Bringing “The Dybbuk” to Seattle in Spring 2017

The_Dybbuk Web

Auditions for The Dybbuk in November

The Seattle Jewish Theater Company will hold auditions for its spring 2017 production of The Dybbuk, regarded as the greatest classic of Jewish drama, in Seattle in mid-November. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. Cast members do not have to be Jewish. To schedule an audition contact SJTC artistic director, Art Feinglass, SeattleJewishTheaterCompany@gmail.com.

The Seattle premiere of The Dybbuk, written by S. Ansky and directed by Art Feinglass, will be performed, on weekends in April and the first weekend of May. Rehearsals will be held on two weekday evenings and on Sunday afternoons in January, February and March. Cast members will not need to be at every rehearsal.  The play will be performed in English.

Character breakdown:

Leah, female, daughter of a rich merchant 20’s

Frieda, female, Leah’s nurse, 40’s – 60’s

Gittel and Batya, Leah’s friends, teens – 20’s

Chonen, male, a poor student, in love with Leah, 20’s

Sender, male, a rich merchant, Leah’s father, 40’s – 60’s

The Messenger, male, a mysterious traveler, 40’s – 60’s

Meyer, male, gabbai in the Brinitz synagogue, 40’s – 70’s

Rabbi Azriel, male, a sage and miracle working rabbi, 50’s – 70’s

Michiel, male, Rabbi Azriel’s assistant, 30’s – 50’s

Rabbi Shimshon, male Chief Rabbi of Miropel, 40’s – 70’s

Menashe, male, Leah’s betrothed, 20’s

Nachman, male, Menashe’s father, 40’s – 60’o

Hanoch, male, student, friend of Chanan, 20’s

Nissan, male, former student, 30’s

Two religious judges, male, 40’s – 60’s

Three idlers in the study hall, male, 20’s -50’s

Hasidim and Poor Villagers, male and female, 20’s – 60’s

The Dybbuk tells the story of a young bride in a Polish shtetl who is possessed by the spirit – a dybbuk– of her dead beloved. It is a story, rooted in Jewish folklore, of love caught between two worlds and a Jewish community dealing with mysterious, other-worldly forces.

The bride, Leah, though betrothed by her ambitious father to a wealthy stranger, yearns for Chonen, a troubled young scholar. Chonen’s frustration at being thwarted in love drives him to the secrets of the Kabbalah which he believes can unlock the hidden powers of the universe and enable him to marry Leah. But, as the plot unfolds, he finds there is a heavy price to pay for delving into secret things.

Ansky wrote the play after a fact-finding tour through the Jewish communities of the Pale of Settlement in 1912-14, on the eve of the First World War.  His fascination with rabbinical wisdom, spirituality and Jewish folklore are clearly evident in the play.

In the 100 years since it’s creation, The Dybbuk has become a canonical work of Hebrew and Yiddish theater, has been translated into dozens of languages and intrigued audiences around the world.  The play will be performed in English. Performances will be followed by an audience discussion with the director and cast.

Performance Schedule, Spring 2017

Friday, March 31, 1:30 p.m., Preview at Seattle Jewish Film Festival, SJCC, 3801 East Mercer Way, Mercer Island.

Sunday, April 2, 2:00 p.m., University Prep Theater, 8000 25th Avenue NE, Seattle (Wedgwood). Sponsored by Temple Beth Am and Congregation Beth Shalom.

Saturday, April 8, 7:30 p.m., Kenyon Hall, 7904 35th Avenue Southwest, West Seattle.

Sunday, April 16, 2:00 p.m., Shalom Club at Trilogy, Redmond.     

Sunday, April 23, 2:00 p.m., SJCC, 3801 East Mercer Way, Mercer Island.

Sunday, April 30, 2:00 p.m., Microsoft Auditorium, Central Branch, Seattle Public Library 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle.

Sunday, May 7, 3:00 p.m., Temple B’nai Torah, 15727 NE 4th St., Bellevue.

The Seattle Jewish Theater Company, now in its seventh year, brings classic and contemporary Jewish theater to the Seattle area.

*SJTC logo blue Georgia

Celebrate Chanukah and Passover with Children’s Books

by SJTC  founder and artistic director Art Feinglass

cover-the-lonesome-dreidel

When Talya and Aitan find a lost and lonely magical talking dreidel, they’re off on an exciting Chanukah adventure to find the little dreidel a new home. Along the way they meet a curious squirrel and a noisy crow, and learn how to play the dreidel game. But will they find the Lonesome Dreidel a good home in time for Chanukah? Beautifully illustrated, this is an engaging story for children ages 2-5 that includes a guide to playing the dreidel game.

THE AFIKOMAN ADVENTURE

Why is this seder night different from all other seder nights? Because tonight their search for the missing afikoman takes Milo and Eli on an adventure into a magical world where their toys come to life.

The seder cannot be completed until they retrieve the afikoman, but to do that they must hike a mountain trail, push through a jungle and cross a lake to a distant castle. On their adventure they engage in a banana fight with a troop of laughing monkeys, help a friendly snake find its lost tail and fend off an attack by the dreaded “thingamabobs.” Join Milo and Eli on their exciting quest in The Afikoman Adventure. Beautifully illustrated, this is an engaging story for children ages 3 – 8.

The Lonesome Dreidel and The Afikoman Adventure are available on Amazon at,

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=arthur+feinglass.

 

 

 

 

Bringing classic and contemporary Jewish theater to Seattle

SJTC has presented a range of Jewish-themed plays at venues throughout the Seattle area, beginning in 2011 with Jennifer Maisel’s award winning and very contemporary family drama The Last Seder. With sold-out performances at Temple Beth Am in Seattle and Temple B’nai Torah in Bellevue the company was  launched on its mission of bringing classic and contemporary Jewish plays to the Seattle area..

The Last Seder was followed by the  classic play by Arnold Pearl that first introduced the world of Yiddish theater to Broadway theater goers, The World of Sholom Aleichem. SJTC brought the play to a variety of Jewish and non-Jeiwsh venues, including Herzl Ner Tamid on Mercer Island for the Washington State Jewish Historical Society,  the Kline Galland Home in Seward Park, The Summit at First Hill, Temple B’nai Torah in Bellevue and the Presbyterian Retirement Community Skyline at First Hill.

 

The Tony-award winning romantic comedy, The Last Night of Ballyhoo by Alfred Uhry, author of Driving Miss Daisy, was the company’s next offering and that too was well received at Temple Beth Am and Temple De Hirsch Sinai on Capitol HIll.  Previews of scenes from the play were a hit at the Seattle Public Library and the Seattle Jewish Film Festival. 

 

On January 20 SJTC brought a comedy performance of

the classic Abbot and Costello  routine “Who’s On First?” to the Washington State Jewish Historical Society event celebrating Jews in Sports. Two members of the  company, Carol Sage Silverstein and Marc Mayo,  performed live on stage for an audience of 150 people at Congregation Ezra Bessaroth.

In February and March the company will bring Susan Sandler’s romantic comedy Crossing Delancey to locations throughout Seattle including a return engagement at the Uptown Theater on Queen Anne for the Seattle Jewish

Film Festval. We’ll also be at at the Seattle Public Library, Kenyon Hall in West Seattle, Congregation Ezra Bessaroth in Seward Park, the Summit on First Hill. Temple B’nai Torah in Bellevue and Temple Beth Am in Seattle.

Seattle Magazine Profiles SJTC

Interview by Brangien Davis, from the November 2011 issue:

Art Feinglass, SJTC director

Art Feinglass is bringing Jewish theater to center stage. Image credit: Adam Reitano.

BD: Why did you start the Seattle Jewish Theater Company?

AF: I felt the need to create something personally meaningful and significant. Being Jewish is important to me. While I’m not religious, I do very much appreciate the rich Jewish cultural heritage, especially in theater. I would like to introduce the great plays—provocative dramas, warm comedies, delightful musicals—that have grown out of the Jewish heritage and continue to reflect and interpret that heritage today.

BD: What is a Jewish play?

AF: To my mind, a Jewish play is a play that touches on some aspect of the Jewish experience, and that definition can be fairly flexible. We’ll be performing, in English translation, classics of the great Yiddish theater that delighted audiences in the 19th and early 20th centuries; holiday-based pageants from the Sephardic Jewish tradition; more contemporary award-winning plays by writers like Arthur Miller, Neil Simon, David Mamet, Herb Gardner, Donald Margulies and Wendy Wasserstein; and cutting-edge works by emerging new playwrights.

BD: Do you have to be Jewish to participate?

AF: I remember years ago there was a famous poster in the New York subway of a little Asian boy happily enjoying a sandwich made with Levy’s rye bread. The tagline read, “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s.” That’s how I feel about the Seattle Jewish Theater Company. You don’t have to be Jewish to be in the cast, the crew or the audience.