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What is The Shabbat Project?

The Shabbat Project is a community generated documentary theatre piece that uses the genre of verbatim theatre to explore the role of Shabbat/days of rest in our lives. 

What is documentary theatre? What is verbatim theatre?! 

Documentary theatre is theatre that uses pre-existing documentary material as source material for stories about real events and people. Verbatim theatre is a form of documentary theatre in which plays/pieces/performances are constructed from the exact words spoken by people interviewed about a particular event or topic. Sometimes actors perform the interview text verbatim, as they were spoken, and sometimes the actual interview recordings are used as part of the performance. The hope for this project is that both practices will be used.

Want to get involved?

Why are we doing this here at Pardes?

In theory, this project could be done anywhere. I could ask anyone in the world about their relationship to rest. However, I want to start here at Pardes because we are a learning community that holds a range of experiences. This project allows us the opportunity to invest in and celebrate the unique stories that live right here in the hallways of Pardes. 

The idea is that our Pardes community will be involved in the creation of this project from beginning to end. The project will begin by creating an archive of interviews and lateral material (songs, art, stories, etc… relating to the topic of Shabbat/days of rest). Then those interviews and lateral materials will be distilled into a “script.” A group of Pardes students will spend a few weeks developing and rehearsing the “script.” And at the end of the year we will have a “performance” of this piece that can be shared by our entire Pardes community!

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