Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company premieres powerful new play

Hillel of Greater Toronto, UJA’s student organization, is co-sponsoring the Toronto premiere of a powerful new play that explores the affect on a friendship as two old friends grapple with Middle East politics. Produced by the critically acclaimed Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company, TALK was a finalist for the 2009 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama.

“Hillel is very pleased to be sponsoring this play – it’s a very moving reflection of how challenging it can be to have an honest conversation about Israel,” said Hillel student Orli Josef. “These are conversations that we engage in every day on campus and this play really gets at the heart of our challenges. Hillel is deeply committed to civil debate and dialogue on campus around the issue of Israel – students however, are often confronted by those who don’t share that commitment. This place reinforces the critical importance of civil discourse”.

The Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company launched 2 years ago with much critical acclaim, and has performed to sold-out houses. This past fall they ran Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears, starring Theodore Bikel.

“We launched this company to embrace and celebrate the Jewish story – stories about our history, stories about our beliefs, stories about our struggles and triumph,” said co-Artistic Director Avery Saltzman. “It has been incredibly gratifying that we’ve received such strong audience and critical response.”

“Theatre is the place where heated political issues can be explored in a more human, nuanced way, and this play explores how one’s personal relationship to Israel affects ones relationships and world view,” said co-Artistic Director David Eisner. “Culture plays such a key role in Jewish life, and we are committed to playing a leading role in telling these vital stories.”

Originally produced at the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre where playwright Michael Nathanson is Artistic Director, the Toronto production is directed by Ted Dykstra, and features Kevin Bundy and Michael Rubenfeld. 

The company has also launched a series of post-performance talks that explores the importance of civil debate and the complexities of dialogue around middle east politics. “TALK is a riveting play about dialogue,” said Eisner. “We created this series specifically to assist audiences to continue the discussion of the ideas raised by this play and to share their opinions. The series includes Barbara Coloroso, Author, The Power Of Our Words, Sarah Margles discussing 'The Cultural Politics of Anti-Semitism, The Canadian Centre for Diversity and Martin Luther King III among other notable speakers.”

TALK runs until March 20th at Toronto’s St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts’ Jane Mallett Theatre. A special 15% discount offer through UJA is being offered. When purchasing tickets, use the code #5770.

Tickets are $20-$69 and can be purchased in person at the St. Lawrence Centre Box Office, by phone at 416.366.7723 or 1.800.708.6754, or online at www.stlc.com.

For more information about the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company, visit www.hgjewishtheatre.com.

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