Simple as Life and Death
A new play by Meirav Kupperberg and Alexandra Zelman-Doring
Directed by Keren Tzur
Production assistant Alexandra Zajaczkowski
this August at Theater for the New City’s Dream Up Festival!
“A woman who looks like my mother sees a man who looks like me,/They pass each other without turning around./ Mistakes are marvelous and simple as life and death,/ as the arithmetic book of a small child. ” Y. Amichai
Efrat comes from Israel to visit Anne in New York— with an open ticket. She’s 36, running from pressures that have suddenly surrounded her at home. Anne, an ambitions artist at 27 who has just returned from spending a year with her love in Israel, finds herself racked with doubt about her relationship after a tragic accident occurred months before, only to discover that she is pregnant. Their encounter leads these two women through a journey of discovery and change, shaking their belief systems to their core. A deep portrait of the differences between American and Israeli cultures, “Simple as Life and Death” is a tragicomedy incorporating video art, music, and movement to tell it’s electric tale.
About the artists:
Keren Tzur (director) is a two time best actress academy award winner in Israel (for Madlen, in “The Clearing” by Helen Edmondson, and for Anda in “Anda” by award winner playwriter Hillel Mittelpunket). She is considered one of the leading actresses in the Israeli Theater, and was chosen in 2008 by the Israel Cultural Excellence Foundation. She won an award for directing the play “Missing Beat” by Liora Carmeli, in the “Open Stage” festival in Beit Lessin Theater of Tel aviv, Israel. This show was also chosen as the “audience favorite”. Keren has recently directed “Fen” by Caryl Churchil at the Haifa University acting school, where from she herself is a graduate. Keren is also a BA graduate from Haifa University, Israel, in Political Science and communications.
Meirav Kupperberg (writer/performer) is an actor and writer based in Tel Aviv. She has lead an international career, working and performing to critical acclaim in Europe and the US. Recent film credits include Hunting Elephants as Simona (2013) directed by Reshef Levi, staring Patrick Stewart and Moni Moshonov, Plain Clothes as Aia (2013) directed by Jessica Habie. Recent theater credits include: Peep, written by Meirav with Eran Shadar, directed by Eran Shadar, premiered at Stage Center’s One Man Show Festival in 2012, and is currently showing at Hasimta Theater, in Jaffa. Educated at Haifa University, where she graduated with honors, Meirav won scholarships from the Yehushua Rabinovich foundation to work on her show Peep, and American-Israeli cultural foundation award to study with Peter Brook.
Alexandra Zelman-Doring is a recent winner of the 2013 Financial Times/Bodley Head essay prize. The writer studied at Brown University, and holds an MFA from Columbia University. Her poems/texts have been set to music by composers such as Andile Khumalo and Jiří Kadeřábek; with David Adamcyk she created ‘Cheval mémoire,’ 2011, for solo piano, electronics, and sound installation. She is the author of numerous plays including “To Hold an Apple” (59E59th Street’s East to Edinburgh, 2011) and “Act Before You Speak,” (Flea Theater, 2012). As a performer, she trained at and Michael Howard studios with Polina Klimovitskaya. She is a co-founder of Throes Theater
WATCH A VIDEO
Halfway through the Story of Our Life
ACCESS THEATER (380 Broadway, 4th floor) - MAY 15 - JUNE 8
Also: DIXON PLACE - JUNE 12, 10PM
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Three actors, three musicians, three composers. A dark comedy inspired by Spalding Gray.
Three actors, three composers, and three musicians come together to wade through the inferno.“Halfway through the Story of Our Life” brings together an award-winning team of composers, actors and musicians to divulge a truthful, raw, explosive tale. Written by 2013 Financial Times/Bodley Head Prize Winner Alexandra Zelman-Doring with Benedita Pereira and Emma Meltzer, this comedy inspired by Spalding Gray brings together an international team from the US, Czech Republic, Portugal, Turkey, Serbia, Israel, and South Africa.
Featuring live performance of original music by renowned group of Drama Desk Awards-nominated composers Ana Milosavljevic (praised by The New York Times for her “inventive” and “graceful” works) Jiri Kaderabek (whose work the New York Times praised as “commenting acoustically on mass-media banality and whitewashed anguish”) and Mahir Cetiz (Cetiz’s works have been commissioned and played by orchestras such as BBC Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic), music and musician meet text and actor in this truly unique collaboration.
Musical director: Mahir Cetiz
Featuring Benedita Pereira, Emma Meltzer, Alexandra Zelman-Doring, Naum Goldenstein (Clarinet) Marc Uys (Violin) and Mahir Cetiz (Piano)
Set design by Dan Spielman with stool by Jeff Landman
Lighting design by Alejandro Fajardo
ACT BEFORE YOU SPEAK
“A lovely little darkling rite – half dance, half pantomime – that reimplants the Melancholy Dane in what the gender studies crowd refers to as ‘female space’, but what off-Broadway connoisseurs simply call Black Box heaven.” Scott Brown, New York Magazine
The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
By William Shakespeare & A.S. Zelman-Doring
In collaboration with Ada Gafter-O’Higgins & Jeffrey Landman
A translation of Hamlet into the aphasiac intensity of grief, love, revenge and madness.
For two women and a violin.
Original score composed by Jiří Kadeřábek, Mahir Çetiz, and Ana Milosavljevic
Directed by Hedvig Claesson
First performed at the Burton Taylor Theater in Oxford, June 2011.
Premiered in the United States at The Flea Theater in New York City, August 2012.
To Hold an Apple
By A.S. Zelman-Doring
Three master improvisers meet to resolve a conflict that threatens to consume their friendship: a fierce impromptu struggle ensues as they enact an encounter between painter Paul Cézanne, his childhood friend Emile Zola, and the young poet Rainer Maria Rilke.
Inspired by Rilke’s ‘Letters on Cezanne’, and Zola’s ‘The Masterpiece’, this poetic homage to three great artists’ work explores the nature of improvisation through a rapturous portrayal of the tormented masters. Dramatic tension and irony acquire new meaning with the transformation, before the audience’s eyes, of actor into character. Moments of comedy mingle with tragic truths as the performers probe the limits of theatrical immersion. In this dynamic world of shifting identities, obsessions and fears, we are forced to ask: how much of this is truly an act?
Selected by academy award winning playwright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton to be performed in Oxford’s New Writing Festival, March 2011.
Performed in New York at 59E59’s East to Edinburgh festival, July 2011.
Performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, August 2011.
WITH EYES, WITH SHOES, WITH FURY,
By Jeffrey Landman & A.S. Zelman-Doring
A new play about drug-wars in Mexico, the Holocaust, and one young man’s quixotic dream of change. It features powerful singing, a play within the play, and an unusual love story.
Coming soon in the 2012 season!
The Light in the Dust
By A.S. Zelman-Doring
In a cramped Brooklyn apartment, an aging Russian Poet, her conflicted son, and her British husband struggle to reconcile their thwarted desires. Arguing over Peak-oil, Byzantium, and Chekhov, they find a mote of hope in long forgotten dreams.
First performed at the Providence Hillel, April 2008