There is so much celebration in Judaism. I mean, we love a party, and we have so many holidays. Sure, a bunch of them are memorial days or days of atonement, but even those days end with delicious food and song. We are people who eat, decorate, joke, play, dance, sing, and love. Even when things get ugly or heartbreaking, we always work to find the sweetness.
Love is sweet.
Having grown up with a myriad of religions in my home, it might have transpired that Judaism became foreign and uncomfortable for me. However, due to a mother who communicated her culture so well, and who was stalwart in her celebration of Judaism, it became a place that is part of me. It is a place that feels familiar. And when I read plays like Indecent, I think, as I have many times, how much easier my life would be if I could just let go of that tie to my history and heritage. Because that tie comes with the weight of having to own everything that we are. We are people who question, even when it hurts. We are people who dare, even when we understand the road ahead will be painful. We are people who know, at all times, that there is the possibility of pain if we truly live as ourselves. The action of living a truthful life, even if it hurts, is universal.
The cross-sectionality of that bravery ripples through all marginalized and victimized communities. And so does the effort to find joy.
Indecent asks you to pick a side. To stand up for art, for love, and for immigrants. This play is so funny, heartbreaking, and hopeful. When the people leave the show, I want them to be thinking about whose side they are on. I want them to remember pure love in the rain and dancing to uplifting music, even while their hearts ache for all those we lost in the march of antisemitism. I want you to do the same thing that we are doing on stage: find joy. It is why we dare and question and live on.
by Paula Vogel
directed by Helen R. Murray
A play that recounts the fiery controversy sparked by a lesbian kiss, Indecent is a love story at its core. A brothel owner’s daughter and a sex worker discover passion on stage, and our more-than-disapproving characters are what make the rest of this play, well, indecent. A deeply moving and hopeful play inspired by the true events, it stands as a grounding work of Jewish culture, we hope you’ll see what all the talk is about.
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