OUR CLASS – See it Now!

Courtesy of "Our Class"
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I think you should stop reading – click on this link and get tickets-now to the production that you don’t want to miss – then come back and read this article. I’m not kidding nor is this play a light and fluffy romp. It’s gritty, real, exciting, spontaneous, disturbing, moving and it will grab you, surprise you and impress you. Yesterday before the play began or perhaps it already had …. as audience members were finding their seats, we saw what maybe looked like actors on the stage and it all felt very casual, friendly and then BAM!

First of all – no one should be afraid of going to see a play at BAM – of going to Brooklyn – If you’re in Manhattan or any other borough it’s a train ride away and this particular theater Fisher, Fishman space is minutes from the Barclay train stop. You can do it. I did it. You should do it.

Why go? This cast, this ensemble extraordinaire feels like a company that has been together for years and yet it was only recently cast and created for this exclusive and limited production. They act, sing, move, react and engage with one another like they’ve been touring together for years. The work is intimate, at times physically violent and it’s only with extremely skilled and gifted actors (and an incredible director) can a production of this magnitude be realized. There are no turntables, strobe lights or massive scenery – or dozens of players. You’re taken on a journey because of these actors and their abilities to be versatile, vulnerable and brave and that is why you should go to Brooklyn and see Our Class. 

Each and every cast member is a valuable contributor and essential to this production.

Cast of Our Class photo by Pavel Antonov

It begins with the the written word by author Tadeusz Słobodzianek and adapted by Norman Allen. It is a true event and that alone is shocking and it is so timely to today’s world that it is also sobering. While you’re on the rollercoaster of friendships gone south, prejudice, anti-semitism and hate….there is also a light a redemptive moment of hope – something that we all might yearn for today. Its not an easy ride but for that you can stay home and watch tv – nothing wrong with that – but for those who are open – let me say school is in session and Our Class welcomes you.

Our Class Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Fisher, Fishman Space

Our Class, the award-winning play by Tadeusz Słobodzianek, now at Brooklyn
Academy of Music (BAM) for its New York premiere features an ensemble of artists hailing from New York, Los Angeles, Ukraine, and Russia, bridging the worlds of New York and international theater, film, and television. Our Class is directed by Igor Golyak (The Orchard; Just Tell No One; State vs. Natasha Banina) : at BAM Fisher (Fishman
234 West 44th Street
New York City 10036
212-764-7900

the limited engagement runs through February 4.

The cast of Our Class features Gus Birney (The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window) as Dora, Andrey
Burkovskiy (Call DiCaprio!) as Menachem, José Espinosa (Take Me Out) as Rysiek, Tess Goldwyn
(New Amsterdam) as Zocha, Will Manning (As Reaper in the Summer Gain) as Heniek, Stephen
Ochsner (Chicks) as Jakub Katz, Alexandra Silber (Fiddler on the Roof) as Rachelka/Marianna,
Richard Topol (Indecent; The Normal Heart) as Abram, Ilia Volok (Gemini Man, The Gaaga) as Władek
and Elan Zafir (Hedda Gabler) as Zygmunt

cast of our class photo by pavel antonov

Our Class is based on real events, and follows 10 classmates — five Jewish and five Catholic — as they
grow up as playmates, friends and neighbors, then turn on one another with life and death consequences.
Inspired by real life events surrounding a horrific 1941 pogrom in the small village of Jedwabne, Poland,
the play follows their lives from childhood through eight decades in a contemporary new production,
directed by Jewish, Ukrainian-born director Igor Golyak. “The cast…the whole team…this is more than just a play for us. The story hits close to home. Our incredible group of actors are bringing their full selves to the project – many are Jewish, some have Polish roots, others are from the former Soviet Union and now live here in the US and grapple with the creation of new lives here. It’s an honor to work with them,” says Igor Golyak. “We all recognize the characters and the circumstances in Our Class – it’s a play about how neighbors turn on neighbors, as we experience today in the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and it’s about antisemitism, what we are capable of, and who we can become in the face of war and aggression. We are living this every day in today’s world – it is unfortunately not a story of the past, but a cycle that keeps repeating. I can’t think of a more timely play, or a more generous or gifted group of actors with which to collaborate on this powerful, deeply human project.”

gus birney as dora photo by pavel antonov
photo by pavel antonov
Richard Topol by Pavel Antonov

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