NOTE: The #MakeItHappen projects shown below were selected before February 2014.

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Tu Bishvat Seder+Chekhov

by Yoni

My Idea Is:

TuBishVanya will stimulates our audience's intellect, emotions, taste buds, and soul. A Tu Bishvat Seder blended into a performance of Chekhov's environmentally-themed classic play, Uncle Vanya, will feature traditional liturgy, discussion, food and a riveting performance by actors of 24/6: A Jewish Theater Company. TuBishVanya will be based on an original translation of the classic Russian drama by Avi Soroka, our Russian-speaking co-Artistic Director of 24/6. Yoni Oppenheim, the other 24/6 lead, will direct the show, with rehearsals starting in December and the performances taking place the week of Tu Bishvat in New York City.

I'll Use My Grant To:

Secure rehearsal and performance space, and buy costumes, props and items for the set. We plan to serve traditional Tu Bishvat fruits and drinks to the entire audience at each performance of TuBishVanya. Actors need to eat too, and so we'll be paying the talent. We'll also spend a few dollars on things like copying scripts, printing up our pretty graphic to advertise the event, and compiling a performance script of our adaptation of the Tu Bishvat Haggadah for anyone interested in creating their own performance in other communities.

My Intended Audience:

We will perform the TuBishVanya four times: the Sundays before and after Tu Bishvat, and on Tu Bishvat eve and day of Tu Bishvat. Each Seder will be an intimate affair, with audience members sharing food and thoughts with one another. We can accommodate about 40 participants at each performance of TuBishVanya. Our target audience is a cross section of people our age (20s-30s), along with lovers of Chekhov's works, people who care about the environment, and Russian-speaking Jewish people who love Chekhov, but are not as familiar with Jewish holidays and rituals. 24/6: A Jewish Theater has a wide and diverse network of actors, partners, and audience members in the theater and Jewish communities to whom we'll reach out and ask them to spread the word among their friends and colleagues. We also plan to approach Jewish organizations that work on green issues and with Russian-speaking Jews who might be attracted to our work. Our Purim-themed adaptation of an Ibsen play was featured in the NYC press, and we plan to attempt to repeat that feat with this play.

I'll Share The Experience With Others By:

We will post rehearsal photos and perhaps a video short on our website ( to share the process with our audience, and to build excitement around the show. Clips and photos will be posted after the show as well for those who couldn't make it, but are interested what emerged from the production process. We plan to compile a performance script of our adaptation of the Tu Bishvat Haggadah for anyone interested in creating their own performance in other communities.

About Me:

Yoni Oppenheim is the co-Founding Artistic Director of 24/6: A Jewish Theater Company and graduated from NYU-Tisch. 24/6 cultivates innovative and professional theater grounded in a rigorous engagement with Jewish tradition, believing that the performing arts play a critical role in the vitality of American Jewish life. 24/6, founded in 2010, is a home for Sabbath-observant and professional theater artists in New York City. Past shows include the Heschel inspired Sabbath Variations, which has toured internationally to Jerusalem and regionally to Philadelphia, and an acclaimed modern day Purim-time adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic A Doll House. We regularly host readings of contemporary and original plays. In March, 2012 we launched an improvisational comedy wing, IMPROVODOX, which has been enthusiastically received by audiences around the New York-area. 24/6 is in the process of developing a children’s theater program. We have received seed funding from the Dorot Foundation to create a show for Jewish middle school students addressing bullying and peer harassment.

Tu Bishvat Seder+Chekhov
#Culture, #Art, #Environment, #Holidays
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