With the unveiling of this season’s Voices from a Changing Middle East Festival, we’re reminded of how unique this enterprise we’re undertake really is—in presenting the drama of being Israeli, or Arab, or a sojourning Westerner traveling through the Middle East, on an American stage. Nowhere else in this country, nor in Europe, will you see a theatrical company so deeply engaged with Israel and the issues pertaining to its formation; its heartbreaks and breakthroughs over the course of its young history; its own evolving identity as a multicultural nation and a Jewish state. More than anything, the theater allows an audience to get to know the people of a region. With this year’s line-up, we get to explore a variety of people’s sense of what it means to have a home. Home, as always, comes to mean different things to different people. How to create a common, interwoven story from the multi-stranded set of facts and narratives that make this region such a boisterous, sacred, promising place? A festival like this offers its own synthesis; its own case for celebrating the human capacity for change and transformation. Join us for a stirring and meaningful two months!
VOICES FROM A CHANGING MIDDLE EAST FESTIVAL: PORTRAITS OF HOME
RETURN TO HAIFA by Ghassan Kanafani
Adapted by Boaz Gaon
January 15–30, 2011
A Cameri Theatre Production • Directed by Sinai Peter
From Israel’s premier flagship theater company comes this heart-rending saga of Sa’id and Safiyya, who return to the home they fled during Israel’s War of Independence, and learn the fate of the baby they left behind. Now a young soldier in the IDF, Dov meets his birth parents while cleaving to the Holocaust survivors who raised him. Performed in Hebrew and Arabic with English sur-titles.
“Truly magnificent…amusing and moving, human and majestic”
“The Cameri Theatre…strengthening ties with the finest culture and modern drama in the world.”
-Recipient of The Israel Prize, 2005
Additional Readings and Performances
ARGENTINA by Boaz Gaon
Friday, January 21, 2:00 pm
A new work by the adapter of RETURN TO HAIFA •Directed by Sinai Peter
The Israeli daughter of a “disappeared” Argentinean Jew visits the former Ambassador to Argentina hoping to discover what became of her father 20 years earlier during the junta’s rise to power.
A RAILWAY TO DAMASCUS by Hillel Mitelpunkt
Monday, January 24, 7:30 pm
By the acclaimed author of THE ACCIDENT • Directed by Sinai Peter
Haifa, 1942. With the German army approaching and tensions between Jews and Arabs on the rise, the British contemplate retreat. Sara is caught in a swirl of betrayal, fanaticism, and fear.
THE PROMISE by Ben Brown
Monday, January 31, 7:30 pm
England, 1917. Future President of Israel, Chaim Weizman entreats Lord Arthur Balfour and battles with Edwin Montagu and other notable figures in this “this even-handed, well-researched look back at history-in-the-making. As welcome as it is quietly fascinating.” (The Telegraph)
TO PAY THE PRICE by Peter-Adrian Cohen
Saturday, February 5, 8:00 pm
directed by Robert Kalfin
A theatrical biography of Jonathan “Yoni” Netanyahu (brother of Benjamin), the only Israeli fatality of the 1976 rescue of Jewish hostages at the Entebbe airport in Uganda.
I’M SPEAKING TO YOU CHINESE by Savyon Liebrecht
Monday, February 7, 7:30 pm
By the author of APPLES FROM THE DESERT • Directed by Allison Stockman
(At the Israeli Embassy Tickets must be purchased in advance by February 4. Must have photo ID.)
The story of an Israeli family’s struggle after the Holocaust. Dark desires, secret love affairs, and the price of real estate make up the landscape of this funny, heart-breaking memory play.
WRESTLING JERUSALEM by Aaron Davidman
Saturday, February 12, 8:00 pm
Featuring Aaron Davidman • Directed by Aaron Posner
This tour-de-force solo performance depicts one man’s journey from a summer camp in upstate New York to the Middle East; from S’derot to Ramallah; from idealism, to despair, to new hope.
HOUR OF FEELING and URGE FOR GOING: Two plays by Mona Mansour
Monday, February 14, 7:00 pm
Directed by Lise Bruneau
In 1967, a Palestinian academic arrives in England where he delivers a career-defining lecture. Presented with its sequel (presented last spring) depicting family life in a Lebanese refugee camp.
Celebrating The 10th Anniversary of the Peace Café !
VIA DOLOROSA by David Hare
Saturday, February 19, 8:00 pm
Featuring David Bryan Jackson • Originally directed for Theater J by Nick Olcott
A reprise of our acclaimed production of master playwright David Hare’s journey to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. As relevant as it was a decade ago when it launched our Peace Café forum.
THE ADMISSION by Motti Lerner
Sunday, February 27, 7:30 pm
From the acclaimed author of BENEDICTUS and PANGS OF THE MESSIAH •
Directed by Sinai Peter
Giora, a battle-wounded professor, is engaged to Neta but still in love with Samia. Searching for truth about his father’s recently revealed war-time past, he threatens to break the family apart.
All Readings and Performances $10 each or Buy a Festival Pass for only $50
For Tickets and Passes, Call (800) 838-3006 or visit theaterj.org