National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene to Kick Off First-Ever KulturfestNYC This June
The story of a poor orphan who believes everything he hears (Gimpel The Fool,) the tale of unlikely friendship between civil rights activist Paul Robeson and a Soviet Jewish writers (When Blood Ran Red); and a theatrical re-enactment of the Book of Esther (Haman's Downfall) are among the original and "revival" plays to be performed at KulturfestNYC, the first-ever international festival of Jewish performing arts in New York. With more than 15 fully staged productions, KulturfestNYC will showcase the very best of Yiddish theatre from around the world, moving audiences to both laughter and tears.
KulturfestNYC will bring together hundreds of global acts in Jewish and Yiddish theatre, music, dance, cabaret, and film, from more than two dozen countries, performing in multiple citywide locations from June 14-21, coinciding with the NYTF 100th Anniversary.
Plays will range from modern twists on classic Yiddish productions such as the "The Dybbuk," to the contemporary Israeli family drama "My First Sony," to "Wandering Stars," a story based on the novel by Sholem Aleichem, to "The King of Chelm," where the shtetl meets Alice and Wonderland. Performers from Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Israel, Poland, Romania and South Africa will present dramas, musicals and comedies from the greatest plays in the Yiddish theatre canon to contemporary explorations in the avant-garde.
"It's truly an honor to welcome these groundbreaking theatre companies from around the globe as they bring timeless tales and experimental new works to life," said Bryna Wasserman, Executive Director of the award-winning National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, the longest consecutively-producing Yiddish Theatre Company. "These plays show that Yiddish theater is not only alive, but continues to thrive and flourish as it is reinterpreted around the world."
The full lineup of productions to be performed at KulturfestNYC is:
Uncle Arthur (France) - June 15, Abrons Arts Center Experimental Theater
Monologues From the Kishkes (Israel)-June 15-16, Museum of Jewish Heritage
Wandering the Stars - June 15-16 (Romania), Abrons Arts Center Playhouse
When Blood Ran Red (Canada) - June 15, Abrons Arts Center Underground
The Good and the True (Czech Republic)-June 15-17, Bohemian National Hall
Ek Velt (Australia)-June 16-17, Abrons Arts Center Experimental Theater
Modicut Project: World Premiere (USA)-June 16, 2015, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
My First Sony (Israel)- June 16, Abrons Arts Center Underground
Dear Mendl, Dear Reyzl (USA)- June 17, The Tenement Museum
Santa's Story (South Africa)- June 17-18, Museum of Jewish Heritage
Halfway to Longing (France)-June 17, Abrons Arts Center Underground
Bonjour Monsieur Chagall (Poland)-June 17-18, Abrons Arts Center Playhouse
Haman's Downfall (France)-June 18-19, Abrons Arts Center
Gimpel The Fool (Israel)-June 19, Abrons Arts Center Underground
The Dybbuk (Canada)-June 20-21, Abrons Arts Center Playhouse
Tonight: Lola Blou (Vienna)- June 18, Abrons Art Center
The King of Chelm (USA) - June 20-21, Abrons Art Center Experimental
KulturfestNYC kicks off at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place on June 14 with the Grammy Award-winning Klezmatics and special guests, including the iconic Neil Sedaka. For more information about tickets, KulturfestNYC or National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, visit www.kulturfestnyc.org or call (212) 213- 2120.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL YIDDISH THEATRE FOLKSBIENE - Since 1915, the award-winning National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene [NYTF] has presented a window into the world of Jewish culture by engaging, educating, and igniting the imaginations of generations of theatergoers. It is the longest consecutively-producing Yiddish theatre company in the world, NYC's longest consecutively-producing performing arts company, and America's sole-surviving professional Yiddish theatre. NYTF presents plays, musicals, concerts, literary events and workshops in English, Yiddish, Ladino, Hebrew and Russian, with English and Russian supertitles accompanying most performances. Its mission is to celebrate the Jewish experience through the performing arts and to transmit a rich cultural legacy in exciting new ways that bridge social and cultural divides. To learn more visit www.nytf.org or call (212) 213-2120.