‘Exagoge’: A theatrical exegesis on the Exodus

At a playreading in a Tarzana temple midway through the Passover holiday, the star of the Exodus story encounters a conundrum.

Facing Jethro, his future father-in-law, Moses delivers a monologue that is shrouded in ambiguity. “Oh yes, I will speak,” concludes the man who will become one of Judaism’s most celebrated prophets, “but say nothing of substance, for if I proclaimed my heritage, I would remain a stranger, never finding a place to belong. And then, you will know me.”

Actually, the speaker of these lines in Aaron Henne’s adaptation of the ancient play “Exagoge” is Moses No. 2, and there will be at least five more Moseses in this creative riff on the story of Exodus produced by Theatre Dybbuk. Seven Moseses trying to carve out the identity of a single entity — how’s that for an unknowable character?

This monologue, spoken at a late-April script development meeting of a Theatre Dybbuk production, may change by the time the world premiere of “Exagoge” takes place at Temple Israel of Hollywood on June 18. According to Henne — the company’s artistic director and director of the play — a Theatre Dybbuk production is in a constant state of revision.

Read the full article at the Jewish Journal.

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