Target Margin Theater's URIEL ACOSTA: I WANT THAT MAN! Begins Performances Tonight
Target Margin Theater, presented by The Chocolate Factory Theater, continues its exploration of Yiddish Theater with a new adaptation of one of the central plays of Yiddish history, Uriel Acosta: I Want That Man!, taken from myriad literary and historical sources. Created and directed by TMT's Artistic Director, David Herskovits, with original songs by Rebecca Hart, and toy theater created by Kathleen Kennedy Tobin, the four-member cast features Don Castro, James Tigger! Ferguson, Mary Rasmussen and J.H. Smith III.
Performances begin tonight, March 14, 2014 for a limited engagement through Saturday, April 5, 2014 at The Chocolate Factory (5-49 49th Avenue, Long Island City, Queens). Opening night is Monday, March 24, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.
The centerpiece of the 2013-2014 season is a new version of the life of 17th Century Jewish philosopher and skeptic, Uriel Acosta. Apostate, believer, lover, teacher-Uriel Acosta is all of them. And he is too much for the Jews of Amsterdam in the 17th century. When they excommunicate him a struggle ensues in the soul of every thinking, feeling being. Uriel challenges us all. Uriel Acosta's story was adapted in different versions by dozens of Yiddish theater troupes all over the world, in the 19th and 20th centuries. The role became a star vehicle for the greatest performers on the Yiddish stage: Goldfadn, Adler, Tomashevsky, they all had 'their' Uriel. Target Margin's production is a collage of many of these different versions, as well historic documents about his life, Yiddish-theater histories and memoirs, and contemporary reflections on apostasy and otherness.
The creative team includes Kaye Voyce (Set/Costumes), Lenore Doxsee (Lights), David Herskovits /Jesse Freedman (Sound), Gil Sperling (Video), Aaron Ethan Green (Props), Debra Caplan (Dramaturg), Nick Trotta (Assistant Director/Associate Dramaturg), and Ann Marie Dorr (Production Manager). The Production Stage Manager is Olivia O'Brien, with Assistant Stage Manger Nic Adams.
In sharing his thoughts, David Herskovits, TMT Artistic Director, had this to say, "There is no original version of this story or character. We are taking from all the different sources we can find to create the most vivid story we can. We aim to honor the enormous Yiddish theater tradition surrounding this figure, and at the same time make something utterly new."
Uriel Acosta: I Want That Man! will play the following performance schedule: Monday at 8:00p.m., and Wednesday - Saturday at 8:00 p.m. There is a special added performance on Sunday, March 23 at 5:00 p.m. with a benefit performance scheduled on Wednesday, March 19 at 7:00 p.m. All performances will be in English.
TMT launched a two-year exploration of Yiddish Theater, Beyond the Pale, in 2012, to take a look at domestic drama, philosophical drama, verse drama, avant-garde experimentation, political statement plays, and the good old nostalgic drama of the shtetl. Like a comet across the sky, Yiddish culture exploded in creativity in the 19th and 20th centuries, and then went tragically dark. But the literature lives on. When this season concludes, TMT will have presented 23 productions inspired by Yiddish literature along with numerous readings, lectures, panel discussions, and workshops in the series over the past two seasons. TMT has partnered with The New York Public Library, The Yiddish Book Center, The JCC of Manhattan, Columbia University and Baruch College, to create the various elements of Beyond the Pale.
TMT programming is made possible through major support from The Andrew W. Mellon New York Theater Program, Axe-Houghton Foundation, The Barbara Bell Cumming Foundation, The Clinton Walker Family Foundation, The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Fred Alger Management, Inc., The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Iger Bay Foundation, Jerome Robbins Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts and The Shubert Foundation.
Production design support provided by The Edith Lutyens & Normal Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York).