Director Ran Avni mounted the first US revival of Arthur Miller’s Holocaust drama through the Jewish Repertory Theater in 1981. As part of our preparation, Ran wanted us to see the film Europa, Europa to get a better understanding of our characters, who are rounded up at a police station in Vichy, France in 1942 on the suspicion that they are Jewish.

Growing up in a household with parents who came from Poland, I understood all too well what he wanted us to do. Both sets of my grandparents perished in the Holocaust.

While my role of the waiter was not a major one, he is the catalyst in the play. When he cast me, Ran told me “It’s not a major role, but everything hinges on what you say.” The waiter is the first to realize that all the characters will be going to the concentration camps.

Me with Fred Sanders in Incident at Vichy, 1981.

The reviews were ecstatic, and Arthur Miller attended a performance, which he loved. Box office was high above expectations, and we were extended several weeks.

In 2004, I reprised the role of the waiter in four staged readings at the John Houseman Theater with casts that included Austin Pendleton, Richard Dreyfuss, Fritz Weaver, F. Murray Abraham, and Peter Weller. Arthur Miller came again, too.

Me and Nick Daddazio in the dressing room with Arthur Miller, 1981.