Program featuring historic Jewish voices explores Washington state at the turn of the 20th century
SEATTLE — Washington State Jewish Historical Society (WSJHS) and Book-It Repertory Theatre jointly present In the Land of Rain & Salmon, Jewish Voices of the Northwest: 1880-1920, 2 p.m., Sunday, June 2 at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI). The performance is a theatrical adaptation of Family of Strangers: Building A Jewish Community In Washington State, a book by Molly Cone, Howard Droker and Jacqueline Williams detailing how Jews in the Pacific Northwest created and developed a community. The original theater production will bring to life some of the formative Jewish narratives in the book, as well as stories and oral histories of early Jewish pioneers from the Washington State Jewish Archives. All three authors will be present for a signing opportunity, and the book will be available for sale.
"Imagine hearing your grandfather's voice for the first time in 30 years telling you what it was like to take a boat from the old country," stated Lisa Kranseler, executive director of WSJHS. Royal Alley-Barnes, executive director of LHPAI, acknowledged that the Institute, located in the neighborhood that was historically Jewish, was a natural place for the celebration: "Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute is pleased to support the Washington State Jewish Historical Society by celebrating the narratives of peoples whose descendents settled in the Central District," said Alley-Barnes.
The event is in honor of WSJHS's Year of Washington Jews in Arts and Culture. This one-of-a-kind staging takes place at LHPAI, which was originally Chevra Bikur Cholim synagogue, making it a special place to hold this heritage production. A reception will follow the 2 p.m. performance. Tickets are $30 before May 28, $36 after; four tickets are $108 before May 28; and student tickets are $18. Purchase tickets online at www.wsjhs.org or call (206) 774-2277. Contact Lisa Kranseler, executive director, WSJHS, for more information.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI) celebrates, nurtures, presents and preserves African American and Diaspora performing arts, cultural wealth and iconic legacies. Named for the prolific African American artist Langston Hughes, LHPAI represents the pluralism of local, national and global Black people, in the media platforms of film, dance, theatre and music.
The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs supports the health and vitality of our city by providing access to arts and culture, advancing the role of artists in our community, and advocating for issues affecting the entire cultural community. The 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council, supports the city agency.
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