Wrestling Jerusalem is play written and performed by Aaron Davidman and directed by Michael John Garcés. It received it’s world premiere run at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco, March 12 - April 6. It will be touring North America in 2014 - 15.
If you’ve seen the production, we’d like to hear from you. Please include thoughts about your experience and/or questions for Aaron below.
I'll go first: The first time I saw Wrestling Jerusalem, I was awe struck. There were so many moments when I felt that you, Aaron, had nailed it. Nailed what it feels like to be an American Jew who is progressive to the core, and yet loves and is totally devoted to Israel—and how agonizing it can be when those two deep ideological and emotional commitments collide. The moment that most haunted me, and which has moved me to tears in every one of the four or so shows I’ve attended, is your experience at the demonstration at UC Berkeley. Something about your portrayal of that event captures my own personal wrestling with my relationship to Israel. There is that exquisite pivot from the moment when you’re just another lefty activist, out in support of the Muslim American minority, to the next second, when you’re the minority, a Jew in a seething crowd of chanting extremists. Or are they? It’s so poignant and raises so many questions.
I wonder, Aaron, how you feel about that demonstration now. In the play, it’s not resolved; you take us to the next scene. I’d love to hear more of your thoughts on how we remain true to ourselves as American Jewish progressives, and Jews who care about Israel, in the face of that experience.