FringeNYC’s Jewish plays: Jew Wish, Abraham’s Daughters, and Two Girls

Posted on August 13, 2010

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The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC), the largest multi-arts festival in North America, with more than 200 companies from all over the world performing for 16 days in more than 20 venues, includes three plays with Jewish characters by Jewish women playwrights. Jew Wish, written and performed by Rachel Evans, opens tomorrow night;Abraham’s Daughters, written and produced by Elissa Lerner, opens Sunday; and Two Girls, written and performed by Gabrielle Maisels, opens Thursday evening. Each play will have five performances .

Single Jewish Female seeks audience for a night of revelry, laughs and kvetching! Journey inside Rachel’s brain and bedroom as she navigates the world of online dating, while placating her nosy parents, in her elusive hunt for her modern-day mensch. JEW WISH is the hilarious and heartfelt adventure of a single Jewish female on the worldwide web of dating. This one-woman show is a refreshingly honest spiel about the elusive perfect man, the requisite overbearing but lovable parents, and the many missteps of searching for a connection online. If you’ve ever dated online (it’s okay to admit) or dated in general (come on, I see you), or even just “thought” about dating, (that’s you, don’t be shy) this show is for you. ?The show is an hour and a half. VENUE: Players Theatre 115 MacDougal Street (Btw West 3rd Street & Bleecker). Performances: SAT 8/14 – 10:00 PM, SUN 8/15- 6:15 PM, MON 8/16- 10:00 PM, TUE 8/17 – 4:15 PM, FRI 8/20 – 4:45 PM. Advance: $15, At the door: $18.

Confronting a moral crisis that threatens both their newfound independence and their budding friendship, Ranya, Kate and Sarah, college freshmen far from home and family, race headlong on a collision course with the ancient faiths of their births. Abraham’s Daughtersdid not enter this world easily. The idea that was born on a late-night campus bus ride home from a shift working at Duke University’s library navigated through not one, but two departments that had never seen a joint honors project in Religion and Theater Studies. It convinced five separate professors to support and advise the project despite recommendations to the contrary. But by the time the play was completed and given a staged reading in 2008, it had Religion professors thinking about theater and it had Theater professors thinking about religion. Along the way, it won the 2008 Reynolds Price scriptwriting award. The journey didn’t end there. Abraham’s Daughters traveled across an ocean and three continents to a dorm room in Doha, Qatar, where details and experiences about Islam and inter-religious dialogue further colored the play. It made its way to Be’er Sheva, Israel, where religion, culture and identity were thrown into even starker contrasts. And after traveling the world, it’s finally time for its New York debut. This is Abraham’s Daughters, and this is about you, or your sister, or your daughter, or your niece, or your best friend, and what they might have done in their freshman year of college. This is the story of three young women leaving home, and trying to find a new one. This is about the unavoidable and unexpected ways that religion affects our decision-making. This is about life. The play is an hour and a half. VENUE: The SoHo Playhouse, 15 Vandam Street (6th Avenue & Varick / 7th Avenue). Performances: Sunday 8.15 @ 7:15 pm, Tuesday 8.17 @ 5:45 pm, Saturday 8.21 @ 4:45 pm, Wednesday 8.25 @ 9:45 pm, Saturday 8.28 @ 6:00 pm, Advance: $15, At the door: $18.

TWO GIRLS: A friendship blossoms and struggles in the “new” South Africa. Two girls, one black, one Jewish, take on the trauma that apartheid left behind. From the granddaughter of Advocate Isie Maisels, successful defender of Nelson Mandela in the “Treason Trial” of 1958. The stage comes alive with Gabrielle Maisels’ remarkable portrayal of two girls, Lindiwe, black,and Corinne, Jewish, struggling against injustice, determined to see change, not just forthemselves, but for their country. As with the stories of Anne Frank, and child soldier IshmaelBeah, we see both trauma and fierce hope through the eyes of children. As the miracle of the first democratic election in 1994 gives way to political reality, the New South Africa dawns…and each girl must renew her fight for the dream that she envisioned. Venue: Connelly Theatre, 220 East 4th Street (between Avenues A & B). Performances: Thu August 19 7:00 pm, Sat August 21 3:15 pm, Sun August 22 2:00 pm,Tue August 24 10:15 pm, Wed August 25 4:00 pm. Advance: $15, At the door: $18.

 

This article first appeared in the late examiner.com

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