Genre: Festival
14th Street Y

LABA at The 14th Street Y 



May 31, 2018, 7:30pm


LABA presented LABAlive WAR & PEACE: TWO, an evening of theater works-in-progress by current fellows on May 31, 2018 at 7:30pm at The Theater at the 14thStreet Y, 344 E. 14th Street, New York, NY 10003.


LABAlive possess the old and the new, the ancient and modern, and the deeply personal and yet universal qualities that inspire and challenge all artists.

- Laura Beatrix Newmark, LABAlive Fellow


Each year, LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture brings together ten fellows to study classic Jewish texts in a non-religious, open-minded setting centered on a chosen theme.WAR & PEACE was explored this year and at LABAlive WAR & PEACE: TWO.  Inspired by ancient Jewish texts, the presenting Fellows showcased their new work in an evening of art, drinks, and celebration. The evening featured Fellows Amy HandelsmanTal Gur,Jacob Siegel, and Text Study by Liel Leibovitz.


Perhaps, then, it is not that we prevail despite our wounds. Perhaps it is the very wound itself that bestows the blessing. - Amy Handelsman, LABAlive Fellow


The past year of learning, drinking, artistic ferment and Jewish solidarity in the LABA classroom has more than made up for any bad experiences I had as a kid forced to attend Hebrew school. It has been a great pleasure and illuminating adventure exploring the wisdom and beauty of these ancient texts under the guidance of learned teachers.Trying out new material on a live audience is a gift. LABAlive was a welcome break from the solitary writer's existence. It was also the first in what I expect will be many attempts to weave the last year of learning and study into my creative work. Who knows where it will lead.- Jacob Siegel, Writer and LABA Fellow


Highlights of the evening included World Champion and Rabbi Yuri Foreman, (who spared and performed and was featured in short documentary style interviews throughout the piece and illuminating Amy's relationship to text, Torah, belief and battling throughout your life.) finding a moment to spar with his pupil Amy Handelsman; the deeply moving connection between father, who came from Israel to rehearse and engage with his father through this personal modeling,and son in Tal Gur's Parachute Path; and the audience's eagerness to hear more from Jacob Siegel's 4711 Dreams of Jihad.


The pieces presented in the evening were:


AMY HANDELSMAN // LOVE BY TKO: Life Lessons in the Ring (theatrical excerpts from my memoir)// LITERARY

written & directed by: Amy Handelsman

choreographer & trainer: Yuri Foreman

boxer: Amy Handelsman

female: Alice O'Neill

male: Wyatt G. Maker

video and set design: Kryssy Wright


In which connections are made between boxing training and Torah study, with world-class boxer Yuri Foreman, a middleweight champ and ordained rabbi.


TAL GUR // Parachute Path // THEATER

concept, performance, text: Tal Gur

performance, text: Meir Gur

choreography, dance: Anne Tobey Bassen

director, drama therapist: Jessica Asch

video: Alona Weiss

costume design: Naama Greenfield-Simpson


Meir Gur, a colonel in the Israeli Air Force reserve is heading on a special combat mission far away from home. The mission gets a shift where vibrations of history, family and future surrounds the plane.


JACOB SIEGEL // 4711 Dreams of Jihad // LITERATURE


Nick Dunman, 29, a semi-pro player of the popular video game Supreme Destroyer lives at home with his parents and dreams of running away to join a war - any war. What Nick doesn't know is that Supreme Destroyer is more than a game-it's a virtual laboratory for corporations to test new psychometric algorithms, a forum for jihadists to communicate, and an arena for government surveillance and military recruiting. When federal agents break down his door, Nick finds his life on the line and has to push to the outer limits of the game and decide which reality he'll serve.




Amy Handelsman is a producer, writer and story executive, working in theater, film and television in Los Angeles and New York. She has developed and produced plays, movies, and cable and network films and series for Center Theatre Group, Showtime, Warner Bros., ABC, CBS, PBS, and Tri-Star. Handelsman has also served as a theater consultant for HBO's U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen and the Hip-Hop Theater Festival in New York, and as a media consultant for the Foundation for Jewish Culture and Women in Film. She has worked with such diverse artists as August Wilson, Culture Clash, Don Cheadle, Patricia Marx, Erin Cressida Wilson, and Danny Hoch. A lifelong sports fan, Handelsman wrote about her boxing experiences for Playboy and is working on a documentary on baseball umpires. She served as the Executive Director of the United States Poker Federation and the United States Mind Sports Association and contributes to various boxing and poker sites. Handelsman teaches The Literature of Games and Forms of Drama at Stony Brook University and New York University, respectively (Fall 2017). She is a cum laude graduate of Harvard University.


Tal Gur is an Israeli-American composer, multi-instrumentalist and a music therapist. He was born in Israel and grew up in an Air Force base in the valley of Jezreel, where the sounds of combat aircrafts taking off the ground and the sights of fertile plains have influenced his curiosity to humankind and nature. The curiosity developed to an evolving force of expression that found its way mainly through music. He studied for a B.mus at the Jerusalem Academy for Music, majored in saxophone jazz performance. Over time Tal developed an identity as a soloist that fluidly plays different styles of jazz, folk, rock and balkan music and has performed, recorded and collaborated with various bands in Israel, Europe and the United States. Tal's curiosity for music, human beings, relationships and psychology have brought him to pursue an M.A in music therapy from Bar-Ilan University and a post graduate training from NYU. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner and with his daughter and works in a school in Manhattan for children with autism. He released three albums as a composer; Air Portrait (2008), Basar Ve'Dam, (Flesh and Blood, 2011) and Under Contractions (2014).


Jacob Siegel is a writer and Army veteran living in the same Brooklyn neighborhood where he grew up, though it's now known by a new name. He co-edited Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War, published by Da Capo in 2012, a critically praised anthology of fiction by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans for which he contributed the lead story. After returning from Afghanistan in 2012 he joined The Daily Beast as a reporter covering war, national security, and digital culture. While there, he was nominated for a national magazine award and reported from Baghdad the month after the initial ISIS assault on Mosul. In 2015 he left The Beast to work as a freelancer and has since published widely read essays in Tablet magazine, Politico, and elsewhere. In 2015 he was a co-instructor along with Kara Krauze for the inaugural semester of Voices from War, a free writing workshop for veterans held at the 14th St. Y. His journalism, essays and reviews have been published in The New York Times, Tablet, the magazine for the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Daily News, Politico, and numerous other publications.


LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture is a program of the 14th Street Y that uses classic Jewish texts to inspire dialogue, study, and the creation of art. 


About LABA

LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture is a program of The 14th Street Y. The goal is to support Jewish art and culture by providing the space, time, and resources needed to create new work. At the core of LABA's mission is the belief that classical Jewish text study can and should be a source of inspiration and creativity for contemporary culture-makers and thinkers. All of the public art created through LABA aims to transcend cultural and social borders by bringing to light the universal themes and questions that our artists encounter through their engagement with Jewish thought.


About The Theater at the 14 

th Street Y

The Theater at the 14th Street Y focuses on social awareness and change through big-picture narrative. We place artists from all backgrounds at the heart of our community and seek to create an inclusive and open cultural experience for all. One of our primary goals is to provide an incubation space for art.


About the 14th Street Y

The 14th Street Y's philosophy is grounded in the belief that contemporary Jewish sensibilities can be a source of inspiration, connection and learning. No matter what your background, we aim to inspire you to live your best life. We're committed to the development of the whole person, to strengthening family connections, and to building inclusive and sustainable communities. The 14thStreet Y serves more than 20,000 people annually with a variety of community programs and is proud to be a part of Educational Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a 128-year history of serving New Yorkers downtown.


Full Season Tickets and detailed information on shows available at:


About the Company: The Theater at the 14th Street Y

About 14th Street Y

The 14th Street Y is a thriving and dynamic community center located in the heart of the East Village.  Our members have access to over 50 fitness classes per week, lap and family swim times, childcare, pick-up games in our basketball gymnasium and a fitness center filled with a full range of cardio and weight equipment.  Membership at the Y also gives you access to arts and culture programming, as well as early registration and discounts on all Y classes and programs like camps, preschool, and Two by Two.

Full Season Tickets and detailed information on shows available at:

Open:   06/14/18
Close:   06/14/18

May 31, 2018, 7:30pm:
Theater:   14th St. Y Theater
Address:   344 East 14th Street
New York, NY
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