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Through 2023 and 2024, we're taking our work across North America.

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Inspired by The Dybbukast and the ways in which it brings together scholarship and theatricality, our residencies bring arts and educational engagement to communities throughout North America. This program provides a unique opportunity to combine meaningful arts with Jewish community events and professional development training through week-long residencies that involve:

 

  • original live performances that are infused with scholarship illuminating the cultural contexts and implications for our world today

  • partnerships with local institutions to present training workshops for educators, artists, and community leaders in which they learn techniques to engage with their constituents, students, and audien around the topics brought up in the performances and beyond

Montreal, Quebec

November 2024

Programming in process – details to come!

Our partners include: the Museum of Jewish Montreal, with more partnerships under discussion. This residency is made possible in part by a grant from The Covenant Foundation.

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Montreal

learning materials

• Access learning materials related to breaking protocols including podcast episodes and articles.

• Access learning materials related to The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad including the show's dramaturgical packet and multiple podcast episodes.

Filling Your Toolbox: exercises for Jewish Youth educators (PDF)

learning materials

Previous Residencies

Atlanta, Georgia

January 31 - February 5, 2023

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our residency in Atlanta!

You can read about some of the work we did there in the Atlanta Jewish Times.

PUBLIC EVENTS

Tuesday, January 31, 7 pm at The Temple – selections from breaking protocols

Why do conspiracy theories arise and in what ways do they show up at times of great crisis and upheaval in society? And what are the motivations and forces underpinning their proliferation?

 

breaking protocols uses the sometimes comic and heightened approaches of vaudeville to examine the quintessential antisemitic text, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," while illuminating contemporary issues connected to antisemitism, propaganda, and false narratives.

 

This free event included a 60 minute performance of readings from sections of the play and a 30 minute Q and A with the creative team.

Friday, February 3 at The Temple

Shabbat service event with theatre dybbuk.

Saturday, February 4, 1-5 pm at Theatrical Outfit

"Heritage, History, and Humanity" Master Class with Working Title Playwrights

In this workshop, the artists of theatre dybbuk took participants through a process in which they gain tools to investigate their own personal and/or communal narratives, texts, and turning points as vessels to create new theatrical work that explores the complexities of our world. The session used a combination of writing, vocal work, and movement-based techniques. The workshop was open to theatrical artists of a variety of disciplines.

Sunday, February 5, 2 pm at The Breman Museum – a special preview of The Merchant Project

The team from theatre dybbuk read selections from the company's still-in-development The Merchant Project, a piece which explores Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. The new piece was later developed into The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad which had its world premiere in Los Angeles in May 2023. The Breman presentation offered an opportunity to get a glimpse into the work as it was being created and to learn about the process with the creative team behind it.

 

The free event included a 60 minute reading of selections from the play followed by a 30 minute Q & A.

In addition to these public events, theatre dybbuk partnered with the Alfred & Adele Davis Academy, The Weber School, and The Temple on a variety of learning opportunities for artists, educators, leaders, and students. 

 

Our partners included The Temple, The Breman Museum, Working Title Playwrights, Alfred & Adele Davis Academy, and The Weber School. This residency was made possible in part by a grant from The Covenant Foundation.

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San Diego
San Diego Area

June 2023, with a brief return on July 10, 2023

Thanks to all who joined us!

PUBLIC EVENTS

Thursday, June 15, 10 am - 11:30 am at Leichtag Commons in Encinitas –"Visioning and Time Management" workshop

In association with San Diego Gives University, The Hive offered a free professional development workshop facilitated by theatre dybbuk Artistic Director Aaron Henne designed to help participants identify personal and professional goals and the steps needed to reach them.​

Thursday, June 15, 6 pm - 8:30 pm at the Coronado Public Library – performance of The Villainy You Teach

The character of Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice has long been a source of debate. Some have argued that his is an antisemitic portrait with long-lasting effects on the perception of Jews in our world, while others have stated that the character is a nuanced portrayal that, especially given the time and place of his creation, is empathetic to his plight. Often, at the center of this debate is found a speech in which Shylock proclaims his humanity while defending his vengeful desires.

 

In The Villainy You Teach, theatre dybbuk explodes this famous speech and investigates the ways in which language can both take on a wide variety of meanings and lose all meaning through persistent examination and exposure. We invite audience members to witness an actor perform this brief speech repeatedly over the course of most of the length of the play, reciting it dozens, if not hundreds, of times alongside a performed reading of Merchant in its entirety.

Audience was welcome to come and go throughout this free, installation-style performance.

Friday, June 16, 6 pm - 8 pm at Leichtag Commons in Encinitas – "Shabbat by the Sea: One Community, Many Stories"

The Hive and Jeighborhood presented storytelling Shabbat experience led by theatre dybbuk Artistic Director Aaron Henne. Aaron led participants through a short workshop where they wrote quick, anonymous, first-person stories that, as we neared the summer solstice and think about the times we have shared during the season, speak to those moments in our lives where we felt connected, found ease, or experienced joy. The writing workshop was followed by dinner and a storytelling performance.

Saturday, June 17, 9 am - 12:30 pm in La Jolla – storytelling master class with theatre dybbuk for Veterans Playwriting Workshop presented by La Jolla Playhouse

Led by theatre dybbuk Artistic Director Aaron Henne, this workshop was designed for veterans and military servicemen and women who are interested in exploring the art of storytelling through writing, voice and movement.

In this free master class, the artists of theatre dybbuk took participants through a process in which they could gain additional tools to investigate their own personal narratives, texts, and turning points as vessels to create new theatrical work. The three-hour session used a combination of writing, vocal work, and movement-based techniques. The class was free and open to anyone in the veteran or military community.

Sunday, June 18, 2 pm at the Lawrence Family JCC in La Jolla – JFEST performance of The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad

What can a play from sixteenth century England tell us about how antisemitism and other prejudicial beliefs operate in our world today?

Our latest theatrical production brings together elements of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice with Elizabethan history and news from the 21st century to expose the underbelly of the classic play. The multidisciplinary work takes a kaleidoscopic view of the ways in which members of a society displace their fears on the "other" during times of upheaval.

The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad was presented as part of a rolling world premiere with the Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival (JFEST) at the Lawrence Family JCC in La Jolla.

Monday, July 10, 1 pm - 3 pm, in La Jolla – teen playwriting workshop

We returned to the area for a day in July for a playwriting workshop with La Jolla Playhouse's Summer Youth Programs.

Our partners included The Hive at Leichtag Commons, the Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, and Coronado Public Library. This residency was made possible in part by a grant from The Covenant Foundation.

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San Francisco Bay Area

September 2023

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our residency in the Bay Area!

PUBLIC EVENTS

Saturday, September 9, 6:30 pm at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto – performance of The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad

What can a play from sixteenth century England tell us about how antisemitism and other prejudicial beliefs operate in our world today?

Our latest theatrical production brings together elements of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice with Elizabethan history and news from the 21st century to expose the underbelly of the classic play. The multidisciplinary work takes a kaleidoscopic view of the ways in which members of a society displace their fears on the "other" during times of upheaval.

The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad is presented as part of a rolling world premiere.

The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad is presented in five acts and runs 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one 15 minute intermission.

Sunday, September 10, 2 pm at The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) in San Francisco – performance installation of The Villainy You Teach

The character of Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice has long been a source of debate. Some have argued that his is an antisemitic portrait with long-lasting effects on the perception of Jews in our world, while others have stated that the character is a nuanced portrayal that, especially given the time and place of his creation, is empathetic to his plight. Often, at the center of this debate is found a speech in which Shylock proclaims his humanity while defending his vengeful desires.

 

In The Villainy You Teach, theatre dybbuk explodes this famous speech and investigates the ways in which language can both take on a wide variety of meanings and lose all meaning through persistent examination and exposure. We invite audience members to witness an actor perform this brief speech repeatedly over the course of most of the length of the play, reciting it dozens, if not hundreds, of times alongside a performed reading of Merchant in its entirety.

Audience is welcome to come and go throughout this approximately 2 hour 30 minute installation-style performance.

Monday, September 11, 6 pm - 9 pm hosted by Cutting Ball Theater in San Francisco – "Heritage, History, and Humanity" master class with theatre dybbuk and Artistic Director Aaron Henne

theatre dybbuk specializes in using historical narratives that intersect with considerations of identity and heritage to illuminate the forces at play in our contemporary societies. In this free workshop, the artists of theatre dybbuk took participants through a process which offered them tools to investigate their own personal and/or communal narratives, texts, and turning points as vessels to create new theatrical work that explores the complexities of our world.


The workshop used a combination of writing, vocal work, and movement-based techniques and was open to theatrical artists of a variety of disciplines who are interested in the subject matter.

Wednesday, September 13, 7 pm at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at UC Berkeley in partnership with the JCC East Bay – performed reading of selections from The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad

The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad brings together elements of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice with Elizabethan history and news from the 21st century to expose the underbelly of the classic play. The multidisciplinary work takes a kaleidoscopic view of the ways in which members of a society displace their fears on the "other" during times of upheaval.

This free event included approximately 75 minutes of performed readings from the work and was followed by a discussion with the audience.

In addition to these events, we offered professional development trainings with a variety of JCCs in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Our partners include the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, JCC East Bay, and Magnes Museum. This residency is made possible in part by a grant from The Covenant Foundation.

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SF Bay Area

Portland, Oregon

October 2023
Thanks to everyone who joined us during our time in Portland!

PUBLIC EVENTS

Monday, October 23, 7:30 pm at Portland State University (PSU) Lincoln Recital Hall with Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education (OJMCHE) – performance of The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad

What can a play from sixteenth century England tell us about how antisemitism and other prejudicial beliefs operate in our world today?

Our latest theatrical production brings together elements of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice with Elizabethan history and news from the 21st century to expose the underbelly of the classic play. The multidisciplinary work takes a kaleidoscopic view of the ways in which members of a society displace their fears on the "other" during times of upheaval.

The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad is presented in five acts and runs 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one 15 minute intermission.

This performance was presented as part of Shakespeare’s First Folio: 1623–2023, a city-wide celebration of the 400th anniversary of publication of the first folio.

Tuesday, October 24, 11 am - 1 pm at Eastside Jewish Commons (EJC) – Writing Workshop with Artistic Director Aaron Henne

Our artistic director took participants on a journey through their own personal narratives, giving them the opportunity to develop their stories of visibility and invisibility in our world, exploring both challenging and joyful experiences in their past and present.

 

Participants received writing tips and techniques and had the opportunity to share their stories with fellow members of the community. This workshop was focused on senior members of the community.

Tuesday, October 24, 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm at Eastside Jewish Commons (EJC) – "One Community, Many Stories: Belonging"

Attendees crafted their own personal narratives within the structure of a workshop led by Artistic Director Aaron Henne. This program was designed to help participants think about the spectrum of belonging in their lives, the challenges they have faced, and the ways in which they have felt connected to or estranged from others. It was focused on LGBTQ+ members of the community.

Wednesday, October 25, 6 pm - 8:30 pm at the Mittleman JCC (MJCC) – "One Community, Many Stories: Looking Forward"

Following prompts from our facilitator, attendees crafted their own personal narratives, a selection of which were then performed by theatre dybbuk's team of professional actors. This program for ages 11+ was designed to help participants think about what they hope for in the coming year, while lighting up diverse voices within the community and bringing together all who attended.

Thursday, October 26, 12 pm - 2:30 pm at Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education (OJMCHE) – performance installation of The Villainy You Teach

The character of Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice has long been a source of debate. Some have argued that his is an antisemitic portrait with long-lasting effects on the perception of Jews in our world, while others have stated that the character is a nuanced portrayal that, especially given the time and place of his creation, is empathetic to his plight. Often, at the center of this debate is found a speech in which Shylock proclaims his humanity while defending his vengeful desires.

 

In The Villainy You Teach, theatre dybbuk explodes this famous speech and investigates the ways in which language can both take on a wide variety of meanings and lose all meaning through persistent examination and exposure. We invite audience members to witness an actor perform this brief speech repeatedly over the course of most of the length of the play, reciting it dozens, if not hundreds, of times alongside a performed reading of Merchant in its entirety.

Audience was welcome to come and go throughout this approximately 2 hour 30 minute installation-style performance.

This performance was presented as part of Shakespeare’s First Folio: 1623–2023, a city-wide celebration of the 400th anniversary of publication of the first folio, and tickets were free with Museum admission.

Thursday, October 26, 7:30 pm at Portland State University (PSU) Lincoln Studio Theater - "Shakespeare in Performance" illuminated lecture

In “Shakespeare in Performance,” Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner takes up the question: “Why perform The Merchant of Venice?” The fraught history of this troubling play has morphed from performing it as a comedy, championing young lovers who outwit the murderous plot of Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, to staging it as a tragedy of social prejudices and institutional injustices that spur inhumane actions. As the play has been cut, amended, restaged, and reimagined, its focus has shifted to encompass questions of gender and sexuality, race and economics, alongside the religious and ethnic dynamics that provide a shifting mirror for audiences’ fears and fantasies. This lecture interwove research in Shakespeare production history with performances by actors from theatre dybbuk.

 

Dr. Pollack-Pelzner is a consulting scholar on The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad. 

 

This free lecture was presented as part of Shakespeare’s First Folio: 1623–2023, a city-wide celebration of the 400th anniversary of publication of the first folio.

In addition to these events, we offered a variety of professional development workshops with the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland.

Our partners include Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education (OJMCHE), Mittleman Jewish Community Center (MJCC), Eastside Jewish Commons (EJC), Co/Lab's Art/Lab, and Portland State University (PSU), with the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland acting as our hub partner. This residency is made possible in part by a grant from The Covenant Foundation.

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Portland
Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland and region

January 25-28, 2024
Thanks to all who joined us in Baltimore!

PUBLIC EVENTS

Thursday, January 25, 7:00 pm at 2640 Space in Baltimore presented in partnership with the Jewish Museum of Maryland  and co-sponsored by Lillian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum – performance of The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad

What can a play from sixteenth century England tell us about how antisemitism and other prejudicial beliefs operate in our world today?

Our latest theatrical production brings together elements of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice with Elizabethan history and news from 2020 to the present to expose the underbelly of the classic play. The multidisciplinary work takes a kaleidoscopic view of the ways in which members of a society displace their fears on the "other" during times of upheaval.

The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad is presented in five acts and runs 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one 15 minute intermission.

Admission was free to this performance.

Friday, January 26, 2:30 - 5 pm in Washington, D.C. at the Lillian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum co-sponsored with the Jewish Museum of Maryland– performance installation of The Villainy You Teach

The character of Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice has long been a source of debate. Some have argued that his is an antisemitic portrait with long-lasting effects on the perception of Jews in our world, while others have stated that the character is a nuanced portrayal that, especially given the time and place of his creation, is empathetic to his plight. Often, at the center of this debate is found a speech in which Shylock proclaims his humanity while defending his vengeful desires.

 

In The Villainy You Teach, theatre dybbuk explodes this famous speech and investigates the ways in which language can both take on a wide variety of meanings and lose all meaning through persistent examination and exposure. We invite audience members to witness an actor perform this brief speech repeatedly over the course of most of the length of the play, reciting it dozens, if not hundreds, of times alongside a performed reading of Merchant in its entirety.

Audience is welcome to come and go throughout this approximately 2 hour 30 minute installation-style performance.

Admission was free to this performance.

Sunday, January 28, 1 - 3:30 pm at Creative Alliance’s Creativity Center Building in Baltimore with Jewish Museum of MarylandHeritage, History, and Humanity: Artist Workshop with theatre dybbuk

In this workshop, the artists of theatre dybbuk take participants through a process in which they gain tools to investigate their own personal and/or communal narratives, texts, and turning points as vessels to create new artistic work that explores the complexities of our world.

 

This free workshop used a combination of writing, vocal work, and movement-based techniques.

In addition to these events, we offered a variety of professional development workshop in the greater Baltimore area.

Our partners include: Na'aleh: The Hub for Leadership Learning, Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore, the Jewish Museum of Maryland, and Lillian and Albert Small Captial Jewish Museum. This residency is made possible in part by a grant from The Covenant Foundation.

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Seattle, Washington

February 2024
Thanks for joining us in Seattle!

PUBLIC EVENTS

Sunday, February 11, 2:00 pm at Stroum Jewish Community Center (the J) – performance of The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad

What can a play from sixteenth century England tell us about how antisemitism and other prejudicial beliefs operate in our world today?

Our latest theatrical production brings together elements of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice with Elizabethan history and news from 2020 to the present to expose the underbelly of the classic play. The multidisciplinary work takes a kaleidoscopic view of the ways in which members of a society displace their fears on the "other" during times of upheaval.

The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad is presented in five acts and runs 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one 15 minute intermission.

Tickets ranged $15-30.

Monday, February 12, 6:00 - 10:00 pm presented by Seattle Rep in collaboration with Seattle Shakespeare Company at the Rep's PONCHO Forum – "Heritage, History, and Humanity" master class with theatre dybbuk and Artistic Director Aaron Henne 

theatre dybbuk specializes in using historical narratives that intersect with considerations of identity and heritage to illuminate the forces at play in our contemporary societies. In this free workshop, the artists of theatre dybbuk took participants through a process which offered them tools to investigate their own personal and/or communal narratives, texts, and turning points as vessels to create new theatrical work that explores the complexities of our world.


The workshop used a combination of writing, vocal work, and movement-based techniques and was open to theatrical artists of a variety of disciplines who are interested in the subject matter.

In addition to these public events, we offered a variety of community and leadership training workshops.

Our partners include: Stroum Jewish Community Center, Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, JConnect at Hillel UW, Seattle Rep, and Seattle Shakespeare Company. This residency is made possible in part by a grant from The Covenant Foundation.

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Seattle

Orange County, California

November 30 - December 7, 2023, and February 17, 2024
Thank you to all who joined us throughout our time in Orange County!

PUBLIC EVENTS

Tuesday, December 5, 7 pm in Irvine, CA at the New Swan Shakespeare Center at UCI in partnership with UCI's Center for Jewish Studies – performed reading of selections from The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad

The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad brings together elements of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice with Elizabethan history and news from 2020 to the present to expose the underbelly of the classic play. The multidisciplinary work takes a kaleidoscopic view of the ways in which members of a society displace their fears on the "other" during times of upheaval.

This two-hour free event included performed readings from the work followed by a discussion with the audience.

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Saturday, February 17, 7:00 pm at the UCI Little Theatre with New Swan Shakespeare Center – performance of The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad

What can a play from sixteenth century England tell us about how antisemitism and other prejudicial beliefs operate in our world today?

Our latest theatrical production brings together elements of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice with Elizabethan history and news from 2020 to the present to expose the underbelly of the classic play. The multidisciplinary work takes a kaleidoscopic view of the ways in which members of a society displace their fears on the "other" during times of upheaval.

The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad is presented in five acts and runs 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one 15 minute intermission.

In addition to our public performances, we offered a number of private workshops and community events between November 30 and December 7 in various cities throughout the region.

Our partners include UCI New Swan Shakespeare Center. This residency is funded by a grant from the Jewish Community Foundation Orange County's Weissman Arts Fund.

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