October 24, 2012 | Queens College
— Haunting Drama Will be Mounted on Newly Renovated Stage of Goldstein Theatre —
FLUSHING, N.Y., OCTOBER 17, 2012 – A Dybbuk, or Between Two Worlds, a seminal work of classic Yiddish theater, has undergone many transformations since its 1915 authorship by S.Ansky. A tale of supernatural possession in a 19th century Polish village, A Dybbuk was translated into English by Joachim Neugroschel in 1993 at the invitation of celebrated American playwright Tony Kushner who adapted the play two years later. Beginning with an October 31 preview and into early November, the Queens College Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance, in a first-time collaboration with the Center for Jewish Studies, will offer audiences a new approach to this haunting drama of traditional Jewish mysticism. Not only will professional Equity actors share the spotlight with talented QC students and alumni, but Yale Strom and his band Hot Pstromi will perform an original Klezmer score.
According to QC drama professor Susan Einhorn, who is directing this production on the newly renovated main stage of Goldstein Theatre, A Dybbuk is a love story that attempts to answer the age-old question, Is there such a thing as a marriage made in heaven?
“In this play, worldly concerns collide with destiny, leading to an inevitable tragic ending after a deceased, spurned lover enters the body of his beloved as a spirit, and a rabbinical exorcism is attempted,” says Einhorn. “Our production gives 16 talented student performers a rare opportunity to act with professional artists who have extensive Broadway and Off-Broadway theatrical, TV and film experience.”
Equity actors David Little and Mark Zeisler will respectively play the key roles of the exorcist Rabbi Azriel and Sender, the bride’s father. Little’s Broadway credits include Six Degrees of Separation, Brooklyn Boy and Thieves. He was in the world premiere of A Dybbuk at Hartford Stage in 1995, playing a different role. Zeisler has appeared on Broadway in A View From the Bridge, and in such feature films as Torch Song Trilogy, The Thomas Crown Affair and Shaft. Jack Gianino, who has worked on Broadway for over 45 years, is the production’s stage manager.
Yale Strom is considered the world’s leading ethnographer-artist of klezmer and Roma gypsy music and history. Since organizing his band in 1982, he has composed original “new ” Jewish music that combines klezmer with Hasidic melodies for orchestras throughout the world, as well as original music for theatre, film and television. Joining the band will be guest artist Elizabeth Schwartz, who has been compared with Edith Piaf for her dusky timber and soulful, penetrating vocals. Schwartz regularly performs across North America and Europe in jazz clubs, concert halls and synagogues. Susan Einhorn has directed over 75 productions of dramas, comedies, musicals and operas, in genres ranging from contemporary to classical. She specializes in nurturing and developing new work, of which she has done over 40 premiere productions.
Performances of A Dybbuk will take place on October 31 (preview), November 1, November 8 and November 11 at 7 pm; November 3 and November 10 at 8 pm; and November 4 and November 11 at 2 pm. (Since seven members of the cast and creative team are observant Orthodox Jews, no performances will take place on Friday out of respect for their Sabbath observance.) The November 4 matinee performance will be followed by expert commentary and special guest appearances. Tickets are on sale through the Kupferberg Center Box Office at (718) 793-8080. Prices are $20 with a $2 discount for seniors and anyone with a QC ID. Tickets for the preview performance are $18, and the same $2 discount applies. Tickets will also be available at the door one hour prior to the performance.
Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY), founded in 1937, is dedicated to the idea that a first-rate education should be accessible to talented individuals of all backgrounds and financial means. Its more than 20,000 students come from over 170 nations and speak scores of languages, creating an extraordinarily diverse and welcoming environment. Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. Each year Queens College has been cited by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. This year Princeton Review’s The Best 377 Colleges ranked the college fourth in the nation for “Lots of Race/Class Interaction.” The college opened its first residence hall in August 2009. More info on Queens College at www.qc.cuny.edu.
Assistant Director of News Services