Festival of Jewish Theater & Ideas
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Full Festival Passes are available for $100 - To Purchase CLICK HERE This event is in conjunction with the Theater of Ideas and Beyond Conference Festival of Jewish Theater & Ideas May 20th through June 14th. The Festival, which will include production by theater companies from around the US & Canada, will frame the conference of the Association for Jewish Theatre (June 6-10), which will be hosted by Untitled Theater Co. #61. This international conference of Jewish theater professionals is held annually in a different city. Among the theatre companies represented are Burning Bush Productions, Toronto, Canada; What's the Story? Los Angeles; stadium-praxis, Philadelphia; Theater Ariel, Philadelphia; Genesis Stage, Atlanta; Northwoods Ramah Theater, Conover, Wisconsin; Whole Art Theater, Kalamazoo, Michigan; New Worlds Theatre Project, New York City; Evolve Company, New York City; Dixon Place, New York City; WalkingShadow, New York City; Theatre Or, Durham, North Carolina; Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, New York City & Untitled Theater Co. #61, New York City. PRODUCTIONS The Burning Bush by Tracey Erin Smith directed by Anita La Selva Burning Bush Productions, Toronto, Canada at Theater Three Wed 6/3 @9:00, Fri 6/5 @8:30, Sat 6/6 @11:00, Thu 6/11 @10:00 Yentl meets Showgirls in this award winning one-woman traveling spiritual roadshow. Rabbinical student Barbara Baumowitz teams up with exotic dancers to spread their religion in this new version of an old-time revival. Critics Pick in Backstage, Audience Choice Award in Frigid NYC and Best of the Toronto Fringe Festival. Company bio: Burning Bush Productions has produced award-winning theatre in New York City and across Canada. BBP also delivers workshops across North America in creating solo theatre based on personal life experience for both professional artists and lay people. We are currently developing our first feature film, based on 'The Burning Bush!' with Mr. Jackie Mason on board to play himself. Cities of Light assembled by Rebecca Joy Fletcher directed by John Richard Thompson Open Hart Productions at 92Y Tribeca and the Center for Jewish History WORLD PREMIERE Wed 5/20 @7:00, 92Y Tribeca, Tue 5/26 @7:00, Don't Tell Mama, Sat 5/30 @8:30, Don't Tell Mama, Wed 6/10 @6:30, Center for Jewish History Travel with Rebecca Joy Fletcher on a musical and theatrical montage across 1930's Berlin, Yiddish Warsaw, Paris, and Tel Aviv. Songs of yearning and brazenness; comedic sketches ripe with ironic wit. Through the waxing and waning of these Jewish centers of cabaret, we experience an era. No need to brush up on your languages, these songs are mostly in English! Company bio: Open Hart Productions is the brainchild of playwright, performer, cantor, and scholar Rebecca Joy Fletcher. Founded in 2007, Open Hart is dedicated to researching and reviving the lost art of International Jewish cabaret. Currently focusing on Warsaw's and pre-state Tel Aviv's cabarets, Open Hart also presents lectures and workshops. Fiscal Sponsorship: The Field. . The Dig: Death, Genesis & the Double Helix by Stacie Chaiken What's the Story?, Los Angeles at Theater Three WORLD PREMIERE Wed 6/3 @7pm, Fri 6/5 @10:30, Mon 6/8 @10:00, Thu 6/11 @3:00 An American archaeologist is summoned to a dig in the ancient Arab-Hebrew town of Jaffa. They've found something big--something that could change everything--and she's the only one who can tell them what it is. And her mother just died. And there's a lizard in her bathtub. The Middle East. Matriarchs. Cruelty. It's a comedy. Company bio: What's the Story? was founded in 2001 as a workshop for writers and performers who are struggling with personal story for the stage, the page and the screen. The workshop produces a biennial festival of new solo plays, regular public showings of works-in-progress. As of April 2009, What's the Story? is in residence at the Odyssey Theatre is Los Angeles. whatsthestoryLA.com Doctors Jane & Alexander written and directed by Edward Einhorn Music by Alexander S. Wiener and Henry Akona Untitled Theater Co. #61, New York at Theater Three WORLD PREMIERE Sat 5/23 @6:00, Mon 5/25 @7:30, Thu May 28@9:00, Sun 5/31@5:00, Sat 6/6 @8:30, Sun 6/7 @7:30, Mon 6/8 @7:30, Fri 6/12 @9:00, Sat 6/13 @6:00, Sun 6/14 @1:00 Using found, fabricated, and occasionally finagled text, the playwright explores the life of his grandfather Alexander S. Wiener, the co-discoverer of the Rh factor in blood, through interviews with his mother, a psychologist who recently retired due to a debilitating stroke. An examination of art, science, ambition, and achievement, told with humor and song. Company bio: Untitled Theater Company #61 is a Theater of Ideas: scientific, political, philosophical, and above all theatrical. Past projects include the Ionesco Festival, the NEUROfest, the Havel Festival, and the Off-Broadway production of Fairy Tales of the Absurd. Most recently, they produced a calypso musical version of Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. Emma by Howard Zinn directed by Martina Plag stadium-praxis, Philadelphia at Theater Three NEW YORK PREMIERE Thu 6/4 @7:00, Sat 6/6 @3:30, 6/7 @5:00 This toy-theatre adaptation uses wit and humor to illuminate history from below. Through innovative storytelling and theatrical devices everyday objects transform to reveal and celebrate the life of the remarkable "Emma" Goldman; the anarchist, feminist, and free-spirited thinker who was exiled from the United States because of her outspoken views. Company bio: staium-praxis Strives to explore the point where theory and practice intersect to [in]form action. We create puppet artistry for adult audiences. As an art rich in ancient, folk and popular theater techniques, we use puppetry to address contemporary issues and advocate social change and awareness. We approach the puppet as metaphor. Hard Love by Motti Lerner directed by Susan Reid Genesis Stage, Atlanta at Theater Three NEW YORK PREMIERE Fri 6/5 @6:00, Sat 6/6 @5:30, Wed 6/10 @3:00, Thu 6/11 @7:30 In this fiercely romantic drama, Hannah and Zvi are reunited after divorcing twenty years earlier. Raised in Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim, the couple ended their marriage when Zvi turned his back on Judaism and Hannah did not. Now the teenage children from their second marriages have become romantically involved, forcing Hannah and Zvi back into each others' lives The first-ever full staging in New York of the work of noted Israeli playwright Motti Lerner. Company bio: Genesis Stage produces works of theater which are relative to the Jewish experience and reflective of the universal human condition. Genesis strives to challenge, enlighten, and entertain Atlanta audiences with world and regional premieres, as well as seldom-seen plays, which investigate the past, reflect on the present and envision the future. The Jewbird Created by the Northwoods Ramah company based on the story by Bernard Malamud directed by Annie Levy Northwoods Ramah Theater, Conover, Wisconsin at Theater Three Fri 5/29 @5:30, Sat 5/30 @5:00, Sun 5/31 @2:00 In this modern fable originally penned by Malamud, an unexpected visitor flies through the fifth floor Lower East Side apartment window of Harry and Edie Cohen and their young son Maurie. The small, scrawny bird plops down on the kitchen table in the middle of dinner, and begins to speak. What follows exposes the family's uneasy tension between Jewish identity, past and present. Company bio: Northwoods Ramah Theatre Company is an ensemble group dedicated to creating and developing new work relevant to the Jewish experience of all ages. By treating source texts as it would sacred texts and working them into the script, Northwoods Ramah Theatre Company aims to make the connection between the story and Jewish teachings more apparent and accessible. Jolly Good Fellows by Steve Feffer and Tucker Refferty directed by Mark Liermann Whole Art Theater, Kalamazoo, MI at Theater Three WORLD PREMIERE Fri 5/29 @7:00, Sat 5/30 @11:00, Sun 5/31 @3:30, 6/1 @7:30 A dark comedy about two immigrant actors from New York in the 1890's who make their living performing a stereotypical "Jew" and "Irishman" in the grotesque styles of the variety stage. They enter into a contract of convenience to keep up with the changing times, despite the personal costs of such performances. Songs and sketches from the period are included. Company bio: The Whole Art Theatre Company offers unique theatrical experiences, including the fostering of new work, that brings socially significant issues to the forefront. In 2007, they received a Foundation of Jewish Culture grant for Steve Feffer's new play Ain't Got No Home, the true story of the legendary Chess Records. The Legacy Project Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company 2 performances at NYU Tisch Fri 5/29 @7:30, Sat 5/30 @7:30 An evening of dance, theater and live music incorporating the best of the artists' individual repertoires, their collaborative piece Silent Echoes and featuring the world premiere of Tikkun with commissioned score by renowned jazz and Klezmer musician Greg Wall. Featuring actress/vocalist Bente Kahan. Company bio: Since 1983, Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company's high-energy and technically demanding repertory uses movement as metaphor to take audiences on "intellectual and emotional journeys" (Observer Tribune). Led by artistic director Carolyn Dorfman and her creative drive to communicate human experiences, interactions perceptions, and truths, CDDC's twelve dancers display extraordinary physical, technical and dramatic range. Mentschen by Sholem Aleichem Translated by Ellen Perecman & Yermiyahu Ahron Taub Adapted by Ellen Perecman & Clay McLeod Chapman Directed by Marc Geller New Worlds Theatre Project, New York at Theater Three ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PREMIERE Sat 5/23 @8:30, Tue 5/26 @7:30. Fri 5/29 @9:00, Wed 6/3 @5:00, Sat 6/6 @2:00, Wed 6/10 @10:00, Fri 6/12 @7:00, Sat 6/13 @2:00 On playwright Sholem Aleichem's 150th birthday, the first English translation of an old play: Jobs are hard to come by, so Madame Gold's servants have limited options. To keep their jobs, they have to be willing to maintain the status quo by relinquishing their self-respect and free will. But how much abuse can they be expected to tolerate? Servants are people too, aren't they? Company bio: New Worlds Theatre Project is dedicated to bringing imagination and artistic excellence to English adaptations of Yiddish plays, and in so doing, to bringing dignity to the literary legacy of Yiddish culture. . The Most Radiant Beauty written and directed by Tanya Khordoc & Barry Weil Evolve Company, New York at Theater Three WORLD PREMIERE Sun 5/24 @3:00, Wed 5/27 @7:00, Thu 5/28 @7:00, Sat 5/30 @8:30, Thu 6/4 @9:00, Sun 6/7 @3:00, Wed 6/10 @ 8:00, Sat 6/13 @10:30 Einstein said he believed in his own "cosmic religion": not an anthropomorphic God, but a God who is light, and time, and space, and all of the wonderful and mysterious machinery of the universe. In this multimedia collage, puppeteers Khordoc and Weil travel through time to tell the story of Einstein and the power of light. A one-act to be performed with Six Scenes from a Misunderstanding (below). Company bio: Evolve Company has been playing with puppets very seriously since 1996. Productions include Evolution, Brains & Puppets and Secrets History Remembers. They were also given the honor of creating the world premiere production of Motormorphosis, a play by former Czech President Václav Havel, as part of UTC #61's Havel Festival in NYC. For more information, visit www.evolvepuppets.com. Scenes from a Misunderstanding by Carey Harrison directed by Henry Akona WalkingShadow, New York at Theater Three WORLD PREMIERE Sun 5/24 @3:00, Wed 5/27 @7:00, Thu 5/28 @7:00, Sat 5/30 @8:30, Thu 6/4 @9:00, Sun 6/7 @3:00, Wed 6/10 @ 8:00, Sat 6/13 @10:30 The simmering differences between two professors come to a head: has one of them delayed replying to a letter on the subject of religion, or did the original letter-writer delay posting it? What would such delays signify? From humble beginnings, titanic quarrels are born - especially when the aggravated parties are Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. A one-act to be performed with Most Radiant Beauty 10 Imaginings of Sarai & Hagar by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer music by Juliet I. Spitzer directed by Deborah Baer-Moses Theater Ariel, Philadelphia at Theater Three WORLD PREMIERE Sun 5/24 @7:00, Sat 5/30 @6:30, Tue 6/2 @7:00, Tue 6/9 @7:30, Wed 6/10 @6:00, Sat 6/13 @4:00 A theatrical interpretation in ten scenes ("imaginings",) of the story of the mothers of two great nations. Sarah and Hagar. 10 Imaginings is journey through the complex relationship between these two women, their man and their sons, exploring themes that continue to take center stage in the world today. Company bio: Theatre Ariel is dedicated to illuminating the rich social, cultural, and spiritual heritage of the Jewish people. Theatre Ariel produces work that serves as a prism through which we can view the varied colors of the American Jewish experience and new work that draws its inspiration from classic Jewish texts or contemporary Jewish literature: reflecting on the past, examining the present and envisioning the future. To Pay The Price by Peter Adrian-Cohen Directed by Robert Kalfin Theatre Or, Durham, North Carolina at Theater Three WORLD PREMIERE Sat 5/23 @10:00, Sun 5/24 @5:00, Wed 5/27 @9:00, Sat 5/30 @2:00, Sat 6/6 @Noon, Tue 6/9 @9:30, Sat 6/13 @8:30, Sun 6/14 @3:30 Based on the life of Yoni Netanyahu, killed in action at age 30, the play illuminates the toll to a nation of a never-ending war. Company bio: Theatre Or ("or" means "light" in Hebrew) is a North Carolina-based professional theatre company developing a niche for producing American premieres of Israeli plays. Chicago's Tony Award recipient Victory Gardens Theater hosted Theatre Or's North Carolina English language premiere of Motti Lerner's Hard Love in 2006 as well as their OnStageIsrael Festival of staged readings of Israeli plays in 2008. Rat Bastard by Julia Pearlstein directed by Eureka Dixon Place, New York Theater THE, associate producer at Dixon Place WORLD PREMIERE Wed 6/3 @8:00, Thu 6/4 @8:00, Fri 6/5 @8:00, Sat 6/6 @2:00 & 8:00, Sun 6/7 @5:00 Venice, 1630. First it was the Jews, now the Muslims are moving in--and they're threatening to interbreed! If the Inquisition won't stop them, Arlecchino will. When plague breaks out, holy hell breaks loose. A new Commedia on an old theme … because some things never change. With scene design by artist Philip Pearlstein. Company bio: Dixon Place is a home for performing and literary artists, is dedicated to supporting the creative process by presenting original works of theater, dance and literature at various stages of development. An artistic laboratory with an audience, we serve as a safety net, enabling artists to present challenging and questioning work that pushes the limits of artistic expression. A Village of Fools adapted and directed by Stephen Ringold Three short plays adapted from stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer Music by Elizabeth Swados The Grand Falloons, New York at JCC Manhattan Mon 7/8 @8:00, Tue 7/9 @8:00 Three stories from Singer's Zlateh the Goat collection . They move from a celebratory rite of political stupidity in "The Snow in Chelm" through an intimate classic fool's journey in "The First Shlemeil" and end with a dark and tragically comic tale reminiscent of Fellini in "Zlateh the Goat." The landscapes and the puppets are based on the art of Chaim Soutine. Company info: The Grand Falloons is an ensemble of theatre, vaudeville, and design professionals who have all worked with the Big Apple Circus for 20 years, as well as on the New York stage, on national television, and in opera houses, schools, museums and theaters across the country. READINGS Golem Stories written and directed by Edward Einhorn at the Center for Jewish History Wed 5/27 @7:00 A retelling of the legend of a clay man in 16th century Prague. Rabbi Loew creates a Golem to defend the Jews, but this Golem seems more interested in listening to the Rebbetsin's stories and falling in love with the Rabbi's daughter. Is he the reincarnated spirit of her murdered lover? Or does his childlike façade hide the face of a demon? Pangs of the Messiah by Motti Lerner at Theater Three Sat 5/31 @7:30 Set in 2012 amidst the signing of a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians, this is an apocalyptic yet fiercely humane drama about eight West Bank Jewish settlers pitted against an Israel they feel betrayed by. Playwright's Forum Various playwrights and directors at Marymount Manhattan Sun 6/7 @ 7:00 Seven minute excerpts of plays by member playwrights of the Association of Jewish Theater
, NY 10011
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