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End Of Scene Blog Entries
SATURDAY, DEC 7, 2013
Ken makes a scene about why he wrote LIFE ON PAPER
FRIDAY, JUN 7, 2013
[EXCERPTED REVIEW] Broadway World makes a scene about Warrior Class at the Alley Theatre.
FRIDAY, JUN 7, 2013
[REVIEW] The Houston Press makes a scene about Warrior Class at the Alley Theatre.
SUNDAY, FEB 3, 2013
Ken makes a scene about an upcoming reading at Ensemble Studio Theatre
FRIDAY, FEB 1, 2013
Ken makes a scene about joining Season Two of House Of Cards
SATURDAY, DEC 8, 2012
Ken makes a scene about a letter from Liz Engelman
THURSDAY, DEC 6, 2012
Ken makes a scene about "Red State Blue State" on This American Life
MONDAY, NOV 5, 2012
Ken makes a scene about a stage adaptation of Warrior Class for the BBC.
TUESDAY, OCT 16, 2012
Ken makes a scene about participating in Baltimore Center Stage's MY AMERICA PROJECT, directed by Hal Hartley
SUNDAY, JUL 29, 2012
Errol Louis makes a scene about Warrior Class on NY1's INSIDE CITY HALL
WEDNESDAY, JUL 25, 2012
Head critic for NYTimes makes a scene about Warrior Class on WQXR's Around Broadway.
TUESDAY, JUL 24, 2012
REVIEW: The New York Times makes a scene about Warrior Class.
TUESDAY, JUL 24, 2012
REVIEW: The Daily News makes a scene about Warrior Class
TUESDAY, JUL 24, 2012
REVIEW: Variety makes a scene about Warrior Class.
TUESDAY, JAN 24, 2012
Ken makes a scene about The Montgomery New's Review of FALLOW at People's Light and Theatre Company.
THURSDAY, JAN 19, 2012
Ken makes a scene about STAGE Magazine's review of FALLOW at People's Light and Theatre Company.
THURSDAY, DEC 1, 2011
Ken makes a scene about a remarkable piece of writing about the American theatre
TUESDAY, NOV 22, 2011
Ken makes a scene about a character's stage transformation
MONDAY, NOV 21, 2011
Ken makes a scene about WARRIOR CLASS online
TUESDAY, SEP 27, 2011
Ken makes a scene about the Asian American Performers Action Committee
MONDAY, SEP 26, 2011
Ken makes a scene about the fast work of SCR's casting department
FRIDAY, SEP 16, 2011
Ken makes a scene about Anne Garcia-Romero's post about LoNyLa
WEDNESDAY, JUL 6, 2011
Ken makes a scene about the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage's $150,000 grant to FALLOW
SUNDAY, JUN 19, 2011
A letter from Kaitlin Hopkins - Head of the Musical Theatre Program at Texas State
TUESDAY, FEB 15, 2011
Ken makes a scene about science plays.
WEDNESDAY, DEC 22, 2010
Ken makes a scene about Intelligence-Slave making the Houston Chronicles Top Theater Shows of 2010 list
TUESDAY, OCT 19, 2010
Ken makes a scene about intra out-group persecution.
WEDNESDAY, OCT 13, 2010
Ken makes a scene about why theater is not a humanity.
WEDNESDAY, OCT 6, 2010
Ken makes a scene about Athol Fugard's criticism about the failure of modern dramatists
MONDAY, JUL 26, 2010
Ken makes a scene about the diverse audience of Queens Theater in the Park
SUNDAY, JUN 6, 2010
Ken makes a scene about the Jewish Herald-Voice's profile of INTELLIGENCE-SLAVE
WEDNESDAY, JUN 2, 2010
Ken makes a scene about Lee Williams's review of Intelligence-Slave in the Houston Press
TUESDAY, JUN 1, 2010
Ken makes a scene about his Intelligence-Slave interview with culturemap.com
SATURDAY, MAY 29, 2010
Ken makes a scene about Everett Evans's review in the Houston Chronicle
TUESDAY, MAY 25, 2010
Ken makes a scene about sharing a collective spirituality in the theater
SUNDAY, MAY 23, 2010
Ken makes a scene about seeing the bird through the feathers
FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2010
Ken makes a scene about tech, letting go of the play and making discoveries in production
MONDAY, MAY 17, 2010
Ken makes a scene about INTELLIGENCE-SLAVE in the Houston Press
SUNDAY, MAY 16, 2010
Ken makes a scene about INTELLIGENCE-SLAVE in the Houston Chronicle
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
Ken makes a scene for the Alley Theatre's Mark Bly
WEDNESDAY, APR 21, 2010
Ken makes a scene about being playwright 151 in Adam Szymkowicz's blog.
THURSDAY, APR 8, 2010
Ken makes a scene about changing the name of his play.
THURSDAY, MAR 18, 2010
Ken makes a scene about pundits and why Tom Hanks is "injecting" racism into World War II.
TUESDAY, MAR 16, 2010
Ken makes a scene about writing "winning" dialogue.
MONDAY, MAR 15, 2010
Ken makes a scene about agents and the ecology of show business.
SATURDAY, MAR 13, 2010
Ken makes a scene about the beauty of the theater actor
THURSDAY, DEC 17, 2009
Ken makes a scene about non-English language productions
TUESDAY, NOV 17, 2009
Ken makes a scene about reviewing business books for theater artists
WEDNESDAY, NOV 4, 2009
Ken makes a scene about THE BIG REWRITE!
TUESDAY, OCT 27, 2009
Ken makes a scene about the discovery of an algorithm for happiness (7ZJJBYD9U6PX)
THURSDAY, OCT 22, 2009
Ken makes a scene about Holocaust fiction as a literary genre
TUESDAY, OCT 13, 2009
Ken makes a scene about Asians who don't go to the theater.
MONDAY, OCT 5, 2009
Ken makes a scene about the challenge of bravery in the theater.
MONDAY, SEP 28, 2009
Ken makes a scene about the death of Tragedy and Comedy.
TUESDAY, SEP 22, 2009
Ken makes a scene about Dave Matthews's statement that racism is "everywhere" in America.
WEDNESDAY, SEP 16, 2009
Ken makes a scene about why playwrights need websites.
End of Scene Blog

The Jewish Herald-Voice says that INTELLIGENCE-SLAVE aims to help build a better world
Sunday, June 6, 2010
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Holocaust play aims to help build better world

Kenneth Lin
By MIRIAM CANTOR-STONE
Thu, Jun 03, 2010

What does a Chinese-American Yale Drama School graduate from Long Island write a play about? Interestingly enough, a tale of engineering and survival from the Holocaust.

Kenneth Lin's play, "Intelligence-Slave," is being performed at the Alley Theatre for its world premiere. The play tells the true story of Curt Herzstark, the inventor of the Curta calculator, which is a pocket calculator able to perform basic arithmetic. While Herzstark was a prisoner at the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany, the Nazis kept him alive as an "intelligence-slave."

In Lin's words: "Here is a person who is being kept alive not because his humanity is valued, but because he is useful."

What made Lin want to portray Herzstark's story on the stage? "As a minority, I thought that was what I was going to start writing about. But then, once I kept on doing the research [on the Holocaust and Herzstark] and kept on writing, I realized I didn't want to write something that was about me. The survivors became so important to me that I wanted to write a play that was really honoring something in the world that needs to be talked about."

Lin wants his audience to remember that what they are seeing on stage actually happened, and not very long ago.

"We have to continue to believe that we can make a better world, and we have to honor the memory of the Holocaust by using it to make the world a place that we want all people to be able to live in," he said.

Many Jews have thoroughly studied the Holocaust. Young Jews especially may claim their view of the Holocaust is, indeed, jaded from so much study. It is fair to say that Lin's play could help change that view as well as teach those who do not know so well what happened to millions of Jews, as well as millions of others, during World War II.

The playwright admits that as a child growing up in Long Island, he did not truly understand the scope of what happened during the Holocaust. While he appreciated Jewish culture from spending time with his many Jewish childhood friends and their families, it wasn't until he began researching Herzstark's story that he took the tragedy seriously.

Lin's favorite moments of the play are those that anyone could relate to, as they are more about survival in dire situations than about Judaism. His favorite scenes are the ones that "focus on the fact that people continue to be human beings. They tell jokes to insulate themselves and protect their sanity. The characters make sure to remind themselves and the people in the room that they're still human, still fighting and not giving up," he said.

Once Lin decided to write "Intelligence-Slave," he met with Marcia Posner, a member of the board of directors at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County in Long Island. She gave Lin office space and made the library's resources available to him as he researched and wrote the play.

While at the center, he befriended many Holocaust survivors, who helped him realize that his play should be less about being a minority, which was what originally made the play personal for him, and more about surviving the atrocities of the Nazis' regime.

According to Lin, audiences' responses, so far, have been very positive. Survivors and their children have approached Lin after each show with tears in their eyes, thanking him for his play. This is very strange, he said, "since he wants to thank them."

One of Lin's favorite moments came after opening night. A woman whose grandfather was a survivor told him how much she appreciated the way the play treated the sensitive subject matter, which was, according to Lin, the highest praise anyone could give him.

The nightly standing ovations help as well, and Lin gives much credit to the actors and creative team involved in the show. The playwright also appreciates how audience members are responding to the play in terms of conversations with each other. Ushers report arguments and discussions between patrons that begin before the curtain goes up and continue in the lobby during intermission. This is exactly how Lin wants the audience to respond, with meaningful conversations continuing outside the theater.

And, while he has helped in casting and putting up the play, Lin also has been enjoying the change of scene from Long Island to Houston. He already has purchased a pair of cowboy boots and has been enjoying the Texas barbeque that his vegetarian wife would not appreciate.

The longer he has been in Houston, the more excited he gets about the diversity of the city. He excitedly points out that this is the Alley Theatre's second world-premiere play this season, written by an Asian-American playwright. And Houston Jews, and Jews everywhere, should be excited by Lin's play of survival and engineering during the Holocaust.

Play synopsis and ticket info
"Intelligence-Slave," by Kenneth Lin, runs through June 20 on the Neuhaus Stage at the Alley Theatre.

The play tells the story of Curt Herzstark, a concentration camp prisoner who is being kept alive by the Nazis because he has invented the world's first hand-held four-function calculator. What will happen when he completes the invention, his talents are no longer required and he becomes dispensable? Herzstark's survival plan takes a turn when the Nazis introduce him to a wunderkind member of the Hitler Youth with a soul that might be salvageable.

end of scene
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