A cute thing happened on the way to the Forum, I mean a seder, in NYC this weekend. It was the opening of a new play by Dan Fishback, 27, titled â€œYou Will Experience Silence,â€ at the Dixon Place performance space. With funding from the Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists (a partnership of Avoda Arts, JDub Records, and the Foundation for Jewish Culture), this play intertwines the story of Ian Fleishman, a young Jewish politically-active intellectual leftist gay New Yorker out on a sick day from work, and the story of Judah Maccabee, as a surly queer Jewish teenager and his BFF, Ezra, the son of a Jerusalem blacksmith. They encounter a sexy Greek soldier and must balance their responsibilities to their people and Mattathias, with their teenage libidos and feelings for each other. Both Ian and Judah ha-Maccabee are concerned with their current governments and their lack of boyfriends; and they present their absurdist stories in a dorky entertaining way that Jewish audiences should love. Although I did not think it succeeds in its original goal of connecting the current war in Iraq with the Maccabeean wars of Hanuka, there are many parts of the production that are fiercer than matzo brei with horseradish (and I mean the white kind, not the red version)
Fishback got his start on stage when he appeared as the tailor in a high school production of â€œFiddler on the Roof.â€ It was there that he met his first boyfriend, a student playing a Cossack, who wrecked his wedding scene at the end of Act One, and also wrecked his reputation by breaking up with him before the play opened and telling everyone that Fishback was a slut. When Fishback is not busy being an playwright, actor, or band member, he has been visiting college campuses, delivering a lecture on â€œYou Never Get to Make Out: Why I Can’t Tell the Difference Between Being Jewish and Being Queer.â€ You may never eat a latka the same way again.