Jun 05

Life Is Noisy: “The Dybbuk; Between Two Worlds”

Andrey Burkovskiy & Yana Gladkikh. Photo by Irina Danilova

Presented by Arlekin Players
Written by Roy Chen based on the original play by S. Ansky
Adapted by Igor Golyak with Dr. Rachel Merrill Moss
With additional material from the translation by Joachim Neugroschel
Directed by Igor Golya 
Jewish Music Consultant: Anthony Russell 
Compositions and Sound Design by Fedor Zhuravlev
Dramaturgy by Dr. Rachel Merrill Moss
Featuring: Andrey Burkovskiy, Yana Gladkikh, Olga Aronova, Jenya Brodskaia, Polina Dubovikova, Anna Furman, Boris Furman, Rimma Gluzman, Gene Ravvin, Juliya Shikh, Olga Sokolova, Irina Vilenchik, with Deb Martin, Robert Walsh

May 30 – June 23, 2024
The Vilna Shul 
Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture
18 Phillips St. 
Boston, MA 02114

Critique by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, Mass. — The 2024 performance of The Dybbuk; Between Two Worlds occurs in Beacon Hill’s Vilna Shul, a century-old synagogue. A 20th century Polish ensemble called the Vilna Troupe premiered playwright and activist S. Ansky’s play, The Dybbuk; Between Two Worlds in Warsaw after observing 30 days of traditional mourning for Ansky’s death in 1920. The troupe split into smaller groups, toured the play through Europe, and it became famous.  

The Vilna Shul was built in 1919 near the time of the premier but the Vilna Trouple did not perform The Dybbuk in Boston’s Vilna Shul. The Vilna Troupe originally performed Ansky’s play and now Arlekin Players are performing it in the Vilna Shul. Igor Golyak said through a press rep that the concurrence of these events has invited the spirits of the original troupe to live in the walls of this historic synagogue. 

Arlekin Player’s production is based on Ansky’s play of the same name. Both are about a tragic love story in a turn-of-the-century shtetl about a young woman possessed by a dybuk, a restless, disembodied human spirit from Jewish folklore that wanders the earth because of past sins. 

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