In 2012-2013, I conducted hundreds of interviews in Israel/Palestine, capturing a staggering diversity of voices within the land between the river and the sea: Jewish-Israeli and Palestinian, secular and religious, immigrant and native-born, old and young - from a young soldier in Tel Aviv to a young mother from Gaza, from residents of a West Bank refugee camp to an American living in a West Bank settlement, to a Holocaust survivor, an Eritrean refugee, a Filipino migrant worker, a young Druze man refusing army service, a German convert to Judaism turned anti-occupation activist.
Using the real words of real people brought to life by an ensemble cast, The River and the Sea challenges our notions of birthright and belonging, history and nation, and the ways we define ourselves and each other.
When everyone tells a different story, how do we tell the truth?
Risks and challenges
"The River and the Sea" is my second full-length documentary play, after "No Room for Wishing," a one-man show based on interviews at Occupy Boston. "No Room for Wishing" received stellar reviews for its premiere with Company One, Central Square Theater and Boston Playwright's Theatre, and went on to great success on stages in New England and New York. (You can read praise from the Boston Globe and others at www.noroomforwishing.com.)
This is a much more ambitious project for a number of reasons, chief among them the incredible amount of material to be transcribed, and in many cases translated from Hebrew, Arabic, and even Chinese. The development of this play has involved the work of more than 30 transcriptionists and translators. The money from this kickstarter campaign will cover those costs of transcription and translation.
The play will have a professional staged reading at New Repertory Theatre on March 24, as part of their "Next Voices" Playwriting Fellowship. I am once again collaborating with Megan Sandberg-Zakian, who directed "No Room for Wishing." The next step is staging the world premiere. Ultimately the goal is to tour the piece around the U.S., and then bring it back to Israel / Palestine.
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