem (Massachusetts) State College, and many others. Mr. Horovitz is founder and Artistic Director of Gloucester Stage Company, and of The New York Playwrights lab. Among Horovitz’s best-known plays are The Indian Wants The Bronx, Line (now in its 22nd year, off-Broadway, at the 13th Street Repertory Theatre), Rats, It’s Called The Sugar Plum, Morning, The Primary English Class, The Wakefield Plays, The Chopin Playoffs, and the “Growing Up Jewish” trilogy. Mr. Horovitz visits France, frequently, where he often directs French-language productions of his plays. He is the most-produced American playwright in French theatre history.

Michael S. Pieper
Michael is currently the Head of Acting at the Second city Training Center. He created this program almost nine years ago with the late Martin da Maat. He also was on the faculty of the United States International University of San Diego for 8 years and Artistic Director of the North Coast Repertory Theatre Conservatory in San Diego for four years. In Chicago, Michael was Artistic Director at the Boxer Rebellion Theatre and Resident Director/Artistic Associate at the Trap Door Theatre. He has been a Guest Director and Instructor at Northern Illinois University over the past 7 years. He has directed over 80 productions in his career. His plays have received 9 Jeff recommendations, 7 Jeff nominations, 3 Jeff citations and 5 After Dark Awards.