“If I Forget” on Theater Close-Up: When Family and Politics Mix

November 30, 2018

Theater Close-Up presents Tony Award-winning playwright Steven Levenson’s If I Forget, a personal and political play about history, responsibility and compromise, premiering Monday, December 3 at 10 p.m. on THIRTEEN.

The play is set in a suburb of Washington, D.C., in 2000. In the final months before 9/11, liberal Jewish studies professor Michael Fischer has reunited with his two sisters to celebrate their father’s 75th birthday. Each deeply invested in her own version of family history, the siblings clash over everything from Michael’s controversial scholarly work to the mounting pressures of caring for an ailing parent. As destructive secrets and long-held resentments bubble to the surface, the three negotiate – with biting humor and razor-sharp insight – how much of the past they’re willing to sacrifice for a chance at a new beginning.

An unflinchingly honest play about the stories we choose to believe, the compromises we can’t avoid and the hurt only our nearest and dearest can inflict, If I Forget tells a powerful tale of a family and a culture at odds with itself. Written by Tony Award-winning playwright Steven Levenson (Dear Evan Hansen, Roundabout’s The Language of Trees) and directed by Daniel Sullivan (Little Foxes) for stage, the broadcast is directed for television by Emmy Award-winner David Horn, executive producer of THIRTEEN’s Theater Close-Up series and acclaimed PBS series Great Performances. The production was originally captured by BroadwayHD.

Roundabout Theatre Company provides this extensive playgoer guide to If I Forget, featuring interviews with the creative team and cast, guides to the time period and setting of the play, Judaism, territory disputes between Israel and Palestine, and more.

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Theater Reviews

Critics’ Pick! “Passionate and provoking.” —Alexis Soloski, The New York Times

“This is the play of the season so far. I won’t soon forget it.” —Jeremy Gerard, Deadline

“Heart-stoppingly powerful.” —Steven Suskin, The Huffington Post

“Superbly acted, impeccably directed and engrossing from first minute to last…this play rings with stunning emotional truth.” —Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter



Roundabout Theatre Company presents If I Forget Pictured (l to r): Jeremy Shamos, Kate Walsh, Maria Dizzia.  Photo: Joan Marcus,

Roundabout Theatre Company presents If I Forget Pictured (l to r): Jeremy Shamos, Kate Walsh, Maria Dizzia. Photo: Joan Marcus, 2017

Larry Bryggman (As the World Turns) – Lou Fischer
Maria Dizzia (Orange Is The New Black) – Sharon Fischer
Tasha Lawrence (The Looming Tower)– Ellen Manning
Jeremy Shamos (Nurse Jackie) – Michael Fischer
Seth Michael Steinberg – Joey Oren
Kate Walsh (Private Practice) – Holly Fischer
Gary Wilmes (Billions)– Howard Kilberg

Theater Close-Up is a unique collaboration between THIRTEEN and New York City-area Off-Broadway and regional theaters, and shines a spotlight on the best and brightest local productions. After the If I Forget broadcast, the performance is available for online viewing for 30 days. THIRTEEN is using its unrivaled expertise in producing national PBS arts programming to provide New Yorkers with unparalleled access to one of the city’s greatest underexposed cultural assets.

Stream other plays and musicals from Seasons 2 and 3 of Theater Close-Up, available exclusively to THIRTEEN audiences.