Talk Backs and Engagement Events

Talk Back Series

The 14th Street Y Theater wants to hear from you.

Do you want to speak up? Our Season of Life & Death is designed to grapple with questions within our community.  What is bothering you, nagging at you or inspiring you with these themes and questions? Each play was chosen to ignite conversation, debate, and to help define and question the values of our community.  For select productions we will be facilitating Community Engagement moments to interact and hear from our audiences.  These will range from a series of themed talk backs with a curated panel to family engagement and learning moments for our Theater for Young Audiences Series.  These engagement events are only available for ticket buyers for these dates.  So join us and talk back!



Scenes From Childhood || Recollecting: Children of the AIDS Crisis

Date: January 12, 2020

Panel: Author Patricia McCormick moderates a panel of The Recollectors including Playwright/Actor/LABA Fellow Ari Brand, Sara Rafsky, Marco Roth and Mathew Rodriguez.

About: Following the performance, our audience will be asked to join a talk back with members of The Recollectors, an organization that provides a forum through storytelling and community for the many children and families left behind by parents who died of AIDS.


A Golem in Buenos Aires || Let’s Create a Golem

Date: December 14 & December 21, 2019

About: Interspersed throughout the show, children and their parents will create their own golem with its own special powers and backstory.


Ominous Men || Toppling the Production Patriarchy: Meet the Women Creators on Ominous Men

Date: October 20, 2019

Panel: Director Lorca Peress moderates a panel including Playwright Desi Moreno-Penson, Projection Designer Jan Hartley, Choreographer Jennifer Chin, Sound Designer Sun Hee Kil, and Lighting Designer Kia Rogers.

About: Following the performance, our audience will be asked to join a talk back focused on the all-female Ominous Men’s team in their approach to the work, their perspectives on a play about men, the importance of gender parity in the field, and multicultural artistic perspectives.


The Pink Hulk || Beyond the Label – The Show Must Go On!

Date: October 12, 2019

Panel: Melissa Telzer of InKind Space will moderate with Valerie David, Performer, Dr. Kevin Kalinsky, Valerie’s Oncologist at Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Saranne Rothberg, CEO of Comedy Cures Foundation.

About: Following the performance, our audience will be asked to join a talk back addressing the fear of sharing, what is reality, empowerment, community, and more.


The Stray || We HOWL into this Bright World! 

Date: October 5, 2019

About: Following the show, children will be invited to stay and learn songs with the cast, in addition to creating their very own HOWL!


BAb(oo)shka || Nationalism and Israel in Russian Jewish Identity

Date: October 3, 2019

Panel: Anna Lublina, Theater Creator & Babushka, Gal Beckerman, NY Times Book Review and Author of When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry, Gili Getz, The Forbidden Conversation

About: Following the show, our audience will be asked to join a talk back addressing nationalism, Russian nationalism, and how the Russian Jewish identity feeds into nationalist ideas, especially pertaining to Israel


Recovery || The Opioid Epidemic – Legal Drugs with Lethal Consequences

Date: September 14, 2019

Panel: Sela Grabiner, Opiod Overdose Prevention Outreach Coordinator at the Cent r for Recovery & Wellness, will moderate a panel including Johari Mayfield, Dancer/Choreographer, Big Vision Rep, Gay & Sober Rep

About: Following the performance, our audience will be asked to join a talk back addressing the opioid crisis, what it means to heal, and how legal drugs have led to lethal consequences


Dox Modern Middle || The Rest Is Drag: Finding Your Place in Jewish-Queer Space

Date: September 5, 2019

Panel: David Winitsky, Founder and Director of the Jewish Plays Project will moderate a panel with Eshel’s Director of Community Engagement Francesco Di Maio and Bracha, Eshel member.

About: Following the performance, our audience will be asked to join a talk back addressing the spectrum of Jewish identity and sexual identity and how they intersect. Additionally, the trying on of identity and the physical place to set your place through drag will be discussed.

Old Turtle and the Broken Truth || TYA Dance Battle: The Haka Dance

Date: Saturday, May 11 following the 2:00 PM show

About: Sarah Sutliff, along with the assistance of one of the performers, will teach kids the vocabulary of the haka dance and will together create their own Haka dance battle.


/wē/ || Queer Magic with Michaya Dance

Date: April 28, 2019

About: Join MICHIYAYA Dance and facilitator, Kadie Henderson for their post-performance discussion with a fishbowl style dialogue inviting all audience members to participate in conversation on queer magic, embodied spaces, coexisting energies, and more.

Panel: Kadie Henderson is the producer and host of We Makin It, the podcast. She uses conversations to redefine notions of success so that its accessible to all. She also is a #YAYAforlife!


The Sinless || Desire and Religion

Date: April 3, 2019

About: Talk back addressing desire and religious practice, themes of otherness in the play and Biblically, and where a female places lies in the “fraternity of G-d”

Panel: Laura Beatrix Newmark (Moderator), Culture Producer at 14th Street Y, Judah Skoff, Writer/Director & Becky Skoff, Producer


The Baby Monitor || What Are Family Values in Modern Day America?

Date: December 9, 2018

About: Talk back addressing family values in modern times, religion, double standards, fear of children being taken away.

Panel: Ann Marie Yali (Moderator), Psychology Professor at CUNY and Associate Producer of Baby Monitor, Paul Siebold, Logo TV’s “The Baby Wait”, Greg Conroy, Gay dad, David Stallings, Writer/Actor – Baby Monitor, Sarah Sutliff, Artistic Director of Rebel Playhouse.


The Fantastical Dangerous Journey of Q || The Making of Q: Conversations with the Creators

Date: December 1, 2018

About: Following the 2:00 PM performance, there will be a discussion with the whole cast of the creative process followed by a question and answer session.

Panel: Ric (playwright), Dax (composer), Sarah (director/choreographer), Christina (musical director), Hazel and/or Clara (actors in developmental workshop), and Rosa Douglas (puppet designer).


Layer the Walls || Looking Through the Window

Date: November 10, 2018

About: Following the 3:00 PM performance, Kathryn Lloyd, Director of Programs at the Tenement Museum, will explore a few stories from the Tenement Museum in an interactive and visual narrative while also inviting us to think about our own unique stories. Each family will leave with a special activity.

Panel: Kathryn Lloyd, Director of Programs at the Tenement Museum


Fox Fables || Lost, Returned and Renewed

Date: November 3, 2018

About: Following the 1 PM show, kids will meet crafted animals who are missing a part. With the missing parts, kids will work to make them whole again as new animals.

Panel: WonderSpark Puppeteers along with 14Y Staff


Site: Yizkor || Death Cafe

Date: November 2, 2018

About: At the conclusion of LABA Fellow Maya Ciarrochi’s Site: Yizkor, Maya will be joined by Nancy Gershman, memory artist and host of Death Café NYC who will lead participants in this interactive opportunity to further explore topics of life and death.

Panel: LABA Fellow Maya Ciarrochi and Memory Artist Nancy Gershman.


The Not-So-Spooky Ghost || BFFs – Best Fiendish Friends

Date: October 21, 2018

About: Kids will create friendly ghosts to take home with them.Panel: WonderSpark Puppeteers along with 14Y Staff.


The Hearing || Hebrew Talk Back

Date: October 19, 2018

About: Following the staged reading of “The Hearing”, Taly Krupkin, Emily Benami and Guy Vardi and the audience will discuss the Politics of Education in Israel. We will unravel the big elephant in the room: how can politics be brought to the classroom, and how does it relate to political and social issues happening in Israel.

Panel: Taly Krupkin, Journalist of Haaretz, Emily Benami, Actress and playwright, Guy Vardi, Educator and Initiator.


Hoaxocaust || Fake News and How Do We Respond

Date: Thursday, September 20 following the 8:00 PM show

Panel: Joni Blinderman, Associate Director of the Covenant Foundation, Justin Bank, senior editor for internet and audience at The NY Times, and Taly Krupkin, NY Correspondent for Haaretz

About: Immediately following the September 20th performance of Hoaxocaust! by Barry Levey our audience will be asked to join a talk back themed: Fake News and How Do We Respond?  A curated panel moderated by Joni Blinderman of the Covenant Foundation, will feature journalists and playwright Barry Levey as they delve deeper into the notion of what is really true and how do we prove it?