By MAYA ARAD YASUR
Translated from the Hebrew by Erin Edry, performed in staged reading
Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at 7 p.m.
Hosted by the Mandel JCC, 26001 S. Woodland Rd., Beachwood, OH, Stonehill Auditorium
Co-produced with Mandel JCC and the Maltz Museum, with support from the Jewish Federation’s Cleveland Israel Arts Connection, celebrating Israel@75.
Directed by Craig Joseph and featuring Shani Ferry, Fabio Polanco*, Chuck Richie* and Kadijah Wingo.
*appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association
SYNOPSIS: Four unnamed storytellers recount events from a day in the life of a young Israeli violinist living and working in Amsterdam. The morning mail has brought an overdue gas bill for her flat – with charges and penalties dating back to 1944. The actors speculate what might have transpired, decades earlier, in this place, setting up a mystery and wild speculation. Who lived there? Why does the flat have secret compartments? And, what’s with the recluse upstairs?
AMSTERDAM is a study in unpleasant, but familiar attitudes of antisemitism, racism and xenophobia that lead to cruelty and alienation. Four storytellers tap into what it means to be the outsider in these circumstances – and what it will ultimately take to feel safe in a hostile world.
MAYA ARAD YASUR’s plays deal mostly with questions of identity, exile and war, through a dissection of narrative mechanisms. They have been produced and published worldwide and translated into English, German, French, Chinese, Finnish, Greek, Serbo-Croatian, Italian, Polish, Russian and Norwegian. She lived and worked in the Netherlands from 2007-2013. For her play AMSTERDAM, she received the Berliner Theatertreffen’s Stuckemarkt Prize.