JAC Publishing & Promotions

Measure of a Man by Brian C. Petti

ISBN #1-933159-94-4
JAC #2008-00

The Cast
  • MAX SCHMELING: Mid-30s, plays early 60s; handsome, cosmopolitan, reserved German boxer, careful in his boxing approach and his approach to situations, but immensely capable
  • JOSEPH GOEBBELS: Mid-30s; manipulative, dangerous Nazi Propaganda Minister, slight of build but willing to exercise the power of his position
  • GEORGE GROSZ: Late 40s; foremost German artist of the 1920s and ‘30s, tries to find artistic truth in the midst of the increasingly dangerous Nazi regime
  • ANNY ONDRA: Late 20s to early 30s; glamorous Czech actress and embodiment of the artistically and intellectually daring Roaring Twenties in Berlin, Schmeling’s wife
  • JOE JACOBS: Early 40s; connected New York boxing manager of Hungarian-Jewish descent, funny, gesticulating, cigar-chomping first generation American
  • JOE LOUIS: Early 20s, also plays late 50s; strong, imposing African American athlete who falls upon hard times in his post-boxing life
  • ENGLISHMAN: Mid 20s; English soldier Schmeling bonds with while escorting to field hospital
  • HENRI LEWIN: 60+; elderly Jewish hotelier who champions Schmeling’s heroism during Kristallnact
  • REPORTER: Various ages; recurring character who stokes rivalry between Schmeling and Louis, challenges Jacobs and questions Lewin’s estimation of Schmeling’s legacy
    • The Lewin brothers as children (ages 9 and 13)
    • Clerk (various age)
    • Announcer (offstage)
    • Photographers
    • Bartender (various age)

NOTE: Englishman can double as Clerk, any offstage actor can double as Announcer, and offstage actors can double as photographers.

German boxer Max Schmeling uses his experience and guile to pull off the upset and prevail over contenders, including the Nazi regime. Though Joseph Goebbels seems at the helm of Schmeling’s life, their plight becomes a matter of Nazi vs. American, black against white and good against evil. In life, and even in death, Max Schmeling was plagued by his association with the Nazi regime. Follow Schmeling through his time served in the German army, through his relationship with his wife, Anny, through his lifetime with fellow boxing colleagues Joe Louis and Joe Jacobs, as well as many others whose lives he touched. As the reporter herein considers how to write Schmeling’s obituary, the last word goes to Joe Jacobs, who maintains that Schmeling was no Nazi, as the two, German and Jew, walk off together into history.

Brian C. PettiPlaywright Biography
BRIAN C. PETTI has been produced Off-Off Broadway (Masquerade, Before the Parade Passes By, Hindenburg-the Musical) and regionally (Next Year in Jerusalem, The Measure of a Man, On the Expectation of White Christmases) by such companies as Ten Grand Productions, The American Theater of Actors, Inc. and The Duplex Cabaret. Masquerade was staged at Cherry Lane Theater in NYC and Next Year in Jerusalem was the winner of the Humboldt State University National Play Contest in California, where it received a student production. Recent productions include Banshee at the NYCFringe Festival and Echoes of Ireland, which was produced in Ireland by the Skibbereen Theatre Society. The Measure of a Man and On the Expectation of White Christmases (forthcoming) are also published by JAC. Visit Brian C. Petti's blog at Pettiplays, or review his other works on Doolee.com.


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The Measure of a Man

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On the Expectation of White Christmases?
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