On Holy Ground Closing (Theater and Galleries) New Review (Theater and Comedy) The Short List (Theater)

When: Mondays-Wednesdays. Continues through May 14 2014

I guess I can see why playwright Stephanie Liss decided to combine her two one-acts, Daughter of My People and Jihad, into a single evening titled On Holy Ground. Not only do both plays deal with women and Israel, but, taken together, they can be understood as a kind of before-and-after picture of the Zionist experience. Daughter offers a portrait of Henrietta Szold, who in 1912 founded Hadassah, the women's organization dedicated to creating and sustaining a Jewish state in Palestine. Jihad concerns two present-day mothers—one an Islamic fundamentalist, the other an orthodox Jew—connected by a suicide bombing. Szold, in short, represents the dream, the mothers a nightmarish reality. Yet for all that, the two pieces make an uneasy pair. Clearly inspired by an actual atrocity committed 12 years ago in Jerusalem, Jihad draws its unnerving power from the relentlessness with which it asserts the impossibility of conciliation. Daughter, meanwhile, is sentimental—and remarkably sloppy in that it fails to supply even basic contextual information about the astonishing Szold. Too bad you have to sit through one to get to the other. —Tony Adler

Price: $20

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