“Mr. Hudock and Mr. Mulcahy give fine, thoughtful performances. In a soft and narrow beam of light they lie chest-down, one behind the other, digging the tunnel bit by bit. Their task is daring but also intimate, and in the scale of this brotherly moment we can feel their humanity.” New York Times
Directed by Joe Discher, Sean plays Motke Zeidel in the world premiere of Ira Fuchs’ new play off-Broadway. Performances run through April 14, 2019 at the Theatre at St. Clements. Click here for tickets.
“Inspired by a news report of the discovery of the escape tunnel at the site of the Vilna ghetto, the play tells the story of Motke Zeidel (portrayed by Tony nominee Mark Jacoby and Hudock) and Yudi Farber (Seamus Mulcahy) from the ages of 11 through 28, who come of age in the city of Vilna during its degradation in the years before World War II and its destruction during the war. As the home they knew collapses, they face painful moral choices to save others while putting their own lives at risk.”
“Ira Fuchs’s powerful drama “Vilna” is a work that should be mandatory viewing. Hudock and Mulcahy are excellent as Motke and Yudi, each of whom makes his own stand in an unspeakable situation.” Epoch Times
“A compelling cast, with not a weak link in it, turns in deeply affecting performances throughout the course of the story, with its ever-worsening circumstances and slowly shifting tone, beginning with the growing antipathy among the different ethnic sectors of society, the increasing encroachments on the community’s lives and liberties with the German incursion, and the quiet recognition that ‘It’s not a good time to be a Jew.'” Sean Hudock and Seamus Mulcahy star, respectively, as Motke and Yudi. They are polar opposites in demeanor, but loyal to each other and devoted to their people, as they purposefully plan together and act in secret to undermine the advancement of the Holocaust and to provide an opportunity for themselves and others to escape sure death at Ponar (the tunnel they dug while imprisoned was rediscovered through the use of Electric Resistivity Tomography in 2016, and provided inspiration for the present work).” DC Metro Theater Arts
“The two central roles of Motke Zeidel and Yudi Farber, played respectively by Sean Hudock and Seamus Mulcahy, are beautifully acted, adding to the power of the play” Broadway Radio
“Vilna, written by Ira Fuchs, is one of the more successful stage dramas to deal with the Holocaust, a notoriously difficult subject to portray on stage. That this play succeeds as well as it does is to the credit of its director Joseph Discher who assiduously avoids clichés and stereotypes and its cast of fine actors, led by the great Mark Jacoby, a star of Broadway musicals, here displaying heart-breaking depth of emotion in two parts. Two characters are at the emotional center of Vilna: Motke Zeidel (Sean Hudock, beautifully morphing from naïve student to valiant hero) and Yudi Farber (Seamus Mulcahy, a boyish-looking actor whose looks belie his emotional range), boyhood friends so close that Motke’s family virtually adopts the orphaned Yudi.” TheaterScene
“Ira Fuchs’ powerful new play about a Jewish Ghetto in World War II, Vilna, starts off with a small crime, the bribing of a Nazi official with a bottle of liquor by a Jewish woman doctor, and ends in one of the greatest crimes in human history, the extermination of 60,000 Jews in the Polish city of Vilna, part of the mass murder of six million Jews throughout Europe. Fuchs’ stellar play opened last week at the Theatre at St. Clements on W. 46th Street, New York. It is a deep, rich and thoroughly frightening story of the Jews’ battle for survival in the city of Vilna, their faith in God, and each other, as truckload after truckload of them are taken onto the Ponary forest outside the city, where they are lined up and shot to death by firing squads.
The story of the ghetto in this Polish city resembles many other stories in plays, films and novels. There is nothing terribly new about it. The heroes, resistance leaders, and the villains, the Nazis and collaborating local government officials, are the same. The difference, and what makes Vilna so outstanding, is the graphic violence, cruel and heart stopping, plus just tremendous acting by an all-star cast, whose work you will remember for quite a long time. The play, deftly directed by Joseph Discher, is carried by its actors. Sean Hudock, who plays Motke, and Seamus Mulcahy, who plays Yudi, are marvelous in their roles, especially towards the end of the play. There is a scene in which Motke tells his father about his job of deciding who lives in which his dad, really shaken, rubs the side of his face with his hand and Motke starts crying and his body stiffens. It is a striking moment.” History News Network