BOSTON, MA – Israeli Stage, sharing the diversity and vitality of Israeli culture through theatre, is proud to announce Season 7! The season will feature two plays presented as Staged Reading in Fall 2016, Olivier Award Nominee Joshua Sobol: In Residence at Israeli Stage in March/April of 2017 and Israeli Stage’s Third Full Theatrical Production, Days of Atonement by former Playwright-in-Residence Hanna Azoulay-Hasfari. Dialogue Reflections led by local thinkers, authors and artist will follow all performances.
Season 7 is asking jarring questions through an Israeli lens. What does it mean to be a woman? What is the nature of forgiveness? How can we use theatre and dialogue as a propeller of social change? “Theatre is a sacred place – it is one of the only places in modern society where people of different backgrounds share an experience. It is the rare exception where people from different walks of life are in a room together; how can we use that platform to broaden dialogue?” asks Producing Artistic Director Guy Ben-Aharon. “We must make theatre about building cultural bridges – between people, communities, countries – through shared reflective dialogue.”
Season 7 asks us daring questions about gender identity in Fertile (Sept 18, 2016 at 7PM), challenges our ideas on end-of-life treatment in Happy Ending (Nov 13, 2016 at 7PM), examines how theatre can be used as a form of resistance with Joshua Sobol’s Residency (March 20 – April 9, 2017) and looks at what the nature of forgiveness means while shedding light on the Israeli-Mizrachi experience with Days of Atonement (June 1 – 25, 2017).
“I am so excited about this connection with the Bostonians,” says Days of Atonement Playwright Hanna Azoulay-Hasfari. “Last year’s residency taught me just how important this cultural bridge is. Israeli Stage is creating a vision for artists and audiences to examine issues that are universal together with the goal of making a more open-minded world.”
Adrianne Krstansky, who will be playing one of the four sisters in the production says: “The desire to experience theatre from around the world will strengthen our compassion and understanding. Under Guy’s direction, these plays come to life with great beauty, humor, intelligence and artistry. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Israeli Stage and the important mission of bringing cross-cultural work to Boston audiences.” Director Guy Ben-Aharon expressed his admiration for Azoulay-Hasfari’s work, “In Days of Atonement, Hanna manages to write both comedy and pathos.” Following last year’s All Female Playwrights season, Ben-Aharon says, “Days of Atonement is the natural follow-up to Season 6’s All Female Playwrights program line. This is a play about four strong women – women whose voices are often unsung – and need to be sung.”
“It is so important to sing the unsung stories of the Moroccan-Israeli narrative,” writes Azoulay-Hasfari. “It is one that has been under-served in Israel, and practically unheard abroad. Being able to explore Days of Atonement with American audiences, and fostering this relationship with these brilliant Bostonians gives me hope – hope to create a world that is more understanding and more pluralistic.”
Incoming Board Chair Naomi Gordon says “the mission of Israeli Stage is not to present ‘the party line’ – we are engaging with an Israel that is as nuanced and diverse in opinion and narrative as our reality is here. The playwrights presented are writing from the fringes, not from the center and provide us an opportunity to look into a lens that is sometimes uncomfortable, but always authentic.” Board Member Bruce Lynn adds, “Israeli Stage provides us an Israeli slice of life – you get to experience a different Israel with each play you attend.”