Full Cast and Creatives Set for New Play OCTOBER 7 at Actors Temple Theatre

The limited run begins Thursday May 2, and continues through Sunday, June 16, with opening night set for Monday May 13.

By: Apr. 23, 2024
Full Cast and Creatives Set for New Play OCTOBER 7 at Actors Temple Theatre
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OCTOBER 7, a verbatim play about the terrorist attacks on Israel as told by those who survived them, has revealed its full cast and a new director, as Geoffrey Cantor (Marvel's Daredevil & The Punisher on Netflix) steps in for Karen Carpenter as the production's director. Ms. Carpenter has stepped down due to a bout with pneumonia. The limited run begins Thursday May 2, and continues through Sunday, June 16, with opening night set for Monday May 13 at Actors Temple Theatre - a synagogue built in the 1920s that now also operates an Off-Broadway theatre.  

Best known as an actor (Daredevil, Hail, Ceasar!, all the Law and Orders) Geoffrey Cantor began directing at Amherst College. In London, he developed the play-reading series Readings at One at the Duke of York's Theater in the West End, where he directed the London premier reading of Allan Knee's The Man Who was Peter Pan, (upon which the film Finding Neverland was based). Other projects include New York. Circa. 1909. which he co-wrote and directed (Soho Playhouse),  Sweet Texas Reckoning (Hudson Guild), Stripped, James McLure's double-bill of Lone Star and Laundry & Bourbon (Jalopy Theater), Prey (NYfringe 2010), For Our Daughters (Staten Island), My Secret Public Seder (Original written for the Bergen County JCCY), Winterglass (Original), and Cowboys II. His narrative film directorial debut, the short film EnSuite won multiple awards on the festival circuit, and his documentatry Talking OutLOUD: Teens & Suicide Loss, A Conversation, created for the non-profit Rethink The Conversation, has started its festival journey. Geoffrey graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College with a degree in theater. During his junior year, he attended the National Theater Institute (Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Conn), and continued his training at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, in London, England.

The cast of OCTOBER 7 features Alyssa Simon, Jenny Anne Hochberg, Rebecca Lynn Goldfarb, Jonas Barranca, Lynne Taylor, Marissa O'Donnell, Leora Kalish, Nathan Vincenti, Randy Schein, Paul Louis, René Ifrah, Salma  Qaurnain, Yair Ben-Dor, and Jeff Gurner.

The official trailer for the production has been released, bringing the story of the new verbatim play about the terrorist attack on Israel to a wider audience. 

Written by Phelim McAleer, OCTOBER 7 tells the story of Israel’s darkest day by using the  compelling and dramatic accounts of those who lived through it. OCTOBER 7 is a 100 percent verbatim play consisting entirely of stories from those who were there. The interviews were conducted by veteran Irish journalists Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney who traveled to Israel in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.  

OCTOBER 7 brings together accounts from those who experienced Oct. 7. Their experiences may have been different, but all were changed by that day. In OCTOBER 7, the play, we meet young and old, secular and religious, people who were with family and those who were at a dance party when the unthinkable happened. 
We hear from the wounded and the bereaved, but we also meet the heroes who rescued dozens or fought back and saved multiple lives. We hear from mothers who hid for hours wondering if their family had survived, a policeman armed with a pistol and nine bullets who killed several Hamas and saved dozens of his neighbors. We meet the off-duty soldier who picked up his gun, protected his village, and was shot five times by three different terrorists. We hear how young people enjoying a dance party had to flee for their lives as they witnessed slaughter around them. OCTOBER 7 is a story of Israel’s darkest day, but it is also a story of survival, hope and resilience and fighting back against the forces of darkness. 
McElhinney was in Ireland when the Oct. 7 attack happened, “and we noticed that on October 8th conversations around the world were already shifting to Israel being the bad guys. They were being condemned for turning off the electricity supply in Gaza – after the single worst atrocity against Jews since the Holocaust. It was like an episode of the twilight-zone,” she says. 
McAleer said there was a possibility that the stories of Oct. 7 would be suppressed or forgotten by those outside Israel. “We saw what was happening in Ireland and the wider world. That's why we went directly to Israel and interviewed people from all over the country whose lives were forever changed by the Oct. 7 attacks. Everyone we spoke to witnessed death and destruction or lost a loved one, often right in front of them. Many of them fought back, often in heroic ways against overwhelming odds. OCTOBER 7 is a story of humanity, surviving, and fighting back against the forces of darkness. We felt these stories had to be told.” 
“The people we interviewed and whose compelling words you will hear in this play all suffered enormous losses, all witnessed the very worst and sometimes the best of humanity. We are so proud and privileged to have met them, and honored that they trusted us with their testimony. Audiences, and the world should never forget these stories.” says Phelim McAleer. 
“They are a cross section of Israelis. Young and old, secular and religious, from all sides of Israeli society - who now share this common bond of having lived through October 7. The day changed them, we think it also changed Israel and we think you can't talk about Gaza without first understanding what happened in Israel on October 7. That's why we wrote this play,” McAleer said.
McAleer said that after the New York run they want the play to be seen by a wider audience and intend to put it on at Ivy League colleges across the US. 
“There has been an explosion of anti-semitic behaviour recently - particularly in the universities. That’s why they need to know the truth about what happened that day. OCTOBER 7 the play - is the perfect way for college students to learn the truth. We want to bring it to multiple colleges including Harvard, Yale and MIT,” he added.


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