Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dybbuk

I have tickets to see a play this week! A friend of mine is acting in it, so I thought I'd find out a little bit more about it, and it turns out to be a very compelling story.

The Dybbuk was written by S. Ansky in 1914, in Yiddish. And the story's a bit creepy.

It's about a pair of lovers, Leah and Hannan. Leah's father opposes their marriage and when he calls it off, Hannan drops dead. Leah is resigned to marrying a man of her father's choosing, but on the way to the wedding, she is possessed by Hannan's spirit. The rest of the story deals with the challenge of exorcising the spirit, which can only be achieved finally through the trial and judgment of Leah's father.

In an interesting twist, the production I'm to see is performed by a small, all-women cast. I'm told the roles were cast without regard for gender, on the basis of talent alone, but I suspect it'll be difficult to view this show without a feminist lens.

(I would be remiss not to mention that The Dybbuk was famously brought to the screen in 1937 by Michał Waszyński.)

The Dybbuk plays at La Salla Rossa (Montreal), May 22 – 25.
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