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Adapting Exagoge

The Dybbukast, Season 2, Episode 8: Adapting Exagoge

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 transcript 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

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Referenced in the episode:

Exercises For Educators:

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Brandeis Mandel Center logo

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.


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