“Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” - Isaiah 26:19.
In a cramped Bronx apartment in Clifford Odets’ Awake and Sing!, the Berger family laughs, cries, yells, and dreams of a better life. Bessie wants the family to survive, Jacob wants the working man to overthrow his capitalists overlords, Hennie wants to find happiness, and Ralph wants to be free of his family to make a life for himself. Their hopes, fears, dreams, and disappointments clash day and night, as each struggles for a better tomorrow—or did they already lose their shot before they even began? Since its iconic debut by members of the Group Theatre in 1935, Awake and Sing! has remained one of the most iconic plays of American 20th-century theatre.
Awake and Sing! guide sections