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PTC presents “5 Jews and a Near Death Experience (that shockingly has nothing to do with Antisemitism!)”

By Kevin Lake, Staff Writer

Post’s latest play will be premiering on Dec 2 at the PTC Lab Theatre. Unlike most shows that have graced PTC, this production was written by one of Post’s own students, senior musical theatre major Rebecca Lynn Goldfarb. 

“Student directed productions and plays written by students being put on have happened before. However, this is the first play I know of— (or at least the first in a very long time—) where a student has written a play that Post Theatre Company is producing where the playwright is acting in it too, which is a really exciting feeling,” Goldfarb said. “This opportunity allows me to combine two of my favorite passions, writing and performing, and to be able to do this with fellow students who work hard and care as much as I do is really special. It really shows how talented my peers are and I’m so grateful to be able to work with them in this way.”  

Lynn Goldfarb has written and will be performing in the upcoming play, which was conceived as a senior honor thesis project titled “5 Jews and Near Death Experience (that shockingly has nothing to do with Antisemitism!) ”.

 The story details a modern American Jewish family who experience an extraordinary event and grapple with shared trauma. However, the themes are universal. 

Familial bonds are a core element of the production and the crew hopes the audience absorbs this message.

 “The experience is actually very medicinal. So many of us are so far from home and to get to talk, laugh, and reflect on family pulls on my heart more than I thought it would. I’m most excited for people to get to join in on that energy,” senior Director Tea Einarsen said. “I know when I see plays about the dynamics of relationships of siblings and parents I, of course, always think of my own.  I hope getting to hear the inner monologues of each of our characters makes people think about how they empathize with their own close relationships.”

The tone has been described as a comedic drama filled with touching moments. The backdrop of the plot is set just before a family’s youngest child’s Bat Mitzvah, a traditional Jewish coming of age celebration.

 “I couldn’t write a story based on a real event from my life and erase the truth of who I am as a Jewish person and artist. Hence, including a Bat Mitzvah in the plot came to be,.” Lynn Goldfarb said.

Jewish identity is intended to be a defining characteristic of the production’s theme. 

“Writing and sharing Jewish stories is really important to me. There is so much people don’t understand about our culture because they’ve never learned about it or have seen inaccurate representation in the media,” Lynn Goldfarb said. “Being able to share a very real and authentic Jewish family dynamic from today’s society is something I think all people should see.” 

Einarsen enjoyed the positive atmosphere that was maintained on set during pre-production.

 “The dynamic between playwright and a director can be fragile, but Becca and I found a solid rhythm very quickly,” Einarsen said. “I think because we had such a deep respect for one another, the production and piece really grew into something special.”

The narrative will be presented in a manner of inner dialogue which highlights the various characters’ thoughts.

 “I hope getting to hear the inner monologues of each of our characters makes people think about how they empathize with their own close relationships. I’m excited to, hopefully, bring a little more understanding to the relationships we might’ve left behind,.”Einarsen said.

The crew has encouraged anyone interested in the play to see it while it’s running.

 “I would love for anyone who’s interested in seeing the play to come.! This show is at its core about family, loss, and love — values and emotions that all people can relate to. I encourage anyone who sits in our audience to take our story in and try to imagine themselves as one of our characters,” Lynn Goldfarb said. 

The show will run through Dec 2 to Dec 4. On Dec. 2 it will be performed at 7:30 p.m., while the Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 shows will have shows at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.. “5 Jews and Near Death Experience(That Shockingly Has Nothing to Do With Antisemitism!)” will be the last PTC production of the fall 2022 semester. 

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