This season’s Voices From a Changing Middle East isn’t just about our two mainstage productions set in the Israeli Negev Desert. It’s also about reading new work from Israel that illuminates pieces of Israel’s past and present, both within Israel proper and in Gaza and the West Bank. The work we’ve been reading is material that might find its way into future onto Theater J’s mainstage at a future date, or provide a launch pad for discussions in salons and other chamber presentations.
Back on December 21st, we were thrilled to shared the great Edna Mazya’s play The Aristocrats. The cast, directed by Jason Schlafstein included Michael Kramer, Susan Rome, Rick Hammerly, Alexander Strain, Laura C. Harris, Susan Lynskey, Sarah Taurchini, Dani Stoller, Brynn Tucker, Carlos Saldana, and Brandon McCoy (casting director, Naomi Robin)
Israel, 1953. Yair Ben-Canaan is devoted to defending the new Israeli state while his wife Hagar is committed to welcoming newly arrived survivors. They are passionate about their pursuits–which leaves little time for their two children, Oz and Devorah. Add to the mix Rudy, Yair’s flamboyant fashion designer brother, and this picture perfect pioneer family proves to be more complex than they originally let on.
Today, at 2 pm in the The Hyman S. and Freda Bernstein Library back at our home base, the Washington DCJCC, we will present:
Testimonies from IDF Soldiers and Inductees: A Tapestry of Voices.
Friday, January 25 at 2:00 pm
$5 at the door
A program of verbatim, transcript-derived documentary theater pieces. Igal Ezraty’s THE TRIAL OF THE REFUSENIKS, first seen at the Akko Festival for Alternative Theatre, presents the military trial of five Israeli conscientious objectors and the arguments of the prosecuting and defense attorneys and presiding judges.
The Trial of the Refuseniks by Igal Ezraty, is edited and directed by Christopher Mirto and features Robert Grimm, Mark Halpern, Clark Young, Brian Miskell, Ryan Alan Jones, Kimberly Gilbert, Michael Putnam and Hunter Styles, and Ari Roth (Casting by: Naomi Robin)
This will be followed by excerpts of interviews from…
WOMEN SOLDIERS SPEAK adapted and directed by Jessica Lefkow, featuring Leigh Jameson, Helen Pafumi, Misty Demory, Chinai J. Hardy, Abby Wood and Blaire Bowers (casting director, Naomi Robin), part of the Breaking the Silence project–an organization made up of IDF veterans who have served in the Territories in the past decade and who seek to share their day-to-day encounter with Palestinians with the Israeli public.
And on Tuesday, January 29 at 7:30 pm
Theater J presents a VOICES Festival reading of Ulysses on Bottles
at Georgetown University, Davis Performing Arts Center
by Gilad Evron
$10 at the door
Director: Shirley Serotsky
Casting Director: Naomi Robin
Featuring Paul Morella, Tim Getman, Maboud Ebrahimzadeh, Michael Willis and Susan Rome
Ulysses, a literature professor who favors Russian writers, builds a raft made of bottles to sail to Gaza to deliver books there. He is arrested and put in jail, where he meets his lawyer Saul, a successful attorney who volunteered to serve as a public defender. Saul struggles with a colleague who challenges his authority, and with the priorities of his wife—a relentless social climber. These circumstances and characters combine to create unsettling and in-congruent realities in a lyrical and poetic play.
For more information on all festival programming and to reserve a ticket to either reading, click here