theatrical presentations

The Merchant of Venice, Annotated

in development:

The Merchant of Venice, Annotated

What can a play from sixteenth century England tell us about how antisemitism and other prejudicial beliefs operate in our world today? What perceived truths does a play reveal about the society in which it was created, and what ideas within that society does it reinforce?


In our next project, we take a new look at William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, weaving in our unique blend of deep historical investigation and heightened theatricality to create a new work from the core of the classic play. We’ll investigate questions related to the nature of "truth" as it exists both in the world and on the stage – as well as issues of identity, marginalization, assimilation, and power throughout history and in our modern world.

hell prepared production still (2019) photo by Taso Papadakis

hell prepared: a ritual exorcism inspired by kabbalistic principles, performed within a dominant cultural context

premiered July 26, 2019

Enter the gates of the Venice Ghetto of the 17th century and go on a journey of dominance, separation, and survival that spirals down through the pits of Gehenna. In a landscape of choreographed movement, poetic text, shadow puppetry, and choral scoring, hell prepared follows a spiritual leader as he endeavors to exorcise the dominant culture and its influence on his world.
lost tribes production still (2018) photo by Mae Koo

lost tribes

premiered February 24, 2018

Inspired by the stories of the lost tribes of Israel, theatre dybbuk presents a full-length theatrical work, rich in movement, original music, and lyrical language that relates ancient mythological and tribal narratives to contemporary questions of integration, appropriation, and belonging.
exagoge production still (2016) photo by Taso Papadakis

exagoge

premiered June 18, 2016

exagoge, by Ezekiel the Poet, is the first recorded Jewish play, written during the 2nd Century B.C.E. It serves as a jumping off point for a piece that is both a play and a theatrical ritual.

assemble production still (2015) photo by 8Twenty8 Studios

assemble: modern spin | ancient celebration

premiered October 4, 2015

Conceived by the Center for Jewish Culture and Leichtag Foundation, and created by theatre dybbuk, this exciting original work features ritualized movement and physical theatre, as well as dance, music and more.
cave...a dance for lilith production still (2012) photo by Taso Papadakis

cave... a dance for lilith

premiered November 9, 2012

Lilith, the primary demon figure in Jewish folklore, inspired this multidisciplinary dance/theatre piece, co-produced with Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company.

collaborations with sacred spaces

tefillah or prayer: a translation

premiered June 22, 2014
tefillah unpacks the vivid drama and moving humanity inherent in prayer services, by investigating their histories, legacies, and structures.

kippur

premiered August 31, 2013
Originally performed as a play that also served as a Selichot service, the seven days of sitting Shiva serve as a framework for this exploration of atonement and loss.

vessels

premiered April 19, 2013

A short work designed to illuminate the Passover holiday, vessels creates a ritualistic performance experience that focuses on events surrounding the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

readings and events

Rise and Fall

Spring and Summer, 2022

A concert collaboration with the HEX vocal ensemble.

We selected monologues and scenes from the last 10 years of our theatrical works and invited artists from HEX to use them as inspiration for vocal and electronic musical compositions. In the resulting performance, readings of these selections by theatre dybbuk actors are entwined with music sung and manipulated by the musicians of HEX.

Rise and Fall was presented by East Side Jews at SIJCC on April 23 and 24, 2022 and at the N.E.O. Voice Festival on June 29, 2022.

Watch the Rise and Fall trailer here!

theatre dybbuk + HEX: Rise and Fall
theatre dybbuk + HEX: Rise and Fall

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theatre dybbuk + HEX: Rise and Fall
theatre dybbuk + HEX: Rise and Fall

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theatre dybbuk + HEX: Rise and Fall
theatre dybbuk + HEX: Rise and Fall

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theatre dybbuk + HEX: Rise and Fall
theatre dybbuk + HEX: Rise and Fall

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rise and fall program 1200x1200.png

photos by Taso Papadakis from Rise and Fall 

In Defense of Women

May 20, 2021
Presented by San Diego Repertory Theatre as part of JFEST and formatted as a live version of our podcast, The Dybbukast, this original work combined scholarship and performed readings surrounding the 16th century Italian poem "In Defense of Women" by Jewish dramatist Leone De' Sommi Portaleone. The event (and festival) was presented online due to the ongoing pandemic.

Remembering for the Future: A Community-wide Yom HaShoah Commemoration

April 28, 2019
We're proud to have served as the event designer for Remembering for the Future: A Community-wide Yom HaShoah Commemoration – organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles with a wide variety of partners from throughout the city.

God of Vengeance by Sholem Asch

April 7, 2019
California Institute for Yiddish Culture and Language and Wilshire Boulevard Temple presented theatre dybbuk's staged reading of God of Vengeance.

Bronx Express by Osip Dymov translated by Nahma Sandrow

February 26, 2017

Presented at UCLA by the California Institute for Yiddish Culture and Language

A Dybbuk by Tony Kushner

February 8, 2015

Presented at UCLA by the California Institute for Yiddish Culture and Language

A Dybbuk by Tony Kushner

December 15, 2013
Presented by the Santa Monica Public Library
Remembering for the Future: A Community-wide Yom HaShoah Commemoration
Remembering for the Future: A Community-wide Yom HaShoah Commemoration

Performers Rachel Leah Cohen, Julie A. Lockhart, Rebecca Rasmussen, Jonathan C.K. Williams, and Jon Weinberg

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Remembering for the Future: A Community-wide Yom HaShoah Commemoration
Remembering for the Future: A Community-wide Yom HaShoah Commemoration

Performers Jon Weinberg, Julie A. Lockhart, Jonathan CK Williams, and Rebecca Rasmussen

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Remembering for the Future: A Community-wide Yom HaShoah Commemoration
Remembering for the Future: A Community-wide Yom HaShoah Commemoration

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti with performers Julie A. Lockhart and Adam Jacobsen

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Remembering for the Future: A Community-wide Yom HaShoah Commemoration
Remembering for the Future: A Community-wide Yom HaShoah Commemoration

Performers Rachel Leah Cohen, Julie A. Lockhart, Rebecca Rasmussen, Jonathan C.K. Williams, and Jon Weinberg

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photos from Remembering for the Future: A Community-wide Yom HaShoah Commemoration

A Man's Home by Aaron Henne

May 20, 2012
Presented by the Santa Monica Public Library