"Diaspora"

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In Nathaniel Sam Shapiro's "Diaspora," 73 A.D. meets 2017 as young Jewish tourists on a Birthright trip in Israel come face-to-face with their heritage.

Directed by Saheem Ali, the production heads into previews at the Gym at Judson theater on November 10, opens on November 17 and runs through December 23.

What is a Jew? And what is the true meaning of Israel and the Diaspora? A new Off-Broadway production tackles these enduring issues of Judaism. Written by critically acclaimed playwright Nathaniel Sam Shapiro, the hilarious play "Diaspora" places young, Jewish tourists from around the world up close with their historical ancestors, forcing an intimate confrontation with the meaning of Jewishness and the nature of Israel today. Known for his thought- and emotion-provoking dramas, Shapiro this time turns to comedy to launch a conversation about Jewish heritage, its relevance in our world and its relevance to Jews everywhere. Directed by Saheem Ali and produced by Red Moon Theater Company, "Diaspora" heads into previews on Friday, November 10, opens on Friday, November 17, and runs through Saturday, December 23, at the Gym at Judson Theater.

Using dramatic interplay between characters usually separated in time, the production explores the ancient story of the Siege at Masada and the beleaguered Jews who made a desperate choice in 73 A.D., and a group of contemporary American Jewish youth on a Birthright cultural legacy trip to Israel. As the young people are connected with their history, the discussion takes several profound and uncomfortable turns.

The play grows out of deeply personal experiences of the author, and issues that he — and indeed many Jews — have been grappling with over time. Shapiro explains: “What is the essence of the Jewish spirit? Who are our heroes? And how do we of the Diaspora connect with Israel and our past? I felt that Masada, with its link through the heritage trips of today, was the perfect place to examine these issues and advance the discussion.”

"Diaspora" stars Serena Berman, Maggie Metnick, Tom McVey, Ava Eisenson, RJ Vaillancourt, Quinn Franzen, Joe Tapper and Connie Castanzo.

Scenic design is by Maruti Evans, lighting design by Eric Southern, sound design by Miles Polaski, projection design by Caite Hevner and costume design by Oana Botez. Casting is by Kate Lumpkin Casting. The production stage manager is Angela Perez.

"Diaspora" is not associated with or endorsed by Birthright Israel.

The Gym at Judson is located at 243 Thompson Street, New York, New York 10012. For show dates and times as well as to purchase tickets, visit www.diasporatheplay.com or call (866) 811-4111. Tickets are also available at the box office two hours before performances. Follow "Diaspora" on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @diasporatheplay.

Follow Diaspora on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @diasporatheplay.

About Red Moon Theater Company:

Founded by Nathaniel Sam Shapiro, Red Moon Theater Company presents artistic works that challenge and provoke through mode, content and delivery: theater that introduces new worlds, new ideas and new forms. Through engagement with issues of our time, the company hopes to expose audiences to deep-seated truths. It is dedicated to the production of new plays and musicals of expansive constitution, standing on the shoulders of tradition and taking audiences into new territory. In a world where technology provides spectacle from around the globe in an instant, theater must rise to the competition and project its own distinct performative power. Diaspora is its first New York production.

WHEN AND HOW OFTEN

Friday, November 17, 2017 - 8:00pm

EVENT LOCATION

Gym at Judson
243 Thompson St.
New York, NY 10012

LOCATION PHONE

(866) 811-4111

PRICING INFORMATION

From $55