Friday, March 20, 2009

Upcoming for World Theatre Day: Seven Jewish Children, staged reading by Cambiare Productions, March 27

UPDATE: Review of Seven Jewish Children, published by Austin Live Theatre on March 29

Received March 20:

Caryl Churchill's Seven Jewish Children to Premiere in Austin

To celebrate World Theatre Day, Austin Circle of Theaters teams with Cambiare Productions to present a staged reading of Churchill’s controversial new work, Seven Jewish Children. Free.

As part of the global celebration of World Theatre Day, Austin Circle of Theaters in collaboration with Cambiare Productions will present a staged reading and discussion of Caryl Churchill's controversial new work, Seven Jewish Children, at the Dougherty Arts Center (1110 Barton Springs Road, Austin) on March 27, 2009 at 8PM.

In the aftermath of the Israel/Gaza war in January of this year, noted playwright Caryl Churchill crafted this emotional response. Structured to reflect seven key moments in Israel’s history, Churchill's short piece asks how parents would explain these complex events to their child. The February premiere at the Royal Court Theatre created a firestorm in the London press as editorials and columns debated whether or the play was inherently anti-Semitic.

This Austin premiere, read by a cast of Austin luminaries, with a discussion to follow facilitated by Robert Faires and C. Denby Swanson, is the perfect way to celebrate the power of live theater to move us and to stimulate conversation even on the most delicate of topics.

The program will begin at 8:00 PM; admission is free.

The performance will be streamed live at

The author requests donations to the UK charity, Medical Aid for Palestinians, which can be given online at or at the performance.

World Theatre Day was created in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI). It is celebrated annually on the 27th March by ITI Centres and the international theatre community. Various national and international theatre events are organized to mark this occasion. One of the most important of these is the circulation of the World Theatre Day International Message through which at the invitation of ITI, a figure of world stature shares his or her reflections on the theme of Theatre and a Culture of Peace. The first World Theatre Day International Message was written by Jean Cocteau (France) in 1962. The 2009 International message was written by Augusto Boal.

Boal’s message, together with Churchill’s provocative work and Travis Bedard’s passion to engage Austin in World Theatre Day inspired ACoT to get behind Cambiare Productions’ effort. Helping emerging artists and theatre groups do their thing has long been part of what ACoT is about.

About Austin Circle of Theaters (ACoT): ACoT is a not-for-profit performing arts service organization working to create greater public awareness, participation, and support for our local performing arts community. Founded in 1974, ACoT membership includes more than 130 large and small arts organizations in Central Texas as well as their practitioners and enthusiasts. Its website,, is a portal for all arts and cultural activities in Austin.

Austin Circle of Theaters is funded in part by City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from Texas Commission on the Arts.

About Cambiare Productions: Cambiare Productions is committed to stories in all forms with a focus on collaborative creation, and the use of technology in live performance. For more information on Cambiare Productions please visit

TEXT of Churchill's play, published by the Royal Court Theatre, London (.pdf)

Wikipedia on the piece and the controversy


  1. this is awful. this play is horrible and should not be given any attention or credit.


  2. I have to agree. Please don't foul your wonderful blog with trash like this.

    Everything I've read about this "play" seems to lay the blame of all the problems of the middle east on Israel, and arabs are completely innocent.

    If only things were so uncomplicated...

  3. Myackie, thanks for the encouragement with Austin Live Theatre.

    I did attend "Seven Jewish Children" last Friday and I'm drafting a review now.

    The Wall Street Journal of this morning slammed a New York production of the play -- on their op-ed page Bret Stephens' article is titled "The Stages of Anti-Semitism."

    Reading about the play isn't the same as reading the play -- the text is available at
    -- and it isn't the same as seeing it performed. Churchill leaves a lot to the discretion of the director and actors. This short piece can be done as "trite agit-prop" (as Stephens qualifies the New York production) but there are other approaches to it.

    More coming! And again, thanks for following ALT.