The First Nights of Hanukkah

In 2005, Rochelle and I wrote a play called The First Nights of Hanukkah.  Produced two years in a row on the amateur level, it was a well-received comedy/drama about a boy and a girl, their love and eventual capture and release by the Germans in World War II.


Shifra Bergman is about meet Joe Gorovich from Kansas City on the first night of Hanukkah as a guest by her father, Yeshiva Professor Avram Bergman (Joe’s instructor at the shul).  Hannah Bergman answers the phone in this scene.


Incidentally, Rochelle and I would like some feedback on the play itself and, if any of you brave souls would be willing to tackle a review of it, we’ll make it available to you in pdf form! We’d love some feedback!!!  


A screenplay is also available in pdf.   Remember to ask for it and I’ll send it to you personally!  😉


Whittled down to 100 words (stage directions don’t count, though), here’s a complete phone conversation of Hannah to her husband Professor Avram Bergman, from the play, The First Nights Of Hanukkah by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and Kent Bonham.  Please enjoy!


HANNAH (picks up phone, speaks into it):




Yes, Papa, we have the extra plate ready and I put a little more water in the soup.  


Having a little conversation with Shifra. 


About cooking, sewing, settling down with a nice Jewish man who’s NOT going to marry a woman that DOESN’T.   I mean, what’s there not to talk about?


With your daughter there’s ALWAYS something to talk about,  Avram!  


Did you get the applesauce? 


Good.  She’ll be happy about that. (at Shifra) You know how SOME people are when they don’t get what they want.


All right, Papa. I’ll see you soon. Goodbye.

(hangs up phone)


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21 Responses to The First Nights of Hanukkah

  1. I’d enjoy reading the play. Rochelle has my email address.


  2. Thanks, Kent. Gives you a bit of a taste of characters and what may be to come. Nice use of dialogue and certainly captures the prompt.

  3. Debra Kristi says:

    That really is how one side of a conversation sounds, isn’t it? I enjoyed this. It’s fun to read things in screen play or play form for a change.

    • Truly the screenplay is Kent’s baby. I’ve had some input. The original play was a joint effort that we wrote mostly on laptops at a little Mediterranean restaurant where the proprietors filled us with Turkish tea and treated us like family. (Now there’s a story).

  4. Sandra says:

    Quite a different take on the prompt. Good job.

  5. rgayer55 says:

    I love the emphasis on SOME people. It made me chuckle. Well done, you two.

  6. Being able to write in scene with great dialogue is amazing. I admire those who can playwrite. kudos.

  7. elappleby says:

    I really enjoyed this – my favourite bit was adding more water to the soup (I’ve done that myself to make it go further!).

  8. Joyce says:

    I would be happy to have a copy of the play, too to read. The little phone story is a nice normal kind of conversation that makes everything seem right and balanced in their world, when there wasn’t sad stories and events that disrupted it all.

  9. Danny Bowman says:

    Good job! I liked the change of pace. Some conversations really are timeless!

  10. Hi Kent,
    Thanks for sharing this and congrats on being a successfully produced playwright to you and Rochelle. Ron

  11. tedstrutz says:

    Sounds like Hanna is a force to be reckoned with. It’s fun trying to create what Papa is saying on the other line. I would like to read the play, and will ask a ‘theater person’ to read it also. Ted

  12. Tom Poet says:

    You can send me a copy as well. I will give it a read.


  13. Very nice to try to understand what’s really happening on the other side of the line. Nice read.

  14. rich says:

    when family talks, then family better listen. well done.

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