Culture & Community

Theater Series

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Theater Series

The 2014 Theater Series at the 14th Street Y features new works from the jewish plays project, MT Works, and Red Fern Theatre Company, as well as the Y’s own cutting-edge productions created through LABA, A Laboratory for Jewish Culture.


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Photo by Gabor Kardos





The 14th Street Y Presents Kaddish

Supported by: LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture at the 14th Street Y & Center for International Theatre Development

January 10-13, 2013

Kaddish, culling its name from the Jewish prayer of mourning, is a stage adaptation of Nobel Prize-winning writer Imre Kertész’s novel, Kaddish for an Unborn Child. Kaddish is an exploration of ritual, loss, and an unrelenting inner conflict in which the beleaguered central character mourns the absence of the child he never fathered during his failed marriage, his mantra being a refusal to bring a child into a world where horrors like the Holocaust can occur. As he attempts to reach the final Amen of the Kaddish prayer, he weaves a brutally honest, deeply personal, stream of consciousness web of the unseen casualties of war, political corruption, Jewish identity, and the humor of living.

Kaddish is the first ever American staging of this magnificent novel, an eloquent meditation on human vulnerability and strength.

Performed by: Jake Goodman, Written by: Imre Kertész, Translated by: Tim Wilkinson,Directed by: Barbara Lanciers


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Photo by Steven Williams


Red Fern Theatre Company Presents Since Africa

February 20-March 9, 2014

A refugee from the Sudanese civil war attempts to adjust to cold weather, processed food, and a new life in Chicago.  A recently-widowed socialite and an African-American Deacon from the local Catholic parish try to help him embrace his new home and all its opportunity. But assimilation is not that simple and their efforts cause each of them to question their identity.  A look at American culture through the eyes of an African, Since Africa explores the tensions between blacks and whites, Africans and African-Americans, and the devout and the non-religious.

By Mia McCullough, Directed by Nancy Robillard


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Photo by Lindsay Moore


MTWorks Presents Dark Water 

March 14-29, 2014

The swampland of Louisiana is hit with the most massive oil spill known to history. Barnacle, an old sea turtle, fights against man’s destruction, nature’s wrath, and her enemies of the wild to save her children trapped in the spill. Poetry, allegory, music, puppetry and movement create this magical world as the animals of Louisiana face the ultimate threat to their lives. The effects of the Gulf oil spill among other spills continue to jeopardize our oceans. Dark Water humanizes the animals affected by the spill giving a voice to the true defenseless victims. The play also deals with other poignant issues such as immigration, religion and politics.

Written by David Stallings

Directed by Heather Cohn

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Photo by David Winitsky



jewish plays project Presents Open: Festival of New Jewish Theater

June 6-30, 2014

Each year, the jewish plays project highlights the best in new Jewish theater for industry and public consideration. Over three years, 512 plays from 450 writers in 26 states and 8 countries have applied for 25 spots in OPEN. We are proud to say that 9 plays have gone on to productions in New York, New Haven, Detroit, and Tel Aviv.

This is 21st Century Jewish theater: exciting and heartfelt, progressive and connected, cutting-edge and haimish all at the same time.  After each performance, join the writer, director and cast at a nearby watering hole to discuss the play, the ideas, and the future of this great art form.

Artistic Director, David Winitsky, Resident Dramaturg, Jeremy Stoller, Resident Designer, Josh Benghiat, Resident Director, Benjamin Kamine