Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shows announced for Festival of Jewish Theater and Ideas!

We are working hard on the website, but for those who read my blog, here's a preview! Here are all the shows in Untitled Theater Company #61's upcoming Festival of Jewish Theater and Ideas!

The Burning Bush
by Tracey Erin Smith
directed by Anita La Selva
Burning Bush Productions, Toronto, Canada
at Theater Three, 311 W. 43rd St, near 8th Ave.

Tickets online or at 212-352-3101

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.

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, New York
at 92Y Tribeca and the Center for Jewish History

Wed 5/20 @7:00 at 92Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson St Tickets online or at 212-415-5500

Tue 5/26 @7:00 & Sat 5/30 @8:30, Don’t Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street Tickets online or at 212-757-0788

Wed 6/10 @6:30 at Center for Jewish History. 15 W. 16th St Tickets online or at 212-352-3101

Light and dark in 1930’s Berlin, Yiddish Warsaw, Paris & Tel Aviv. Blinding lights, brazen comedy, cabarets of yearning and bite. An astounding era; a time of Jewish artists on the move. No need to brush up on your languages; these songs are mostly in English!

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, 311 W. 43rd St, near 8th Ave

Tickets online or at 212-352-3101

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.

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.

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, 311 W. 43rd St, near 8th Ave

Tickets online
or at 212-352-3101

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.

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.

by Howard Zinn
directed by Martina Plag
stadium-praxis, Philadelphia
at Theater Three, 311 W. 43rd St, near 8th Ave

Tickets online or at 212-352-3101

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.

stadium-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, 311 W. 43rd St, near 8th Ave


Tickets online or at 212-352-3101

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.

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 Company
based on the story by Bernard Malamud
directed by Annie Levy
Northwoods Theater, Conover, Wisconsin
at Theater Three, 311 W. 43rd St, near 8th Ave

Tickets online or at 212-352-3101

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.

Northwoods 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, 311 W. 43rd St, near 8th Ave

Tickets online or at 212-352-3101

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.

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.

Laughing Fools
“Laughing at the Speed of Light”
written, illustrated and performed by: Flash Rosenberg
“Village of Fools”
adapted, directed and performed by: Stephen Ringold and the Grand Falloons
From stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer
at JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Avenue, near 76th St

Tickets online or at 505-5708

Mon 6/8 @8:00, Tue 6/9 @8:00

Flash Rosenberg and Stephen Ringold mingle their two distinct shows into one tasty evening. By the same unlikely logic that landed smoked fish in a bagel, Ringold’s vaudeville puppet theater “Village of Fools” will suddenly be served in the middle of Rosenberg’s comic slide romp “Laughing at the Speed of Light” to create a posh nosh and frolic of Jewish culture.

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.

The Legacy Project: Echoes
Featuring the WORLD PREMIERE of Tikkun with choreography by Carolyn Dorfman and music by Greg Wall
Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company and Bente Kahan, New York
at NYU Tisch, 111 2nd Ave, 5th floor

Tickets online or at 1-800-838-3006

Fri 5/29 @7:30, Sat 5/30 @7:30

The Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company and actress/vocalist Bente Kahan present The Legacy Project: Echoes, 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.

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.

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, 311 W. 43rd St, near 8th Ave

Tickets online or at 212-352-3101

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?

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, 311 W. 43rd St, near 8th Ave

Tickets online or at 212-352-3101

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

A one-act to be performed with Six Scenes from a Misunderstanding (below).

God said “Let there be light.” Einstein showed us what it could do. In this multimedia collage, puppeteers Khordoc and Weil use found text to explore Einstein, Genesis, the Atomic Bomb and the life-altering power of knowledge.

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.

Rat Bastards
by Julia Pearlstein
directed by Eureka
Dixon Place, New York
Theater THE, associate producer
at Dixon Place, 161 Chrystie St., near Delancey

Tickets online or at 212-219-0736

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.

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.

Scenes from a Misunderstanding
by Carey Harrison
directed by Henry Akona
WalkingShadow, New York
at Theater Three, 311 W. 43rd St, near 8th Ave

Tickets online or at 212-352-3101

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

A one-act to be performed with Most Radiant Beauty (above)

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.

10 Imaginings of Sarah & Hagar
by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer
music by Juliet I. Spitzer
directed by Deborah Baer-Mozes
Theater Ariel, Philadelphia
at Theater Three, 311 W. 43rd St, near 8th Ave

Tickets online or at 212-352-3101

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.

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, 311 W. 43rd St, near 8th Ave

Tickets online or at 212-352-3101

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.

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.


Golem Stories
written and directed by Edward Einhorn
at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St, near 5th Ave

RSVP online or at 212-352-3101

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, 311 W. 43rd St, near 8th Ave

RSVP online or at 212-352-3101

Sun 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, 221 E 71st, near 3rd Ave

RSVP online or at 212-352-3101

Sun 6/7 @ 7:00
Seven minute excerpts of plays by member playwrights of the Association of Jewish Theater


How Some Jews in Chicago Re-Invented Comedy in Time For the Sixties
Presented by Jeffrey Sweet
at Theater Three, 311 W. 43rd St, near 8th Ave

RSVP online or at 212-352-3101

Tue 6/9 @6:00

Jeffrey Sweet (author of SOMETHING WONDERFUL RIGHT AWAY, an oral history of the Compass Players and Second City) gives a funny talk about how and why Paul Sills and some other young iconoclasts who hung out in Hyde Park (Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Barbara Harris, and Shelley Berman among them) created modern improvisational theater and changed the look of American comedy.

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