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April 11, 2003 - Image 102

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-04-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Israeli actress brings one-woman theatrical show
to new Federation "Threads" program.

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A Feminist Approach

include Makseh Bruria, which probes
the mystery surrounding the death of
the only woman whose opinion on
Jewish law was sought and quoted by
the rabbis; Sara — Take 2, which tells
the biblical story and then divides the
audience into discussion groups; and
Songs Inner and Revealed, which presents
ancient prayers and folk tunes along
with new and original compositions.
"Threads" replaces "Choices," which
introduced timely speakers during an
annual spring luncheon program. Lev
relates the title to the idea of women
reweaving their lives.
"This year's breakfast and theater
format lends itself to a wonderful

SUZANNE CHESSLER
Special to the Jewish News

A

theater innovator from
Israel will headline a new
fundraising program estab-
lished by the Women's
Campaign and Education Department
of the Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit.
Gabriella Lev, artistic director and a
founder of Theatre Company
Jerusalem, has been invited to stage
Esther, a one-woman presentation of
the Purim story extended into a con- -
temporary exploration of survival.
The production will launch
"Threads," a new breakfast pro-
gram and minimum-pledge event
running 9:15 a.m.-noon
Wednesday, April 30, at Adat
Shalom Synagogue in Farmington
Hills.
"The story of Esther is the
matrix of all the fundamental
themes in life," says Lev, who
brought an earlier version, Write
Me Down, to Ann Arbor seven
years ago.
"I've enlarged the historic narra-
tive into issues about the empow-
erment of women, and it's really
Esther through the ages."
As Lev moves through her per-
formance, she uses a trunk filled
with pieces of material that repre-
sent the characters she is portray-
ing. She hopes to relate their
motives and tendencies to issues
of good and evil questioned by
Gabriella Lev: Esther through the ages.
everyone with extended attention
given to the feelings associated
opportunity to draw a broader audi-
with the Holocaust.
ence," says Kathleen Wilson-Fink,
As the creator of Esther and the
chairperson of the event. "We antici-
child of Holocaust survivors, Lev adds
pate an exciting show."
her own family anecdotes.
"It has been our theater company's
great privilege to work with holy writ-
ings; which by their nature are capable Evolving Repertoire
Lev, who was born in France and
of becoming vessels for the most pow-
raised in Australia, worked as an actress
erful meanings without themselves
in
England before moving to Israel.
breaking," Lev explains.
She
helped found Theatre Company
"Our continual struggle with the
Jerusalem
in 1973, when she became
transformation of these enduring texts
intent on expressing a feminist approach
to the most evanescent of forms —
to Jewish traditions. The company bases
the theater — has strangely brought
its works on research that includes the
into being rich new meanings."
study of Talmud and Midrash.
Other performance pieces currently
Performing in both Hebrew and
offered by Theatre Company Jerusalem



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