Mary Catherine Burke

Dirt by Robert Schneider

Dirt by Robert Schneider

On a recent fall evening, I ventured into New York City’s Lower East Side, and trotted up the stoop of the 4th Street Theatre to catch its latest production, Dirt. The one-man show about an Iraqi flower peddler named “Sad” is an entire ocean and language away from its origins in early-‘90s Austria. It’s based in part on stories told to Austrian novelist Robert Schneider by an Iraqi roommate while he lived and worked in Vienna. Coming on the heels of his 1992 book Schlafes Bruder (Brother of Sleep), which was later adapted into the 1995 film of the same name, Dirt was published in Austrian in 1993 as Dreck, and proved a successful foray into theater for Schneider. 

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