In April and May SJTC Presents “The Dybbuk” at Six Seattle Area Locations
The Dybbuk, regarded as the greatest classic of Jewish drama, depicts a young bride in a Polish shtetl who is possessed by the spirit – a dybbuk– of her dead beloved. Written by S. Ansky and directed by Seattle Jewish Theater Company artistic director, Art Feinglass, The Dybbuk tells a story, rooted in Jewish folklore, of love caught between two worlds and a Jewish community dealing with mysterious, other-worldly forces.
Our performances of The Dybbuk have been a hit with audiences at the University Prep Theater in Wedgewood, the Shalom Club at Trilogy in Redmond and on the amazingly small stage at Kenyon Hall in West Seattle. The cast of 16 talented local actors is doing a terrific job of bringing this powerful story to life. Still three more performances in the Seattle area.
On Sunday afternoon, 2:00 p.m., April 23, we’re at the SJCC, 3801 East Mercer Way, Mercer Island, Tickets $15 / $10 SJCC members, seniors, youth, students. www.SJCC.org.
On April 30, 2:00 p.m., we’ll be at the Microsoft Auditorium at the Central Branch of the Seattle Public Library downtown at 1000 Fourth Avenue. Free.
On May 6, 3:00 p.m. we’ll be at Temple B’nai Torah. 15727 NE 4th Street, Bellevue. Free
Ansky wrote The Dybbuk during the turbulent years of 1912-17. The idea for the play came to him as he led a Jewish folklore expedition through the Jewish communities of the Pale of Settlement in Eastern Europe. The expedition was cut short by the outbreak of World War I. Plans to produce the play in Russian – by Stanislavsky’s Moscow Art Theater – were aborted by the Bolshevik Revolution.
Ansky, died in 1920 and never lived to see it produced in Russian, Yiddish or Hebrew. The play, however, was destined to become one of the most produced in the history of Jewish theater. Ansky’s fascination with rabbinical wisdom, spirituality and Jewish folklore are clearly evident in The Dybbuk. The play is being performed in English.
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. The bride, Leah, though betrothed by her ambitious father to a wealthy stranger, yearns for Chonnen, a troubled young scholar. Chonnen’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.
In the 100 years since it’s creation, The Dybbuk has become a canonical work of Hebrew and Yiddish theater, has been translated into a score of languages and intrigued audiences around the world. Performances are followed by a lively audience conversation with the director and cast.
The Seattle Jewish Theater Company
The mission of the Seattle Jewish Theater Company, now in its seventh year, is to bring classic and contemporary Jewish theater to the Seattle area.
The SJTC typically presents two – three shows a year, performing for over 1,400 people annually. Previous spring productions have included Morning Star, Beau Jest, From Door to Door, Crossing Delancey, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, and The Last Seder. Summer and Fall productions have included The World of Sholom Aleichem, The Power of Two, Who’s On First? and the classic Yiddish play Mirele Efros for the University of Washington.
In September 2014 SJTC entertained 350 people at the Washington State Jewish Historical Society’s gala at the Museum of History and Industry, in a program entitled Shalom, Open for Business, in which SJTC actors portrayed Jewish merchants in Seattle in the early years of the twentieth century.
In August 2016 SJTC presented From Door to Door and Jewish History Live for some 800 attendees at the 36th annual convention of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies at the Seattle Sheraton.
For more information contact,
Art Feinglass, Artistic Director,
Seattle Jewish Theater Company