Shelter - a new play

The October 7th attack altered the trajectory of millions of lives. Shelter is a play about twelve of them. The show follows a collage of characters as they experience that week’s events and try to make sense of them. The characters represent a mosaic of Israeli society — Jews and non-Jews, citizens and non-citizens, native-born Sabras and foreign-born Olim.Shelter is based on an anthology of short stories published by the Israeli Institute for Literature and includes texts by, among others, Joshua Cohen, Tzipi Shmilovich, Max Beller, Maayan Eitan, Odeh Bashaarat, Maya Arad Yasur, Oded Carmeli, and many others.Each text is personal. The authors and characters are not politicians or generals. No one among them presumes to know what needs to be done. As its name implies, the play is an attempt to provide a moment of Shelter—a place where one can take a moment to sit, breathe, think, and perhaps gradually return to oneself.

The DirectorShelter is adapted and directed by Yonatan Esterkin. Born in Tel Aviv, Esterkin has directed plays in Israel’s leading theatres, including the Habima National Theatre, the Cameri, and the Haifa Theatre. He has also adapted and directed plays for theatres in Europe, China, and the US.Yonatan holds an MFA in theatrical directing and an MA in theatre research, both from Tel Aviv University. He has taught numerous young actors and directors at Israel’s prestigious Beit Zvi School of Performing Arts. He plans to dedicate the next decade to creating a new Jewish theatre in New York.

The TheatreShelter will be the first play in what will hopefully become New York City’s New Jewish Theatre. The theatre will be a place for Jews and non-Jews, artists and audience, to discover and explore contemporary Jewish identity in Israel and beyond. It will feature fresh adaptations of classic Jewish and Israeli works alongside new material tackling contemporary topics—especially in light of the rise of antisemitism following October 7th.One hundred years ago, New York City had more than twenty Jewish theatres. Today, the NYC Metro's Jewish population is close to its all-time high, but the city has only one Jewish theatre—focused exclusively on Yiddish-language plays. The New Jewish Theatre will be a new focal point for Jewish culture in the city in English.

How can you help?1. Tell your friends about our project.2. Donate. We are raising funds for our first production (Shelter) and set a foundation for a new Jewish theatre in New York City. We have a 501(c)(3) non-profit set up and can accept large and small donations. Anything helps!3. Help in other ways. We're starting a new theatre. We're looking for a venue, promotional partners, and anything else you think would be of value.For all of the above, please leave your name and email below and we'll follow up with more details.

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