Four sisters arguing in an apartment while trying to puzzle out the mystery of their mother’s disappearance — displaying Israeli family life in all its vibrancy — are at the center of a new Hebrew-language play the Jewish Circle Theatre is bringing to the Bay Area for a five-performance run.
“For people living abroad — Israelis — family is always an issue,” said the theater’s artistic director, Ofra Daniel. “Family dynamics are always an issue.”
“Days of Atonement,” by Hanna Azoulay Hasfari, is the story of four Mizrachi sisters who come together at Yom Kippur to figure out why their mother has suddenly vanished. One sister is Orthodox, one secular, one a film student and one a housewife.
“The dynamic is very conflicted because of past issues,” Daniel said. “The disappearance of the mother evokes all these sleeping demons.”
But it’s also a very funny play, said Daniel. Directed by Sarit Eizenman, “Days of Atonement” (“סליחות / Slichot”) is part of the theater’s Bama Ivrit program, which presents plays in Hebrew with English supertitles. For Israelis, it will be a taste of the familiar, watching the banter and arguments that knit together the stage family, presented in the language of home.
“It brings home close,” Daniel said, “without taking that 15-hour flight.”