Thursday, February 14, 2013

Original Score puts New Face on a Familiar Story

This February, Dmitry Troyanovsky directs Leah Napolin and Israel Bashevis Singer’s play Yentl. Yentl focuses on the story of an intelligent young Jewish girl who defies tradition, disguising herself as a man in order to continue her education. Napolin and Singer’s examination of relationships and identity make Yentl both an unorthodox love story and a parable for our time.

While audiences may be familiar with the Barbara Streisand film, this production will feature an original contemporary score featuring a blend of Klezmer and American folk music, written by Jill Sobule and Robin Eaton. Sobule and Eaton’s score relies on a nontraditional orchestra and allows for instrumental improvisation. Former Tulane student Ken Goode returns to Tulane as Musical Director. The play will feature live performances provided by musicians from the Tulane and New Orleans communities.

Choreographer Jeffrey Gunshol emphasizes both ritual and breaking from tradition, mirroring the play’s plot in movement.  “The movement in Yentl is the heart of the play's community.  The style and movement of the show are slightly askew from the norm” to reflect the central conflict in the show.

When asked what audiences should expect from Yentl, Troyanovksy says, "In my mind the story is an intricate combination of the Jewish Twelfth Night (with its slightly bitter comedy of gender masquerading and appearances) and the teenage angst of Spring Awakening. Jill Sobule's music adds powerful layers of heartbreak, humor, and irony. While directing the show, it's important for me to fashion a unique style that balances these elements; the show should feel both, expansive (in the way that musical theatre can be) and intimate like an eloquent short story."

Feb 26-Mar 2 at 8pm
Mar 3 at 2pm