THE ADOLF I KNEW, a play of collective memory

Some knew him when. Yet, too well.

The city of Vienna, Austria, the winter 1909. A church courtyard. The sound of convent bells ringing. Young Adolf, 20, hatless, homeless and destitute, joins the line of the shuffling unemployed at the convent soup kitchen. Adolf has twice failed in his admission application to enter the Painting School of the Vienna Academy of Fine Art. Adolf longs to be an artist and to match the achievements of his idol Wagner, but circumstances, fate and the Vienna winter seem to have a different destiny in mind for him. The citizens of Vienna remember him well.

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Writer Biography

Awards: 2016 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, 1st Prize One-Act Play, Cream Cakes in Munich. 2015 Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation LGBT History initiative Award for his play, A Kind of Marriage; The Kleban Award for Librettist; New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) 2010 Excellence in Writing Lyrics; Three-time Finalist for the Fred Ebb Foundation Award in Songwriting. Winner of the Global Search for New Musicals, Cardiff, Wales, 2005. His musical Frog Kiss received the most Citations for Excellence at NYMF 2010, regional premiere at Virginia Stage Co.,VA, 2013. Swimming at the Ritz, an intimate portrait of Pamela Churchill Harriman, toured the UK in 2010/2011, American premiere at New Jersey Rep, NJ, 2015; Enchanted April, a new musical romance, with music by Richard B. Evans, world premiere, April 2016, Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre, CA. His adaptation of Helene Hanff’s comic memoir, Underfoot in Show Business, received its world premiere at the Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne, UK, May 2008, directed by award-winning BBC director, David Giles. His original musical, Me and Miss Monroe, featuring Rachel York as Marilyn, was produced in an industry workshop by AMAS and Chase Mishkin, 2011. Charles is a former Fellow of the Edward F. Albee Foundation. A native of Chicago, a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Speech, a member of the National New Play Network’s New Play Exchange. Charles lives and writes in New York City and is a member of The Dramatist's Guild and ASCAP.

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Writer Statement

THE ADOLF I KNEW is intended as a cautionary tale, frighteningly timely given the current socio-political climate in the United States and Europe--and the increasing occurrence of anti-Semitic and anti-Immigrant incidents throughout the world.