Venue Details

210 Star Starred
Berkeley Playhouse
2640 College Avenue Berkeley, CA 94704
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Quotes & Highlights

“The power of A Traveling Jewish Theatre’s Dybbuk…lies not only in this classic story of ghostly possession but also in the company’s ability to create theatrical magic.” -San Francisco Chronicle
“By the time they get to Leah’s fabled exorcism at the hands of an ancient looking rabbi, we’re in their thrall. The exorcism itself, framed by lit candles, is an excitingly choreographed life and death tug-of-war.” —San Francisco Bay Guardian
“What astonishes the playgoer are the bursts of gripping emotion - despite the play’s well known plot. The result is nothing short of astonishing." —Jewish Bulletin


The Dybbuk

is the only play from the Yiddish Theatre that transcended the particular cultural context in which it was created.

Within eight years of its premiere in 1920, it had been performed in Vilna, Moscow, New York and San Francisco, in Yiddish, Hebrew and English.

It has been performed, virtually non-stop, in one version or another ever since.

New adaptation by Bruce Myers

Directed by Corey Fischer

Performed by Karine Koret and Keith Davis

The Dybbuk

is the only completed play by S. Ansky (pseudonym of S. Rappoport), an ethnographer who collected folk songs, legends and folk plays in the Jewish settlements of Eastern Europe in the years before 1914.

This history of the play has become a legend in its own right. According to one source, Ansky first wrote it in Russian, translating it into Yiddish at the suggestion of Stanislavsky, director of the Moscow Art Theatre. Other sources describe how a number of Yiddish theatres rejected the play before the Vilna Troupe agreed to produce it. Ansky died one month before the first performance on December 9, 1920.

Bruce Myers’ remarkable two-actor adaptation of The Dybbuk reveals the most elemental, human aspects of the play. Its daring use of narrative and transformation are perfectly attuned to twenty-first century sensibilities.

This is a work particularly suited to A Traveling Jewish Theatre’s approach to theatre: deeply exploring a specific cultural artifact to find its universality.

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