As the newest member of the Israeli Stage Board I wanted to share with you my first experiences with this company and invite you to join me and the company in a special yearlong celebration of our 5th Anniversary and 6th Season.
It was only a year ago when I saw my first production by the Israeli Stage of Never Ever, Ever. I was very surprised by the level and content of the conversations that took place after the performance. The audience was deeply engaged with the single character of the play. They shared surprisingly emotional and insightful moments from their own lives with us. For me, it was an “aha” moment. This was not just a talk back, which honestly I abhor and promptly exit at the end of any production when they start assembling the chairs for the actors and perhaps the dramaturg to come out and “talk with us.” This was and is very different.
What we have at Israeli Stage is the “conversation between the conversations”. The dialogue between the text and the emotions. Post production moments skillfully curated by dialogue mentors. They clearly are NOT talk backs as we all experience in the non-profit theatre world. They are the beginning of the integration or the struggle of what we see with our long held biases and blind spots. This is much more than a simple challenge to our belief system. This is new. Israeli Stage is a pioneer in this process through its commitment to the dialogue.
Come along with us for the emotional ride in this our 6th and most successful season. Guy has chosen a season of all female playwrights. A statement in itself. But more than that, the plays he has chosen soar well beyond the confines of Israeli culture. They soar into the world and magic of theater. Being Jewish isn’t a prerequisite to engaging with these plays, being human is. A good play is always a metaphor for understanding our humanity, well beyond considerations of race, gender and politics. The setting may begin in Israel, but the ending is somewhere in our shared values and empathy.