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INTO THE NIGHT: Spotlight on The Genesis Plays

Downtown Jewish Life

April 29, 2018

The 14th Street Y is proud to present INTO THE NIGHT: a contemporary spin on Tikkun Leil Shavuot.

In the fifth annual all-night event, the 14th Street Y and more than 20 community partners welcome you to explore arts, culture, and ritual with artists, musicians, scholars, and participants of all backgrounds.

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Over the course of the next several weeks leading up to the Tikkun, we will highlight events and programming featured at INTO THE NIGHT that relate to five major themes. For the theme of “Ancestry Reclaimed,” we take a closer look at the In[HEIR]itance Project’s ambitious interactive theater experience, The Genesis Plays. Conceived by Jon Adam Ross — a current LABA Fellow at the 14th Street Y — The Genesis Plays use devised theater as a means to connect communities’ experiences to sacred texts.

Ross sees the Torah as a prism, a multi-faceted lens through which we can view our own modern context. Each of the five Genesis Plays focuses on a different patriarch or matriarch, illuminating the relevance of ancient stories, making connections between Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions, and challenging our notion of the truth. Though each play was conceived in a different city and explores a different character and setting, the series is united by an overarching theme of our shared humanity:

“Art is a useful tool to help us understand each other. These stories inform us in ways that are truly relevant, and crucial in an era when sacred texts are being wielded as weapons to divide us. We are trying to present them as bridges.”

Jon Adam Ross, Managing Director and Founding Artist, In[HEIR]itance Project

For the first time, audiences in New York City can experience these plays at The Theater at the 14th Street Y. From May 1 through May 18, you can purchase tickets to see an individual play — but during INTO THE NIGHT, we are presenting audiences with the unique opportunity of experiencing all five of The Genesis Plays over the course of one night. Ross calls this the “capstone” of the festival:

“[The Tikkun] is a rare opportunity to see art in this form. We’re really grateful to be a part of it. Our goal is put people’s lived experiences in conversation with their inherited sacred texts and invite them to be a part of the creative process.”

Jon Adam Ross, Managing Director and Founding Artist, In[HEIR]itance Project

As Ross notes, when you attend The Genesis Plays, you will not just be watching the production — you will be invited to be part of it. Through the medium of collaborative theater, the In[HEIR]itance Project holds a mirror up to our community and cultural identities, encouraging you to reflect on your own experiences and be enriched by your surroundings.

People of all faiths and backgrounds are welcome to attend and participate. To be a part of this experience, it’s not necessary to prepare in advance — the only thing you have to bring with you is an open mind.

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