Sun Aug 20 2023


8:00 pm
Supported by KlezCalifornia

Between Worlds:
Based on the Life and Poetry of Irena Klepfisz

Yiddish Theatre Ensemble Presents a Bay Area Premiere!

Conceived and written by Naomi Newman

Directed and Choreographed by Bruce Bierman

ALL PERFORMANCES ARE SOLD OUT! We are making a high quality film of the production that will be available on our website soon.


Actors: Diana Bukowska, Aviya Hernstadt, Naomi Newman
Musicians: Barbara Borden & Susanne DiVincenzo

Between Worlds is an original theatre piece directed by YTE co-artistic director Bruce Bierman and created with an ensemble of four actors. Naomi Newman, co-founder of Traveling Jewish Theatre brings her enormous talents to the lead role of the poet. Collaborators also include renowned musicians percussionist Barbara Borden and Susanne DiVincenzo on cello and bass.

Weaving together a narrative storyline with Irena’s poetry, the play describes seminal moments in the poet’s life and her role as the “keeper of accounts” of a vanished world. Vignettes describe her escape from the Warsaw Ghetto and survival in war-torn Poland. Immigrating to New York, she tells of her struggles with a new language and the pull of the world left behind. Irena reveals intimacies as she explores her passions as a lesbian, the pleasures of a life-long relationship, and the death of a loved one. Ever present are the haunting memories of her father—a martyr of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

About Yiddish Theatre Ensemble:

Yiddish Theatre Ensemble (YTE) based in Berkeley, California is dedicated to producing the rich, rarely performed Yiddish theatre repertory of dramas, musicals and comedies from the past 150 years. YTE also develops new and original works by living artists through performances, readings, lectures, and workshops. YTE strives to bring a contemporary approach and relevance to make the joy of Yiddish theater accessible to all audiences. Bi-lingual productions are in English and Yiddish with subtitles.  Past productions include: the Yiddish musical Di Megileh of Itzik Manger ( 2014, 2015) a feature of the Jewish Music Festival and Cabaret by the Bay (2017) co-produced with KlezCalifornia. YTE’s online video production of God of Vengeance (2021) received the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award-Citation of Excellence.  In 2022 YTE collaborated with San Francisco Playhouse to co-produce Indecent by Paula Vogel which won six awards from the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle including Best Bay Area Show and Best San Francisco Show.  Between Worlds, is a Bay Area premiere and their first new works production.