Martin Sherman

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When gay Jewish playwright Martin Sherman’s controversial piece Bent premiered in 1979, gay persecution during the Holocaust was virtually absent from historical discussions; in fact, due to the continued enforcement of Paragraph 175 of the German penal code which criminalized homosexuality, gay men liberated from concentration camps were forced to serve out the full terms of their imprisonment and denied compensation. Although Bent wasn’t Sherman’s first production (or even his first to feature a queer storyline), it caught the public’s attention for its portrayal of gay men tortured during the Holocaust, and is now credited with having helped raise awareness of Nazi homophobia.

Outside of Bent, Sherman has more than a score of theater productions, films, and television programs to his name, along with a sizable number of awards. Per his own words, he prefers to write “about people who are marginalized from society.”

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