Magda and Josef

by  David F. Eliet, Yaffa Eliach

Short Play, Drama  /  3m, 6f

Based on certain episodes in the lives of Mária Magdaléna Bednarová and Ján Flimel, this is the true story of a woman who risked her life to save the life of one Jewish man.

Read more +
License Estimator

Use this tool for cost estimates based on your specific needs.

  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 6f
  • Duration


    30 minutes
  • SubGenre


    Biography, Period, Docudrama/Historic
  • Accolades


    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13)
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

Magda and Josef is the true story of a young woman who risked her life and do the right thing when so many others were turning their backs and pretending not to see what is going on around them. Set during the time of The Holocaust, Magda, a young non-Jewish woman, undertakes a perilous journey to secure a document that will help to save the life of the Jewish man she loves. Her story is the answer to anyone who has ever asked: “What could I have done, I was just an ordinary person?”
Read more +



Love, War


Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre


  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $45 per performance



  • Time Period: 1940s / WWII
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Setting: The play takes place in multiple settings in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia and in Budapest, Hungary. The play is best done with a few simple set pieces that can easily be rearranged to suggest different locales. In the original production only folding chairs and a small table, plus necessary props were employed. Costumes should have an early 1940's feel but don't need to be historically accurate. 
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes


  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)


3m, 6f
MAGDA - 18; falls in love with Joseph, a Jewish man; ends up risking her life to save his.
JOSEF - 27; a rich Jewish industrialist.
NARRATOR/INQUISITORS 1 and 2 - They guide the development of the play and provide historical context.
WOMAN ON THE TRAIN - elderly grandmother.
SOLDIER - on leave from the front.
See all +

Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Parts for Senior Actors

Casting Notes

The original production was done with 6 actors - 3 men and 3 women. There is flexibility in terms of age in the casting.



David F. Eliet

David F. Eliet is a professional playwright, director, and theatre educator. He was the founding artistic director of The Perishable Theatre, director of the Cleveland Play House Lab Company and the Circle In The Square Suitcase Theatre and Acting Ensemble. He was the a co-founder of The Trinity Rep C ...

View full profile

Yaffa Eliach

Yaffa Eliach is a pioneering scholar in Holocaust studies. She is Professor Emerita from Brooklyn College and is currently teaching across the United States as a visiting Professor. She opened the first Center for Holocaust Studies Documentation & Research in the USA and introduced Holocaust Stud ...

View full profile

Magda and Joseph premiered at The Cleveland Play House in a production by the Cleveland Play House/Ohio University Lab Company.  The production was under the direction of the playwright, David Eliet.

Now Playing

Community Experiences