Virtual Radio Plays
As we move from grief to hope in our lives this 2021, The Tales of the Alchemysts also moves from stillness to flow. Live theatre as we have known it remains shuttered, so for a time we are shifting to virtual performances and have added a new branch under the umbrella of our theatre. Enter The Pomegrante Projects, audio presentations and virtual Radio Plays. In keeping with COVID protocol and the safety of our artists, director, and technicians all audio plays were recorded, edited, and mastered in the privacy of our individual homes. Until that day when we can resume our normal lives and gather together safely in the theater once again we invite you back to the golden era of Radio Play performances.
May the ancient symbol of the pomegranate with its many seeds bring hope and new beginnings from our homes into yours.
Monsters, Magic, & Mysticism:
Tales of Wonder in Jewish Folklore
“Laia and the Dybbuk”
“The Golem of Prague”
Written & Directed by Laura Ferri
Featuring David S. Klein & Shellie Shulkin
Music by Carl Shutoff & Ava Rose
Sound Design and Audio Engineering by Robertson Witmer
Take a dive into the supernatural with two original renditions of classic folktales! In “The Golem of Prague”, a renowned Rebbe and a lonely woodcarver meddle with magic as they create a monster from clay. The sensuous imagery of the Song of Songs entwines with the mysticism of the Kabbala in “Laia and the Dybbuk”, as star-crossed lovers defy societal expectations, tangle with the forbidden and wrestle with demonic possession in their efforts to be together.
There is no fee to join us and listen to our premiere performance of these virtual radio plays with captions but we do ask you to first register which will allow you to access the stories. We truly want you to enjoy this experience and be swept away by these incredible narratives.
To receive a link please register here
We acknowledge that we have recorded this production on the unceded, ancestral land of the Coast Salish and Duwamish People and honor the Land and the People both past and present.
“The Golem of Prague”
Performed by David S. Klein
“Laia and The Dybbuk”
Performed by Shellie Shulkin
The Essence of Kabbalah
Rabbi James Mirel, Board Member
Our Company is presenting some original pieces focusing on the mystical elements in the Jewish tradition ancient and modern. I have been asked to present a brief overview of this fascinating topic which I am honored to do.
We use the Hebrew word KABBALAH as the generic term for Jewish mysticism. The literal definition is ‘reception’ indicating that these traditions are carefully passed down only to those who are best able to ‘receive’ them and keep them as a kind of secret. The Rabbis felt that this body of knowledge was both too sacred and too dangerous for the average person.
You will discover in our plays that there is always one designated holy man (yes, always a man until our day and age) who is the one who has the power to transform the world. In one case, he can create a creature (‘golem’) from clay, and in another, he can exorcise a lost soul (‘dybbuk’) from a possessed bride. These rabbis were often referred to as ‘wonder workers’ or ‘masters of the holy name (of God)’ and were even given the title of ‘my Lord’ on occasion. They would affect their magic through Hebrew words and numbers combined according to secrets they had received from their teachers. Eventually some of these secret doctrines were written down in mystical books such as the Zohar, which are so arcane that they may seem like gibberish to the uninitiated. Of course, these ‘mystics’ were (and are) just flesh and blood and all too often their efforts, however sincere, fail or even lead to disaster.
I know you will be delighted by our approach to these traditional tales. They may seem to be fantastical but there is a deep underlying reality to each. You need only open your ears and soul to enter into this realm of mystery and wonder.
“Funding for Tales of the Alchemysts theatre was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Federation of Greater Seattle.”
“This project was supported in part by an award from 4Culture.”
Images & Further Reading
Detail from the ceiling of the Palais Garnier, Marc Chagall, 1964. Public Domain
The Pomegranate - ©2021 Shellie Shulkin
Jew At Prayer - Marc Chagall 1913 Published prior to 1923. Public Domain
Shtetl, My Destroyed Home: A Remembrance (Litographs) - Issachar Ber Ryback 1922 Public Domain Review. https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/shtetl-my-destroyed-home-a-remembrance-1922
Baer, Elizabeth. The Golem Redux: From Prague to Post-Holocaust Fiction. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2012
One Hundred Years of the Dybbuk, https://culture.pl/en/feature/possession-100-years-of-the-dybbuk