Smiley face
Weather     Live Markets

A devastating attack on an outdoor music festival near the Gaza-Israeli barrier claimed the lives of 364 attendees, including Michael Zilberman’s daughter, Rachel. The grief and trauma experienced by the victims and their families will be brought to the stage in a new play titled October 7. The producers, Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, are known for their conservative-leaning projects and use direct quotes to craft their narratives, including turning court transcripts and verbatim text messages into theatrical pieces. The play aims to shed light on the events of that tragic day and give a voice to those who witnessed death and destruction firsthand.

Despite the potential for controversy, as seen in their previous productions, McAleer and McElhinney are dedicated to telling the stories of those affected by the October 7 attack. The play will feature accounts from survivors, including Zilberman and grandmother Michal Bilia, who faced harrowing experiences during the assault. From escaping through windows to hiding on a neighbor’s roof, these stories will offer a glimpse into the fear and resilience exhibited by the victims. For many, the trauma of that day is still fresh, and the play aims to honor their memories and convey the realities of the situation.

Through interviews conducted during a trip to Israel, the producers gathered firsthand testimonies from survivors of the attack. McAleer expressed the challenges he faced as an Irish individual in this context, given his country’s stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Despite this, the victims were willing to share their stories with McAleer and his wife, understanding the importance of preserving their experiences. The play seeks to bring attention back to a tragedy that may have been overlooked in the broader global narrative surrounding the conflict.

The play is set to debut in New York in May at the Actors Temple Theatre, a historic venue that operates as both a synagogue and an off-Broadway theater. With negotiations underway to bring the production to universities and other venues, McAleer hopes to raise awareness about the lasting impact of the October 7 attack. By giving a platform to the survivors and families affected by this tragedy, the play aims to confront misconceptions and challenge prevailing narratives surrounding the conflict. Through their innovative approach to verbatim theater, McAleer and McElhinney strive to humanize the individuals at the heart of this devastating event and provide a platform for their voices to be heard.

© 2024 Globe Echo. All Rights Reserved.