WRITING

Elizabeth Elkin Weiss as the Second Flower in Yashinsky's Shoah play "Lilies Among Thorns," March 2014, Detroit Opera House.

Elizabeth Elkin Weiss as the Second Flower in Yashinsky’s Shoah play “Lilies Among Thorns,” Detroit Opera House, March 2014.  Photograph by Ken Jacobsen, Jr.

 

PLAYS AND LIBRETTI

Roast Owl with Capers: A Rustic and Domestic Play in Verse

A modern old wives’ tale

 

Picture Imperfect, April 2016—Candlelight Theatre, Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, Indianapolis, IN

Mysterious drama centered around a transforming painting and the solitary young man who owns it, performed in the dining room of President Benjamin Harrison’s mansion

 

Lilies Among Thorns, March 2014—Michigan Opera Theatre, Detroit Opera House

Dramatic piece drawing on poems by child internees of Theresienstadt concentration camp, performed as a curtain-raiser before production of Brundibár that Yashinsky directed, featuring Ela Stein Weissberger, Shoah survivor and the Cat in Theresienstadt’s Brundibár

 

Games We Played, April-May 2014—Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, Indianapolis, IN

In the back parlor of President Benjamin Harrison’s mansion, The Candlelight Theatre performed this Victorian era-set comedic drama that Yashinsky wrote under their commission

 

If Plums Grew on a Thistle, April 2011—New College Theatre (now Farkas Hall)

Magical-realist drama, performed at the 3rd annual Harvard Playwrights Festival

 

 

SONGS & POEMS

“Dos lid fun der levone” [The song of the moon] (Yiddish), May 2015

Declaimed as a prologue to S. Dayksel’s fantastical drama Nokh tsvelf baynakht [After midnight], which Yashinsky directed; intended for an added character, “Der gayst fun der levone” [The spirit of the moon]

 

“Loshn-libe” [Tongue-love] (Yiddish), July 2014—Tsiggy on a Shir

Lyricist of this Yiddish-language erotic love-duet between Yiddish and a student of the language, given its first performance at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA by band Tsiggy on a Shir (who collectively wrote the music—Yashinsky performed in the band as vocalist/banjoist/tambourinist)

Later performed by Yashinsky at Mexico City’s Yiddish Idol festival of Yiddish song

 

“Baltika,” July 2009—Union of Baltic Cities

Co-lyricist of this international organization’s anthem, recorded by the North German Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus

 

 

ARTICLES & ESSAYS

The Nutcracker: Leaping Away From, and Toward, Holiday Tradition, with Victoria Morgan,” November 2017—Detroit Free Press; Detroit News

An interview with the choreographer and artistic director of the Cincinnati Ballet, in anticipation of the company’s performance at the Detroit Opera House

 

Some Like it Rethought: The Artistic Integrity of a Mob Rigoletto,” October 2017—Detroit Free PressDetroit News

On the creative conception of an English National Opera production of Verdi’s Rigolettore-mounted by Michigan Opera Theatre

 

Yiddish Tish: From the Mouths of Babes,” Fall 2017—Pakn Treger

Glossary and article on the language of Yiddish children living in DP camps after WWII

 

Chapters: Ours,” Fall 2016—Pakn Treger

On the Jewish collective spirit and the ubiquity of the word “undzer” (our) in Yiddish periodical titles

 

The Signs and Symbols of Ezra Korman, Detroit’s Soulful Yiddish Poet,” June 2016—Yiddish Book Center

On the life and afterlife of a little-known writer

 

Eating the Archives,” March 2016—Yiddish Book Center

A culinary journey into a mysterious bag of archival recipes from 1950s Yiddish newspapers, found in a corner of the Yiddish Book Center

 

Poet Celia Dropkin’s Paintings,” February 2016 (co-authored with Eitan Kensky)—Yiddish Book Center

Findings on the rare paintings of Yiddish poet Celia Dropkin, who in her latter years replaced her pen with a paintbrush

 

Di goldene kale and Fiddler on the Roof, From Broadway To Battery Park,” December 2015—In Geveb

Review of two new Jewish productions seen on one island-hopping day in the city

 

Unfading Voices: The Many Languages of The Passenger,” November 2015—The Metropolitan

On the many-tongued universality of this opera set in Auschwitz and performed at the Detroit Opera House

 

“Mycenæ in Motown: Detroiters Evaluate an Enduring Diva,” October 2014—The Metropolitan Detroit

Article in advance of Michigan Opera Theatre production of Elektra; article focused on the enduring appeal of Elektra and the particularities of her character, as derived from interviews I conducted with three Motor City residents—a forensic psychiatrist, a classics professor, and a young woman named Elektra

Accompanied by a podcast produced and narrated by Yashinsky.

 

“Turandot Plays Hard To Get,” May 2014—The Metropolitan Detroit

Article on Michigan Opera Theatre production of Turandot

Another version can be found on p. 28 of Michigan Opera Theatre’s magazine, BRAVO (Spring 2014)

 

 “Blooms from Barbed Wire,” March 6, 2014—Detroit Jewish News

Article on Michigan Opera Theatre production of Brundibár

 

 A Raisman in the Sun,” August 17, 2012—The Jewish Advocate

Poem celebrating the achievements of London 2012 Summer Olympics gymnast Alexandra Raisman, published in this Boston newspaper, the oldest English-language Jewish periodical in the U.S.

 

 “Sisera,” February 2012—Mosaic

Poem, a feminist imagining of a story from the Biblical Judges, published in Harvard’s Jewish literary journal

 

 Crescentius,” October 2009—The Harvard Ichthus

Poem, a fantasy on ancient Harvard figures confronting the modern era, published in Harvard’s Christian literary journal

 

A number of articles, reviews of music/theatre/film, interviews (Grammy-winning American soprano Renée Fleming, Tony-winning set designer Derek McLane, Harvard President Drew Faust), 2008-2011—As staff writer for The Harvard Crimson

Writer profile pages (1 and 2)

 

“Confessions of a Teenage Mascot: My Life as a Bee”—The Best Teen Writing of 2007 (Scholastic)

Comedic autobiographical essay on an unusual summer job—won a Scholastic Art & Writing Award and was chosen from the group of winners to be published in this collection

Was later featured as a stimulus for multiple choice questions in the English and Language Arts portion of the Maryland High School Assessments (HSA) test

 

 

GAMES

Sparks of Eternity: Breakthrough,” Spring 2014—Frankel Jewish Academy, in conjunction with Michigan State University’s Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Department

Sparks of Eternity: Kerem b’Yavneh” [A vineyard in Yavneh], Spring 2015

Dialogue writer and story editor for these adventure computer games designed to educate about Talmudic teachings and the Jewish calendar, “Breakthrough” set during the Roman siege of Jerusalem, and its sequel “Kerem b’Yavneh” set in the agricultural community of Yavneh in ancient Israel, the center of Jewish learning and practice in the days following the destruction of the Second Temple

Both available for free on the iTunes App Store and at jewishgaming.com

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