Holocaust survivor to discuss path from Auschwitz to Broadway

30 Jan 2012 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

At age 13, Jack Garfein and his family were taken from their native Czechoslovakia to Auschwitz, the infamous World War II German extermination camp.

Two years later, when the camp was liberated by U.S. troops, Garfein was the only member of his immediate family still alive. He eventually made his way to an uncle living in the U.S., and worked his way up on Broadway, where he directed his first hit play at age 25.

Jack Garfein, author and lecturer

Garfein will speak about “The Life of a Holocaust Survivor and Theatre-Film Artist” at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at the University Union, Golden Eagle Suite.

After the free lecture, Garfein will answer questions from the audience and sign copies of his 2010 book, Life and Acting – Techniques for the Actor. The Jewish Studies Program is sponsoring the event.

After arriving in the U.S., Garfein took acting classes at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York City and joined The Actors Studio. After appearing in a few Broadway plays, he made his Broadway debut as a director in 1953. He also produced two plays by Arthur Miller, “The Price” and “The American Clock,” and directed many Broadway and off-Broadway productions and the world premiere of Samuel Beckett’s “Nacht and Traume” in Austria.

In 1957, he directed the first of three Hollywood films, The Strange One. His other film credits include 1961’s Something Wild, for which he co-wrote the screenplay, and the 1987 documentary The Journey Back, which chronicles Garfein’s return to Auschwitz.

Garfein worked with James Dean, Ben Gazzara and Marilyn Monroe, and he was married to actress Carroll Baker, whom he directed in Something Wild.

He also taught acting classes around the world, served as director of The Actors Studio in Los Angeles in 1967 and created the Harold Clurman Theatre in New York City.

Learn more:

  • Richard M. Golden, professor of history and director of the Jewish Studies Program, 940-369-8933
  • Nanette Behning, administrative assistant for the Jewish Studies Program, 940-369-8172

-  Nancy Kolsti, News Promotions

Jack Garfein will speak about “The Life of a Holocaust Survivor and Theatre-Film Artist."
Additional Information
Golden Eagle Suite, 3rd floor, University Union, UNT Denton Campus
940-369-8933; or 940-369-8172