Notes taken from this session

Why isn’t Jewish Theatre considered for all audiences?

Because it is segregated
Is it because it is Jewish theatre?
Is it because there is dormant/latent anti-semitism?

British Theme / rather than Jewish identity.
People not wanting to see a story about a load of Jews – acceptable?
Allowed to be said re Black Theatre but not Jewish theatre….

Theatre should have no labels.
It should be labelled so they know what they are going to.

Jewish play has Jewish jokes that Jews can laugh at but not to a wider audience

Safe space for Jews to be themselves to talk amongst themselves. Get together with other people who have a commonality.

Current Romeo and Juliet in the West End with Tom Holland getting racist abuse and becoming about race as the juliet happens to be black. This is a play about love – not racism – though it is two different families fighting. Would this production have been also targeted in the current climate if it had been Tom Holland and a Jewish Juliet?

The TV series Friday Night was for a Jewish audience and a lot of audience didn’t get it, so that makes it exclusive and not inclusive. Is that what we want for Jewish Theatre?

Can’t always include everyone…..why not?
Even though anyone can watch and understand.

Theatre should be for all and everyone – as theatre needs to make money.

Neutral theatres ensure Jewish perspective….?

There used to be Yiddish Theatre – it’s historical theatre now. that is now a dying art and a dying language….

Feel segregated for queer / gay / black / religious / heterosexual – what re you getting from it for the audience. Theatre should be to learn from different perspectives not highlighted.

Gabe, aged 11, had seen the JW3 pantomime and he said that the panto jokes were jewish jokes so he would only bring a jewish friend to see it – as someone not jewish would not understand. Important to value and important that we can say those jokes – can’t please everyone all of the time.
But does it stop someone who isn’t jewish coming to that show?
Yes because it is a culture. They can express freely amongst themselves.

For Black Boys who’ve considered Suicide a new West End / Royal Court play. Culture was from a black perspective – however whatever culture you came from there were characters that were easily recognisable. This play was very generous theatre. There is a crisis topically for young black men – but it is also everyman.

All different but all the same.
Whatever we absorb culturally from one person’s perspective – like it books.

Is Jewish Theatre cultural or Religion?
Subject matter or creatives who make it?
Feel it would be wrong for non Jewish writers writing a jewish themed play…….
Don’t want my Jewishness to be shameful.
Not integrated.
Jewish Theatre is secular culturally more so.
Visible – don’t want to be visible / want to be visible.

Q what is Jewish Theatre?
Where we are in history.
Now? Topical?
Jewish related themes.
Jewish theatre takes the jewish conversation forward.
Theatre to take what you want / learn if someone not Jewish can take also?

Since 7/10 will Jewish theatre reflect this?
Now is not the time….
Don’t raise your head above the parapet…….

Is it us Jews catastrophising?
We’re (Jews) are traumatised currently.
Risk / shouldn’t stop us.

Excitement way too little school education on theatre.

Arguments – all people should be universal – but not…..

How can theatre help currently. Jewish theatre / venue / jewish theatre company =
Do we want a Jewish Theatre company.
But good to have Incubation space function and facilitated.
Jewish writers and actors prefer the status quo….?
Jews interrogated.

THEATRE IS THEATRE – audience should be allowed to make their choice.
Freedom of speech
Give space to something inclusive.

Community takes to more open spaces. Freedom of choice.
Places like Peckham audience is predominantly black and calendar focuses on prioritising for their black audience.

Lack advocate….


Critiquing Judaism/play without being antisemitic. How?

Being invited to another culture – all good. Easger to learn other cultures hunger to learn more.

Genuinely want to be there invited / allowing space just to be.

Theatre should be = EVERYONE IS WELCOME!!!

Jews like something or not.
Jews incredibly diverse – can’t stereotype Jews – but in theatre a lot they are….

Is it time for theatre to be DE JEWED….

Jewish theatre is about dysfunctional families (every family everywhere in the world is dysfunctional – so common ground)
Jewish theatre about money
Jewish theatre about politics
Jewish theatre about holocaust
Jewish theatre about religion.
Jewish theatre is about ancestory
= all these topics (apart from holocaust) are about every person….
All are universal themes.

There have always been great jews in theatre – directors / writers / performers / producers – but gave entertainment industry a “bad name” – is that changing now…..?

Is Jewish theatre about being proud to be jewish or because we tell better stories…..

A hopeful time….
maybe not.