Theater J Does Fringe (Part I:Sharon/Herzl)

Friday starts our adventure into Fringe territory. Last year’s festival was so exciting that we decided we needed to be a part of it. Plus, it fits so well with the programing we are interested in. Fringe is all about letting new voices be heard — shows tend to be edgier and more experimental. It gives us the chance to share new voices talking about the Middle East. We have 8 shows (including Pangs of the Messiah) all which present a different perspective on the situation in the Middle East. All together, these plays tell an important story about what is happening around the world, here at home and in our hearts. Over the next couple of days the blog will feature previews of our Fringe offerings.

Today:

ARIEL SHARON HOVERS BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH AND DREAMS OF THEODOR HERZL
By David Zellnik
Directed By John Vreeke

Featuring: Michael Russotto, Richard Pelzman, Alexander Strain, Thomas Howley, Stephen Patrick Martin, Karen Novack and Elizabeth Richards

Easily the longest titled show in our festival, the play is a controversial look at 100 years of Zionist history. Theodor Herzl, father of Zionism, went in his short life from struggling playwright and self-hating Jew to becoming “the Modern Moses.” He dreamed of a land where “weak European Jews” could be turned into “men.” Was Ariel Sharon the ominous culmination of Herzl’s vision? Or a best friend?  And what of the last chapter in Sharon’s life?

The new play is written by New York playwright David Zellnik (expect a blog from him in the next few days when he finally gets away from rehearsals).  David has spent the past few years meticulously researching for the show.

Not only did David get the chance to research the lives of Sharon and Herzl he took a trip to Israel to experience the world he wrote about. Visit his website to look at a photo gallery from his travels.

Below is a sneak peak of the script. Theodor Herzl sick and nearing the end of his life sees a vision of the future. Arik Sharon, in a coma, sees Herzl:

ARIK
Finally you are here.
HERZL
Where am I?
ARIK
You are in your bed in Vienna, in 1904, and your heart has stopped. You are entering the world of spirits, with me. Julie is by your side, as are your children… But also it is 1949. And your body has been flown to Israel.
HERZL
Israel?
ARIK
The British took Palestine from the Turks and they promised it to us. Then there was a partition, and a war, and we won. But also it is the year 2007 and the war still waits to be finished.
HERZL
What will become of my children?
ARIK
Pauline will die a morphine addict, Hans will kill himself, and Trudie will die in a concentration camp. You will have no heirs. Except for… (he means himself)
HERZL
(With mounting dread) And why does war wait to be finished?
ARIK
Too many Arabs stayed in Palestine. 100 years of fighting. But it is good – we have proven we can be warriors. You saw that first. Help me. Only you can.

SHARON/HERZL starts this Friday July 20 at 3:oo pm, with shows July 22 at 8:oo pm, July 24 and 25 at 6:00 pm, July 27 at 3:00 pm and July 29 at 3:00 pm. Visit CapFringe to purchase tickets.

One thought on “Theater J Does Fringe (Part I:Sharon/Herzl)

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