Scenes - Commentaries - Debates

The story is presented in 16 short scenes that are divided into 4 acts, with commentary transitions between the scenes and debates between acts.

The scenes corresond to short parts of the original Talmudic story, with minimal modification that consists of few omissions and practically no additions. Steve Schick and Phil Larson, from music, bring their special skills to shape the artistic presentation of the ancient story.

Short commentaries by experts will be screened during transitions between the scenes. These commentaries will highlight the different interpretations and possible meanings of the events depicted in the story by experts.

Longer debate events will take place between acts. During these debates, extended commentaries, as well as supporting materials will be presented to the audience, involving the public in a discussion. People who come with their laptops to the performance will be able to consult an online repository of texts and videos related to the debate points and contribute them to the discussion.

Debate Points

Act I:
On the nature of Scrupulousness
Sin'at Hinam (gratuitous hatred)
Culture of sacrifice
Significance of the feast (historical)

Act II:
Rising of radical groups
Principle of commitment
Emotions and bounded rationality

Act III + IV1:
Prisoners Dilema and Chicken Game
Conflict Escalation
Immanent versus Transcendent God
Breaking of the covenant


Text - Gesture - Sound

The current artistic realisation of the story builds upon the centrality of gesture as the linking element between text, its rhethoric interpretation, the enactment, movement, and its ultimate realization in sound.

All sounds in the play are produced by readymade or found objects, emphasizing the symbolism in relation to the story, and manipulating objects in such a way that the actions and gestures are immediately linked to the story meaning through the resulting sound.

The musical objects/elements being used in the play include for example things such as sharpening of a knife, dropping rice, wrapping and tearing paper or cloth, dripping water and so on. Even the most conventional drumming is performed in the context of assertive gesticulations in an argument, or termbling fingers in sign of danger or despair.

Putting the TEXT in the middle, we consider the treatment of the story as going into two polar directions: to one side it is the commentary, explanations and debate aspects that try to deepen our understanding of the plot. To the other side it is the narration, rhetorics, gesture, action, objects and sounds that provide the interpretation and emotions needed for dramatic telling of the story.

Percussion Set: Found Objects and Symbolisms


1. a large mixing bowl (2)
2. small mixing bowl (2)
3. pebbles,
4. waxed paper
5. narrow tree branch (stick)
6. Jar of honey (blue glass jar)
7. cat-o-nine (2)
8. knife and sharpener
9. sand paper, matches, candle
10. brown wrapping paper
11. rice (other beans?)
12. woman dress
13. cloth for water and bottle of water

Performance / Gestures

Act I:
knife sharpening,
throwing pebbles,
wrapping pebbles,
drumming on table

Act II:
sticks in air (whipping sounds),
dropping rice,
cover table w/ food
scoop food into bowl
finger drumming for escape dialog
cover bowl
light candle
wrap everything in paper

Act III:
Cat-o-nine tails + jar

Act IV:
Squeeze cloth w/water
Dress dance,
Water drumming

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