LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture At the 14th Street Y Presents Two Weeks of Theater About Israel, Past & Present

LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture At the 14th Street Y Presents Two Weeks of Theater About Israel, Past & Present

At a moment when American and Israeli Jews are increasingly challenged to have meaningful and productive conversations about Israel and Zionism, LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture will present three Israeli-themed productions that address hot-button issues from the past and present. These provocative productions will feature works by Israeli and Israeli-American artists wrestling with Israeli and Jewish narratives, history, memory, and experience. This October, each production will be followed by facilitated conversations that allow for audience engagement. Tickets are available at

Ronit Muszkatblit, Director of Arts + Culture + LABA, says that, "through theater, art and storytelling, these shows will create a much-needed safe space for civil discourse that is increasingly difficult to cultivate." Muszkatblit further states, "I hope that these productions will encourage continued conversation about the state/State of Israel, both internally and in the larger Jewish community."

The three productions include:


Monday, October 15th @ 7:30 pm, $12

Gili Getz--LABA-incubated project

Getz reprises his solo autobiographical performance exploring the difficulty of having a conversation about Israel in the American-Jewish community.

First performed at the Center for Jewish History in the spring 2016, The Daily Campus called "The Forbidden Conversation" "artful and moving," and theJewish Journal commented that it "had people talking." (Exactly what we'd like our audience to do.)

THE HEARING - A real transcript, directed by Ronit Muszkatblit

Staged Reading + Talk Back. FREE, RSVP Required

English: Thursday, October 18th @ 7:30 pm

Hebrew: Friday, October 19th @ 7:30 pm

Taken from actual transcripts, this true story follows Adam Verete, a public high school teacher in Israel whose classroom discussion about ethics and the morality of the army inflamed a student with opposing views.

The play presents competing narratives that bring to light allegations, threats and issues of responsibility and asks the vital question: Whose freedom of speech do we protect?

First conceived and performed by Renana Raz in Israel, this play was a commission by the Israeli Stage in Boston, translated by Natalie Fainstein & Guy Ben-Aharon.

The play will be performed and discussed one night in English and one night in Hebrew.

THEO'S DREAM, by Zohar Tirosh-Polk, directed by Ronit Muszatblit, in collaboration with the Jewish Plays Project, LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture, and Highbrow Productions

Staged Reading + Talk Back. FREE, RSVP Required

Thursday, October 25th, Friday, October 26th and Saturday, October 27th@ 7:30 pm

A radical, hallucinogenic trip through the fever dream of Theodore Herzl, the brilliant prophet and founder of the State of Israel.

About The Theater at the 14th Street Y

The Theater at the 14th Street Y focuses on social awareness and change through big picture narrative. Inspired by works that welcome artists of all backgrounds, we place artists at the heart of our community and seek to create an inclusive and open cultural experience for all. Art is incubated here.

About LABA: Laboratory for Jewish Culture

At the core of LABA's mission is the belief that classical Jewish text study can and should be a source of inspiration and creativity for contemporary culture-makers and thinkers. All of the public art created through LABA aims to transcend cultural and social borders by bringing to light the universal themes and questions our artists encounter through their engagement with Jewish thought.

About the 14th Street Y

The 14th Street Y's philosophy is grounded in the belief that contemporary Jewish sensibilities can be a source of inspiration, connection and learning. No matter what your background, we aim to inspire you to live your best life. We're committed to the development of the whole person, to strengthening family connections and to building inclusive and sustainable communities. The 14th Street Y serves more than 26,000 people annually with a variety of community programs and is proud to be a part of Educational Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a 128-year history of serving New Yorkers downtown.

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