In a tour-de-force performance, writer-actor Aaron Davidman conjures a host of different characters while seeking answers to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Wrestling Jerusalem. Creatively adapting his acclaimed one-man stage show using only simple props and backdrops, Davidman takes a multidimensional journey into the heart of the Middle East, and the intersection of politics, identity and spiritual yearning.
He embodies and gives voice to 17 different characters on all sides of the existential divide-deftly moving between male and female, Jewish and Muslim, Israeli and Arab-modeling what it takes truly to bear witness through the eyes of the other. Challenging long-held beliefs with sharp and unblinking observation, Davidman finds both entrenched isolation and shared humanity in the shifting moral compasses and competing narratives of all his characters.
Filmmaker Dylan Kussman moves freely and seamlessly among three locations-a live theater audience, the open expanse of a vast desert, and a small dressing room-exploiting the interplay of theatrical spontaneity, cinematic poetry, and spiritual intimacy. The result is a unique hybrid of stage and cinema that reignites hope for the future of this troubled region.
TUESDAY SEPT. 12 - NY PREMIERE
Ethan Bronner leads a conversation with director Dylan Kussman, writer/actor Aaron Davidman and executive producer Jeannie Blaustein.
Ethan Bronner is a senior editor at Bloomberg News focused on analytical and investigative pieces. He spent 17 years at The New York Times, including as Jerusalem bureau chief. He was also based in Jerusalem for The Boston Globe in the early 90s and for Reuters in the mid-80s.
WEDNESDAY SEPT. 13 - WRESTLING WITH THE WAYS JERUSALEM, ISRAEL AND PALESTINE BECOME PART OF OUR LIVES AND STORIES.
With Rabbi Marisa James of CBST, Rabbi Jessica Kate Meyer of Romemu and David Chapman of New Israel Fund.
FRIDAY SEPT. 15 - COMPLEX STORYTELLING IN A POLARIZED WORLD
Ari Roth, artistic director of Mosaic Theatre of DC, leads a conversation with other artists including Philip Himberg, artistic director of Sundance Theatre Program and Julia Bacha, filmmaker (Budrus) and creative director at Just Vision.
SATURDAY SEPT. 16 - THE ISRAEL-PALESTINE DEBATE ON CAMPUS
A conversation with J Street U students Rana Bickel (Barnard College) and Ben Pakman (Hunter College) on combating the rising tide of hate on campuses in the United States. Moderated by Shana Idel.
SUNDAY SEPT. 17 - MULTIPLE NARRATIVES AND THE INTERFAITH CONVERSATION
With Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavi of Lab/Shul; Irfana Anwer, consultant and an alumnus of the Shalom Hartman Institute Muslim Leadership Initiative; and Katharine Henderson of Auburn Seminary.