Actor, director and playwright Ami Dayan returns to St. Louis to perform his adaptation of Orem Neeman’s one-man play Conviction. Dyan grew up in a Kibbutz in Israel, but spent two years in St. Louis in the early 1970s when his father was the Israeli emissary to St. Louis at the JCC. So it will be a homecoming of sorts when he performs at the New Jewish Theatre on the JCC campus.
New Jewish Theatre Artistic Director Kathleen Sitzer saw Dayan perform an excerpt of Conviction at a conference in Chicago and was impressed by the work and his performance. When Dayan learned that she was from St. Louis, he said, "You have no choice. We are doing this!"
Based on the novel Confession by Yonatan Ben Nachum, the play tells the true story of Spanish priest Andres Gonzalez who falls in love with a Jewish woman during the time of the Spanish inquisition. The story which takes in 15th century Spain, is enveloped in another story that takes place in 1962, when a Hebrew scholar attempts to steal the story of Andres Gonzalez from the Spanish archives.
Dayan and New Jewish Theatre Artistic Director Kathleen Sitzer were Steve Potter’s guests on Cityscape to discuss the play, its significance and Dayan’s career.
When asked if there is a recurring theme that theatre goers will take away from their experience with the play, Dayan said, “Relevance – that the piece, while it’s set in history, is relevant to today. While people might expect something dark, coming to a play that takes place during the inquisition, they find that it is very humorous, that it’s poetic, and in its essence, it is romantic. It’s a forbidden love of great proportion."
New Jewish Theatre Presents "Conviction"
April 4, 10 and 11, 2013
April 5 and 12, 2013
April 7 and 14, 2013
2:00 and 7:30 p.m.
Wool Studio Theatre in JCC's Staenberg Family Complex, 2 Millstone Campus Drive
New Jewish Theatre Website