Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Ezekiel's Exagoge to be performed

THEATRE: Ancient Greco-Jewish Play Telling Exodus Narrative to Premiere This Summer (The Jewish Voice).
Theatre dybbuk presents the world premiere of ‘exagoge’ in venues across Los Angeles

Theatre dybbuk will premiere “exagoge,” inspired by the second century B.C. play by Ezekiel the Poet, at Temple Israel of Hollywood (June 18-19), Grand Park/The Music Center (July 23) and Fowler Museum at UCLA (Aug. 6). “Exagoge” is the first recorded Jewish play, thought to have been written in Alexandria and which tells the biblical Exodus narrative in the style of a Greek tragedy.

Although only 269 lines of the original play exist, the company and artistic director/playwright Aaron Henne have used this fragment as the starting point for a full theatrical work, rich in movement, music and poetry.

What we have of the Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian survives almost entirely in quotations in the works of later authors. It is a Hellenistic Jewish play written in Greek and, although it doesn't really fit the profile of an Old Testament pseudepigraphon, it was included in the Charlesworth Old Testament Pseudepigrapha volumes and so has an honorary place in the corpus. The play has been in the news recently, because new material from it has been discovered among the Oxyrhynchus papyri (see here and here).

I am delighted to see the play getting some attention. More on this production is here. I also like the name "Theatre dybbuk." More on the dybbuk traditions is here, here, here, and here. And, yes, cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.