<bt>The latest production of the Synetic Theater, which has been performing at the Rosslyn Spectrum and has merged administratively with Classika Theatre of Shirlington, is a co-production with Theater J, the professional theater in residence at the DC Jewish Community Theater in Washington. It plays
in Theater J’s home theater on 16th Street through March 19.
The show, an adaptation of the 1920 play by S. Anski titled “The
Dybbuk,” tells the tale of a boy and a girl very much in love in a village in the rural area of Georgia – not the Peach State where Atlanta is the Capital, but the republic in the former Soviet Union east of the Black Sea between Turkey and Russia. The couple are devastated when the girl’s father arranges a marriage for her to a man from a neighboring village who has much more in material goods than the boy she loves. His love for her is such that he
dies of his broken heart but his spirit is so strongly attached to that love that it becomes a “dybbuk” – a wandering soul that enters the body of a living person – and possesses it.
The production is very much in the style that the fans of the founders of Synetic, Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili, have come to know and expect.
The Synetic style is a unique blend of physical performance bordering on pure dance, acting bordering on mime and sharply defined evocative designs for sets and costumes, all performed to the accompaniment of symphonic music. The combination is so stylized that in less talented or less disciplined hands, it would seem amateurish or would fail to make sense at all. In the hands of the tremendously disciplined and highly talented troupe directed by Mr. Tsikurishvili, it all comes together to create fascinating and unique storytelling.
INDEED, SYNETIC occasionally finds that they don’t need words at all. “Hamlet . . . the rest is silence” told the Shakespearean tale without even one of the lines of the Bard’s script. It earned the company the Helen Hayes Award for Best Play in its first production under the name “Synetic.” It also won Paata Tsikurishvili the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Direction of a Play.
Staring in this new production, in the role of the girl possessed by
the dybbuk, is Irina Tsikurishvili, who also choreographed the piece. The holder of no fewer than four Helen Hayes Awards for choreography, she brings to the stage a performing style that is an ideal match for her husband’s concept for the show.
New to the company, but taking to the demanding technique quite well, is Andrew Zox as the young man who could not survive seeing his love married to another, but who can’t, even in death, leave her behind.
The role of the father is played with his usual impressive energy by
company regular Irakli Kavsadze, who, along with Paata Tsikurishvili, selected the musical pieces used to carry the story forward and set the tone of the evening.
The co-production is playing in the home of Theater J in the Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater in the DC Jewish Community Center at 1529 16th Street NW. It is a lovely 240-seat theater with the audience on a steeply raked floor that gives every seat a clear line of sight to the stage. Theater J has a strong reputation for fine productions of serious theater pieces that touch on substantial issues. With “The Dybbuk” they can only increase that
WHERE AND WHEN: “The Dybbuk” plays Wednesday – Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 and 7:30 p.m.. through March 19. Tickets are $15 - $45 and can be purchased through www.boxoficetickets.com or by phone at 800-494-8497.