Thursday, August 18, 2016

Dress British, Think Yiddish (Theater)

Through the wonders of social media I recently made the acquaintance of playwright/journalist/historian/mid-western Jew of all trades, Max Sparber. Max has an extremely impressive list of produced plays and publications, so I was flattered when he asked if he could read my play, A Brokhe/A Blessing. We got to talking about the challenges of creating new works in Yiddish/English/Yinglish and one thing led to another and Max wrote a nice little piece about my play over at his blog Dress British Think Yiddish.

I particularly enjoyed this part, both as an artist, and as ME, an artist with a big, challenging play that I would REALLY like people to see one day before I'm too old to enjoy it:

I can already tell that there are some meddling dramaturgs out there who want to know 'why Yiddish?' And this is a play that offers a solid answer to the question: It is a play about a specific immigrant experience, and this was the language spoken by this group of immigrants, and they were in a neighborhood where the language still had everyday currency, where even American-born Jews could understand and respond, to some extent. It’s a play that Yiddish makes sense in, and wouldn’t make sense if absent.
But, as I said, I am not interested in why questions. You probably have noticed that I am interested in how questions. How do we make a play? How do we stage a scene? How do we communicate something unfamiliar to an audience? 
This play has a lot of fascinating hows in it. And the ones that interests me the most right now are the following: How is this play going to get a production? How is it going to have a life beyond that production, which is rare for new plays? And how am I going to get a chance to see it? [emphasis mine]

Anyway, go over to Dress British Think Yiddish and check it out, plus Max's adventures in learning Yiddish in Omaha (OMAHA!), some truly original cocktails and the odd ode to Cel-Rey.