Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff will no longer be making his stage debut any time soon.
The world premiere of “Imagining Madoff,” Yale theater studies professor Deb Margolin’s new play about Madoff, was canceled after an objection from writer, activist and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel about his own portrayal in the play, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. The premiere was scheduled for Aug. 28 at Theater J, a Jewish theater in Washington, D.C.
The play is about a fictional meeting in Madoff’s prison cell between Madoff and Wiesel, who lost millions of dollars of his personal wealth, as well as his foundation’s assets, in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
Margolin told the Post that she chose Wiesel as a symbol of “decency, morality, the struggle for human dignity and kindness, and in contrast to the most notorious financial criminal in the past 200 years.” But Wiesel interpreted his representation in the play differently; he wrote Margolin a letter in which he called the play “obscene” and “defamatory.”
Though Theater J suggested that Margolin revise the play to replace Wiesel with a fictional character, Margolin ultimately rejected the idea and asked to withdraw the play, the Post reported.