Israeli Stage Announces 2014-2015 Season
Its Fifth Anniversary Season
Featuring its First Full Theatrical Production and Staged Readings of Three New Israeli Plays at the Goethe Institut
[BOSTON, MA] – Israeli Stage, sharing the diversity and vitality of Israeli culture through theatre, proudly announces 2014-2015, its fifth anniversary season, featuring its first full theatrical production: the North American premiere of Ulysses on Bottles by Gilad Evron, winner of Best Israeli Play (2012), presented in partnership with ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage. This new drama features award-winning actors Jeremiah Kissel, Will Lyman, and Karen MacDonald. Performances will take place April 9-25, 2015 in the Jackie Liebergott Black Box at the Emerson/Paramount Center (559 Washington Street) in Boston’s theatre district. Tickets range from $25-49 and may be purchased by visiting artsemerson.org.
“The growth of Israeli Stage has been tremendous,” says Guy Ben-Aharon, Director and Producing Artistic Director of Israeli Stage. “From an experiment gauging interest in Israeli drama in 2010, we have produced 50-some programs at twenty institutions across New England. We couldn’t be prouder entering this new phase solidifying Israeli Stage within the greater Boston’s cultural landscape; collaborating with talented artists as Karen MacDonald, Will Lyman, and Jeremiah Kissel; and to partner with a world-class institution.”
Additionally, the new season will feature three staged readings of Israeli plays Never Ever Ever, written by Sivan Ben-Yishai (September 14, 2014); Make My Heart Flutter, written by the ‘father of Israeli drama’ Hanoch Levin (November 2, 2014); and Games in the Back Yard, written by Edna Mazya (February 15, 2015). Readings will take place at the Goethe-Institut (170 Beacon Street) in Boston’s Back Bay.
“I first read Ulysses on Bottles on the bus on my iPhone,” says Guy Ben-Aharon, Director and Producing Artistic Director, Israeli Stage. “I never read an entire play digitally, but I simply couldn’t wait to get to a printer or even a computer. It is one of the most beautiful scripts I have read coming out of Israel. The struggles of what it means to have freedom, enable freedom, and prevent freedom are interwoven masterfully into this poetic play that brings together a Jewish-Israeli lawyer, an Arab-Israeli literature teacher, and an Israeli intelligence officer whose paths would otherwise not cross.”
“It’s only fitting,” says Rob Orchard, Founder and Executive Director of ArtsEmerson, “that Emerson College alumnus Guy Ben-Aharon’s young company Israeli Stage enjoys its first full production here at ArtsEmerson. We’re proud of his hard work showcasing Israeli plays in Boston, and happy to join together for Ulysses on Bottles this spring.”
“Since being part the first reading of this wonderful play,” says actor Will Lyman, “I’m very excited to be involved with it in the first full production of this great young company, dedicated to bringing different world views onto our American stage. I remember the sentiment that art is not intended to reinforce our complacencies, but to provide us with new opportunities to connect with the larger world around us.”
“An important part of creating value for the cultural landscape of Boston,” says David Dower, Director of Artistic Programs, ArtsEmerson, “is creating opportunities for Boston’s artists and companies to be part of our “World on Stage” programming. I look forward to to supporting this important milestone for Israeli Stage and the great company of actors Guy has assembled for the production.”
“I have had the experience of performing and also seeing theatre in Israel,” says Karen MacDonald, award-winning actor, “and it was powerful. The culture of the theatre is deeply engrained in the country; the playwrights deal with moral, political, human questions, both unique to their own experience and pertinent to the world at large.”
Ulysses on Bottles by Gilad Evron: An Israeli-Arab literature teacher nicknamed Ulysses builds a raft made of bottles to carry books and sail to the shores of Gaza. With the naiveté of a madman, he believes classical literature about bigger-than-life subjects is vital, especially for Gazans. He insists on bringing them not French literature, that he says “dances,” nor American literature that is “preoccupied with itself,” but Russian literature that is a breeze that rises higher than the kites they fly on the Gazan shore. Ulysses on Bottles explores the ways Israelis react to Gaza: the collisions of the personal and the political, morality and ambition. A poignant and critical play about people living in separate and different realities where life of privilege is pitted against life of deprivation, it raises profound questions about society’s fragile values, morality, humanism and freedom.
Never Ever Ever by Sivan Ben-Yishai: Yoni (Jordan Ahnquist*) runs away from school, from home, from himself. He runs away the moment he’s confronted with the words disabled or dyslexic. In this moving one-man play, Ben-Yishai provides the audience an experience of what it’s like to feel like an outsider, feeling different, being differently-abled, yet, at the same time whole.
Make My Heart Flutter by Hanoch Levin: Love and its crushing disappointments are at the center of Hanoch Levin’s Make My Heart Flutter, a romantic comedy without the romance. Full of laughter and irony, the play touchingly portrays our desires, and our potentially missing out on life, without even knowing it.
Games in the Back Yard by Edna Mazya: In the summer of 1988, a horrifying rape was perpetrated on the Kibbutz Shomrat in northern Israel, shaking the entire country. Seven 17-year-old boys repeatedly raped a fourteen-year-old girl, abusing her both physically and mentally.