Controversial Churchill Play, Seven Jewish Children, Gets Readings at NYTW

News   Controversial Churchill Play, Seven Jewish Children, Gets Readings at NYTW New York Theatre Workshop will present three staged readings of Caryl Churchill's short play, Seven Jewish Children, March 25-27 at the company's Off-Broadway home.
Caryl Churchill
Caryl Churchill

Sam Gold will direct the 7 PM readings, which will be followed by moderated discussions with Laura Flanders (March 25), Tony Kushner and Alisa Solomon (March 26) and Mark Crispin Miller (March 27). The ten-minute work will then be read again following the talks. Casting will be announced shortly.

The new work, which caused a stir during its London run at The Royal Court Theatre in February, now reaches New York. According to NYTW notes: "Seven Jewish Children was written by Churchill as a direct response to the recent events in Gaza. The play features seven scenes of Jewish parents, grandparents, and relatives attempting to explain to children how they should feel and react to the sometimes violent and confusing world around them. The play's sparse poetics touch on the major political events of the last half-century that have most affected the Jewish people, from the Holocaust, to the founding of Israel, to the Intifada, and the recent violence in Gaza.

"As there has been a great deal of public discussion expressed about the play based either on reading it, or merely hearsay, it is our intent to put the play where it belongs—on a stage and in the mouths of actors—so our community can encounter the play firsthand and in a conducive environment for thoughtful and respectful discussion and consideration," according to a NYTW press release. "In Seven Jewish Children, [Churchill] addresses a deeply complicated and ancient conflict in a way that we hope the theater can uniquely address by engendering a dialogue on the most pressing issues facing society. We aim to present this work in a format that invites and encourages public discourse about the myriad of issues surrounding it."

NYTW previously presented Churchill's Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Mad Forest, Traps, Owners, Far Away and A Number. Other plays include Cloud Nine, Top Girls, Serious Money, The Skriker and Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?

The free readings will be offered to NYTW members and, if tickets remain, will be open to the general public March 23 by emailing tickets@nytw.org. (Tickets will be confirmed by return email. If you do not receive a return confirmation, the ticket order has not been processed.) For more information about New York Theatre Workshop, visit www.nytw.org.