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!


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

Date: Thursday, September 5th following 7:30 PM performance of Dox Modern Middle

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.



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

Date: Saturday, September 14th following the 7:30pm performance of Recovery

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



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

Date: Thursday, October 3rd following 7:30pm Performance of Bab(oo)shka

Panel: Anna Lublina, Theater Creator & Babushka, Gal Beckerman, NY Times Review of Books 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



The Stray || Family Engagement Activity

Date: Saturday, October 5th following 1pm performance of The Stray

About: Following the show, families will engage in a craft activity relating to the story.



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

Date: Saturday, October 12th following 7:30pm performance of The Pink Hulk

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

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.



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

Date: Saturday, December 14th &  Saturday, December 21st following the 1pm performances of A Golem in Buenos Aires

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

December 14 December 21




/wē/ || Queer Magic with Michaya Dance

Date: April 28 following the 4:00 PM show

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!



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.



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?


The Hearing || English Talk Back

Date: Friday, October 18 following the 7:30 PM performance (IN ENGLISH)

Panel: Rabbi Marisa Elana James Director of Social Justice Programming, Brandon Woolf Visiting Assistant Professor of Theater in the English Department at NYU

About: Following the staged reading of “The Hearing” Ben Wizner, Rabbi Marisa Elana James and Brandon Woolf will discuss their experiences with the question of FREEDOM OF SPEECH? In a reality of competing narratives is there a line where Freedom of Speech becomes Hate


The Hearing || Hebrew Talk Back

Date: Friday, October 19 following the 7:30 PM performance (IN HEBREW)

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.


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

Date: Sunday, October 21 following the 1:00 PM show

About: Following the 1:00 PM show, kids will create friendly ghosts to take home with them.Panel: WonderSpark Puppeteers along with 14Y Staff


Death Cafe (Site: Yizkor)

Date: Friday, November 2 following the evening performance

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. Both approved.

Fox Fables || Lost, Returned and Renewed

Date: Saturday, November 3 following the 1:00 PM show

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


Layer the Walls || Looking Through the Window

Date: Saturday, November 10 following the 3:00 PM show

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


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

Date: December 1 following the 2:00 PM show

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


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

Date: Sunday, December 9 following 5:00 PM show

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 Sinless || Desire and Religion

Date: April 3 following the 7:30 PM show

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