Cast 3 male 3 female
Licence UK & Ireland only
Brooklyn, New York, 1938. Sylvia Gellbert has suddenly, mysteriously become paralysed from the waist down. When her husband Phillip and her doctor, Dr Hyman, meet to discuss the prognosis and test results, the doctor assures Phillip that physically, nothing is wrong with her and though she is not insane, he advises that the only way to discover the cause of her paralysis is to probe into her psyche. At this point, Miller begins to peel away all layers of what it means to be American and Jewish in 1938. As the play progresses, Dr Hyman’s obsessive determination to cure Sylvia leads him to discover that her paralysis occurred quickly after a newspaper report on Krystallnacht and an accompanying photograph of two old men forced to clean the streets of Germany with toothbrushes. She feels something must be done to stop the Nazis while most Americans believe the Germans won’t allow them to get out of hand. But what can she do when she can’t even change her own life?