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.

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.”

As quoted by former LABA Fellow Hadar Ahuvia in The New York Timesreview of her dance piece, “Everything You Have is Yours,” the 14th Street Y “[prides itself] on being a place that’s politically open, where artists can say what they want to say.”

The three productions include:

THE FORBIDDEN CONVERSATION + Talk Back

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 Campuscalled “The Forbidden Conversation” “artful and moving,” and theJewish Journalcommented 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 [email protected] 7:30 pm

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