Monday, October 13, 2008

Attack at the Hungarian Jewish Theatre

We have been getting an increasing number of international submissions for the Festival of Jewish Theater and Ideas. Although many of the plays address politics, I don't think of the festival itself as a political statement, more as a celebration of culture. But I am reminded that, sadly, there are still moments when putting on Jewish theater can be dangerous.

Right before Rosh Hashana, there was an attack on the director of the new show at the Hungarian Jewish Theatre, using water guns filled with acid as well as buckets of pig feces. Six or seven neo-Nazis then beat the director and some bystanders who tried to help. At least one remains in the hospital.

Last year, Mark Vail, a Jewish theater director from Uzbekistan (who often also directed in Seattle), was murdered. Of course, he was also putting on plays that dealt with gay themes, so one can blame extreme homophobia as well.

Recently, a friend of mine mentioned that almost all theater in New York is gay or Jewish. An exageration, I think, but it does remind me how much we take for granted.


Kasheri said...

"neo-Nazis then beat the director and some bystanders who tried to help."

Although this post is upsetting, I must admit that I was glad to read that some bystanders had tried to help. I think the bravery and willingness of those bystanders to become involved is as important to note as the violence that precipitated their involvement.

Theater of Ideas said...

I completely agree. I'm glad you pointed out that aspect of the story.