Between the Threads

You don’t have to be Jewish or identify as a woman to enjoy it, but it will certainly help if you’re both.

By Andrew Andrews

Accompanied by live violin, five young Jewish women explore modern Judaism in Between the Threads at HERE. Original photo by Grace Leigh.

The performers are already on the stage when the house opens: five young, barefoot Jewish women dressed in baggy beige and white, sitting in chairs, engaged in small talk about Coachella and Game of Thrones.

Craft art hangs from the ceiling, like giant Ojibwe dreamcatchers made of branches, plastic flora and colorful shades of yarn.

Subtly, the lights dim and someone breaks the fourth wall, bringing the audience into the conversation by explaining the origin of her given and family names.

The others join in, each taking a turn.

In the background, a live musician plays violin, creating and replaying loops as she performs.

Over the next ninety minutes or so, we hear stories of serious life events and light-hearted humor. Of growing up with various levels of orthodoxy in cities around the world. Of Bat Mitzvah speeches, identity, and a Jew named Pedro.

There are traditional songs in Hebrew and other languages, and recorded interviews with ancestors about children stolen by Israeli hospitals. There is singing, clapping and contemplative choreography.

There is conflict between wanting to destroy the patriarchy and the pressing desire for a traditional Jewish wedding; between love and hate for Christmas and for all of the capitalism that surrounds it.

You don’t have to be Jewish—or identify as a woman—to enjoy Between the Threads.

But it will certainly help if you’re both.

Directed by Coral Cohen, performed by Hannah Goldman, Lea Kalisch, Luisa Muhr, Daniella Seidl and Laura Lassy Townsend, and featuring live music by Zoë Aqua, this exploration of modern Judiasm runs at HERE through February 10th.


Andrew Andrews attended Between the Threads at HERE Dorothy B. Williams Theatre in Manhattan on Friday, January 18, 2019 @ 7:00pm to write this review.