Logo for The Last Cyclist

The Lex-Ham Community Theater is presenting the US premiere of The Last Cyclist, a bitter comedy written in Terezín in 1943 by Karel Švenk, as adapted by Naomi Patz.  Directed by Adam Arnold.

This play is an adaptation on a “cabaret” written in the Jewish concentration camp at Terezín by Karel Švenk in 1943 for performance in one of the camp’s clandestine theaters. The Last Cyclist was a daring absurdist allegory that expanded a gallows humor joke being told by Jews in Europe in the years between the two World Wars: “The cyclists and the Jews are responsible for all of our misfortunes.” “Why the cyclists?” To which the rejoinder is, “Why the Jews?”   The original play was seen by many of the Jews imprisoned in the camp during open rehearsals, but was shut down after the dress rehearsal by the camp elders who feared Nazi reprisal because of the daring explicitness of the satire.

Learn more about Terezin and this piece in Naomi Patz's What You Need to Know about Terezín to Enrich Your Understanding of This Play

Naomi Patz and the cast from The Last Cyclist
Naomi Patz (front row right) and the cast of The Last Cyclist

See other photos from the The Last Cyclist.

Read the articles about the show from the Villager newspaper and Lavender Magazine.
Facebook logoVisit our Facebook page and see what people have to say. Join the conversation!

The cast for our production of The Last Cyclist is:

Sherry Allen
Mrs. Manickova  

Manicka's mother

Mikel Clifford

Lunatic 2  


Timothy Como
Lunatic 1  


Debra Constantine

Richard Daly

The 'enforcer'

Christine DeZelar-Tiedman
Hitler, Lunatic 3  


Adam Dielschneider
Karel Švenk/Borivoj Abeles  

A young man who owns a grocery store

Jerry Harrison
Mr Opportunist, Big Shot  


Kristine Holmgren

the dictator, craziest of the lunatics

Shira Levenson

A young woman in love with Borivoj Abeles

Geordy Levin

The worker

David Merry
Head Physician, Lunatic 4  


Eli Newell
Young Man, Celery, Runner, Lion  


Janell Schilman
Secret Lunatic, Other Cyclist, Ms. Hippo  


Performances, in partnership with the Czech and Slovak Cultural Center and Czech and Slovak Sokol Minnesota, will be at the CSPS Sokol Hall, 383 Michigan Street, Saint Paul at 7:30 p.m., June 5 and 6 and at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, June 7. 

Performances, in partnership with the Saint Paul JCC, will be at the JCC, 1375 St. Paul Avenue, at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 11 and at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, June 14.

Performances, in partnership with Good Samaritan United Methodist Church, 5730 Grove Street, Edina, will be at that location at 7:30 p.m., Friday, June 12 and Saturday, June 13.

Performances at the Blank Slate Theatre, located in the basement of First Baptist Church, 499 Wacouta Street, Saint Paul, will be at that location at 7:30 p.m., Friday, June 19 and Saturday, June 20. NOTE: Enter the door on 9th Street.

Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
  7:30 p.m., June 5
7:30 p.m., June 6
2:00 p.m., June 7
7:30 p.m., June 11
7:30 p.m., June 12
Good Samaritan UMC
7:30 p.m., June 13
Good Samaritan UMC
2:00 p.m., June 14
  7:30 p.m., June 19
Blank Slate Theatre
7:30 p.m., June 20
Blank Slate Theatre


Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for children, students and seniors age 65 and older.
Special pricing and discounts are available for members of the Czech and Slovak Cultural Center, Czech and Slovak Sokol Minnesota, and the JCC, and at the Good Samaritan United Methodist Church. Contact those organizations for more information.

Call 651-222-7333 for reservations or more information.

Production Team
Production Team Member
Adam Arnold

Jen Thissen Swain

Stage Manager

Jack Rose

Music Director/Associate Producer

Dutton Foster

Set Designer

Judy Larson
Liz Notermann
Ed Quirin
Renae Redenius


Jennifer Nagle

Props Coordinator

Kim Berry
Libby Christiansen
Rachel Simon

Light tech crew

Kasia Wasko

Graphic Artist

Lou Michaels,Lila Lee Taft


Rachel Simon, Carli Stark


Urban Landreman


The Last Cyclist promotion photo

See print-quality promotional photos from The Last Cyclist.

Read the program from the play.


The JCC is sponsoring a special program related to the play on Thursday, June 4th at 7:00 p.m.(free and open to the public)

Lecture: “The Cultural Life of the Theresienstadt Ghetto” to feature scholar, Lisa Peschel and special guest, playwright/adapter, Naomi Patz.

Lisa Peschel is a doctoral candidate in Theater Historiography at the University of Minnesota, writing her dissertation about survivor testimony on the cultural life of the Theresienstadt ghetto.  In the fall of 2008 she published a collection of scripts written in the ghetto. Lisa Peschel and Naomi Patz will speak about the cultural life of Theresienstadt and the context in which the play The Last Cyclist was created.

Please note, guests at the St. Paul JCC will need a photo identification to enter the building.

Naomi Patz, playwright for The Last Cyclist will be speaking at a forum at Good Samaritan United Methodist Church, 5730 Grove Street, Edina on Sunday morning, June 7, at 10:30 a.m. Ms. Patz will talk about the history of the play, including what life was like for Jews in Czechoslovakia during Hitler's reign.

Contact theater@LexHamArts for more information.

Return to Lex-Ham Community Theater home page
Return to Lex-Ham Community Theater shows

Last updated: 6/14/2009