The River and the Sea (A Play by Danny Bryck)

In the fall of 2012, I met Danny Bryck. He’d reached out to me, through a friend, because he was writing a play about the concept of birthright and about the people living in this place. I was a bit skeptical (there are a lot of people who write a lot of plays about the people living in this place), and I was tired (I had just been released from military jail), but I agreed to get coffee with him.

After fifteen minutes, we had fallen into one of those rare and cherished rhythmic conversations wherein it two people are talking to each other and not just at each other or near each other. Danny quickly showed that he was someone who knows how to ask questions and to listen to the answers given. After two and a half hours, and with more still to say, we parted ways. Over the course of the next few months, Danny and I saw more of each other; he started attending All That’s Left meetings, we got a few beers together. I really liked him, and while I developed a sort of de facto faith in his project, because I liked him as a person, I still had no idea if his plays would be any good.

Then, last Summer, when Kayla and I were in Boston, I wrote Danny to say we’d be around, and he invited us to a performance of his earlier show, No Room for Wishing, which wove stories from Occupy Boston into an hour-and-some one man piece.

And it was absolutely brilliant.

The trailer for this show is here:

Danny’s portrayal of the humans who gave their voices and time to Occupy Boston was hilarious, empathic, intriguing and radically human. The play is based entirely on real interviews, word for word, that Danny conducted with activists and thinkers, passers-by and hangers-on. We talked about various parts of the show for months, and when I heard that Danny’s new show, and the original impetus for our meeting, was launching in February, my skepticism had melted into excited and curious anticipation.

The play’s description is as follows: “In 2012 – 2013, playwright Danny Bryck conducted hundreds of interviews in Israel/Palestine, capturing the staggering diversity of voices of the people living between the river and the sea: from a young soldier in Tel Aviv to a young mother from Gaza, a Holocaust survivor to an Eritrean refugee, a Filipino migrant worker to a German convert to Judaism turned anti-occupation activist. Using their real words, “The River and The Sea” challenges our notions of birthright and belonging, history and nation, and the ways we define ourselves and each other. When everyone tells a different story, how do we tell the truth?”

The trailer is here:

And the Kickstarter for the show ($9,000 needed) has launched today. I am throwing my vote of confidence and a few shekels in with this show and with Danny, and would encourage readers and believers in art-as-change-mechanism to consider doing the same.

The River and the Sea: Kickstarter.