Season 2, Episode 8
The Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian is the earliest documented Jewish play, thought to have been written in Alexandria, Egypt in the second century BCE. From the fragments that remain, we know that it tells the biblical Exodus narrative in the style of a Greek tragedy. In 2016, theatre dybbuk combined the extant 269 lines with modern-day stories of refugees, immigrants, and other voices from the American experience to form a new adaptation, titled exagoge, that relates the ancient story to contemporary issues.
This episode, presented in collaboration with the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis University, features performances from exagoge intercut with a conversation recorded at the annual convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis in March 2022 between theatre dybbuk's artistic director, Aaron Henne, and Dr. Miriam Heller Stern. Dr. Stern, the Vice Provost for Educational Strategy at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and founder of Beit HaYozter/the Creativity Braintrust, studied theatre dybbuk’s process alongside Dr. Tobin Belzer during the creation of the adaptation.
This episode is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
Read the transcription for "Adapting Exagoge."
Hosted by Aaron Henne
Scholarship provided by Miriam Heller Stern, PhD and Aaron Henne
Edited by Gregory Scharpen
Story editing by Julie A. Lockhart with Aaron Henne
Featuring the voices of Rob Adler, Jenny Gillett, Nick Greene, Julie A. Lockhart, Rebecca Rasmussen, Diana Tanaka, and Jonathan C.K. Williams
Music from exagoge composed by Michael Skloff and performed the young artists of the Harmony Project Leimert Park Choir
Original Sound Design from exagoge by Martín Carrillo
Theme music composed by Michael Skloff and produced by Sam K.S.
Transcription by Dylan Southard
"Adapting Exagoge" Learning Resources
Learn more about:
theatre dybbuk’s exagoge
The Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian as translated by Will Dilbeck
The Exagoge of Ezekiel by Howard Jacobson
In the Mirror of the Divine Face: The Enochic Features of the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian
The book featuring Dr. Stern and Dr. Belzer's research, Portraits of Adult Jewish Learning: Making Meaning at Many Tables and the project behind it
Referenced in the episode:
The Book of Enoch on The Dybbukast
Exercises For Educators:
"Adapting Exagoge" for Youth Learners (PDF)
"Adapting Exagoge" for Adult and Teen Learners (PDF)
Watch with captions on YouTube:
ABOUT OUR EPISODE PARTNER
The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis University is dedicated to advancing the field of Jewish educational scholarship through expansive research on teaching and learning and by convening and catalyzing other scholars and practitioners in the field through important programs, events and conferences.