Yiddish Lab 2.0

We uncovered so much material while preparing Yiddish Lab 1.0 that we couldn’t help but extend our exploration to another season. We discovered such variety and sophistication in Yiddish plays, essays, poems, novels and novellas, much of which comes from that rich late 18th/early 19th century period that brought the birth of the avant-garde. So of course we here at Target Margin gravitated towards these texts and their challenges to form, content and the status quo. All good reasons for a second (and third…and fourth) helping. Mmmmm…Yiddish.

DECEMBER 11-21, 2013 @ JACK

Sisters Mine
Lead Artist: Alex Randrup
A spool of thread spins the poetry of Morris Rosenfeld and Anna Margolin into a kaleidoscopic cutting of the historical cloth. Moments from within and without the Triangle Factory Fire burst in this investigation of the artistic expressions of tragedy and time.

Lead Artist: Raymond Blankenhorn
A collection of vignettes brings to life the brilliant and provocative mind of Celia Dropkin (1887-1956), the sexiest Jewish poet since the Rose of Sharon. This isn’t your mother’s seyder tkhines. Get ready for Yiddish Rated R.

Lead Artist: William Burke
Text from Moyshe-Leyb Halpern/William Burke
A mashing of Yiddishness, Moyshe-Leyb Halperness, the modern degradation of ritual and values and the flurry/fury of New York, the sexy allure of the Williamsburg Bridge and the blasting of internal and external urges which at times will be a harsh quiet whisper of insanity or maybe…just maybe a murmur wondering how full does the heart have to be before it explodes? Answers? Answers.

Lead Artist: Emily Rea
How do words travel? Exploring both the political and domestic concerns of early 20th century Yiddish poets, Outside/In imagines a space that is both public and private. From a living room to the printed page to the airwaves and beyond, a host of writers explore and explode early notions of broadcasting and publication, giving voice to a rich historic landscape through text, song, and play.

A Night of Yiddish Poetry
Lead Artist: Joshua William Gelb
With Shane Baker, Ugo Chukwu, Cleo Gray and Suzanne Toren
A reading of Y.L. Peretz’s “Monish” and others.


At the Rich Relatives: An Anachronistic Operetta
inspired by and adapted from Celia Dropkin‘s “At the Rich Relatives” as translated by Faith Jones
Lead Artist: Mallery Avidon
A (loose) adaptation of Celia Dropkin’s short story. Natural Disaster. Class Warfare. Teenage Revolutionaries. Music.

Good Night World
Lead Artist: Sanaz Ghajarrahimi
Set in the Interwar Period (1919-1939) and a group of young poets called “The Gang” find themselves in the center of New York City as the Roaring Twenties ushers in prosperity with a cultural edge. Expressionism, exploration, and experimentation, and our gang of three are bound to burn themselves out. Based on the wealth of poetic and dramatic Yiddish source material from that era, it begs the question: how do we begin to hope when we know what is to pass?

The Secret of Life
based on the play by Leon Korbin
Lead Artist: Andrew Simon
A play the critics called a “commonplace, misconceived allegory” in 1919 gets a new production that cuts the words. A Yiddish theater hip-hop ballet.

Three Gifts for Lenny Bruce
by Jim Knable
adapted from “The Three Gifts” by Y.L. Peretz
Lead Artist: Susan Hyon
Lenny Bruce dies and gets stuck in a Yiddish fold tale where his life’s good and bad deeds are weighed…and balance perfectly. So now he has to go back to his mother’s past, his stripper ex-wife’s pasties and his own obscenity trial to collect the good deeds that will tip the scales-or maybe Lenny’s got another plan.

Lost Tribe
by Alexander Borinsky
inspired by “The Travels and Adventures of Benjamin III” by Mendele Moykher Sforim
Lead Artist: Michael Leibenluft
A poorly-planned dinner party is overtaken by a journey towards companionship. A play about loss, loneliness and the trouble with being nice.

An evening with Sholem Asch’s novel East River
with TMT Associated Artist Mary Neufeld
Handsome, brooding Irving falls in love with a sweet, innocent Catholic girl. An evening of dialogues from the 1946 best seller about the melting pot tenements of E. 48th Street by East River.


A Funny Thing Happened to Sholem Aleichem when He Walked into a Bar
Lead Artist: James III
Sholem Aleichem’s variety show. The title is longer than the description.

Bronks Ekspres
by Osip Dymov / adapted from the translation by Nahma Sandrow
Lead Artist: Yuri Skujins
An adaptation of Dymov’s fantastical dream play of the Yiddish immigrant struggle in pop culture drenched early 20th Century NYC. How does a Galitsianer measure happiness in a world of “high windows” and Arrow Collars?

Money, Love, and Shame! (Gelt, Libe, Un Shande- 1910)
by Isadore Zolotarevsky
Lead Artist/Translation: Allen Lewis Rickman
Shortly before she must take her tubercular immigrant father to Denver, innocent, motherless Sonia is “ruined” by young lawyer Albert Liebhartz in a fit of drunken madness. Albert had hoped to marry her, but is forced to marry Cecilia, the nymphomaniac daughter of slumlord Barney Bender, instead. And while pregnant Sonia degenerates into alcoholism and prostitution, Harry, Cecilia’s lovesick chauffeur boytoy, has his own plans…

What Happens when a Man Lives Alone
Lead Artist: Nick Trotta
Walk the episodes of Benye the Miller, a lonely man in White Russia who comes to discover his destiny as the next prophet of God. A play in stations, What Happens when a Man Lives Alone is a fragmentary romp through the mysterious and complex channels of the Jewish occult. The House of David has fallen, sad Benye must take its place. Based on The Messiah of the House of Ephraim by Moyshe Kulbak, translated by Joachim Neugroschel.

xoxo I.B. Singer
Lead Artist: Moe Yousuf
Words by Singer/stolen by Yousuf
Man, mystic, vegetarian: in 1978, I.B. Singer became the only Yiddish writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Thirty-six years later, a handwritten confession believed to be Singer’s last known works were found hidden in the mezuzah of his Florida home. Bring a light bulb, your dancing shoes, and join us for this devil-dance-documentary about the smashing of things that are precious, the last words of I.B. Singer, and the death of the Lamedvavniks.