Hi there! My name is Ruby Lowenstein and I’m currently an intern at the New Yiddish Rep. I’ll be using this blog as a diary of sorts, to talk about my experiences and observations of day-to-day life at NYRT… Or other stuff! Maybe I’ll even throw in a few questions… If nothing else, I can definitely assure you that I will be figuring it out as I go along!
First! A little bit about me… I am originally from Ann Arbor MI, but am currently a sophomore at Bennington College, in Bennington VT. I primarily study theater with a focus on playwriting. I am also really interested in ceramics, cognitive science, standup comedy, and spending large amounts of my time thinking about the concept of the Golem.
Why yiddish theater? A lot of reasons! One of my grandmothers speaks yiddish, so it has always been a language I felt connected to… but also didn’t actually know at all. I first formally became interested in Yiddish last year when I took my first playwriting class. I found that many of the characters I wanted to explore spoke yiddish. They couldn’t do it if I couldn’t, so after a few embarrassing experiences with Google Translate, I decided I had to learn. This led me to spend 7 super transformative weeks studying yiddish as part of the 2018 Steiner Summer Yiddish Program at the Yiddish Book Center. This experience not only strengthened my interest and commitment to yiddish language and culture, but fostered an interest in the art of translation and introduced me to an awe inspiring group of teachers and fellow students. Stay tuned for a more in depth post at some point about my experience at Steiner!
So what am I doing here? Bennington has a winter internship period called Field Work Term (FWT). Last year I spent my FWT as an intern for the wonderful Puppet Showplace Theatre in Brookline, MA. This year, I’m spending it here! I’ve been at NYRT for a couple weeks so far, during which I have spent the majority of my time distressing costume and prop pieces (surprisingly meditative…), running around doing miscellaneous errands (for example: I spent part of an afternoon at Petopia attempting to stuff large, differently shaped bags of kitty litter into a burlap sack.*), running lines with actors (very fun for me, not as fun for them…), attending acting and writing workshops at NYRT (yay!!), and editing, re-editing, formatting, re-formatting, and operating the supertitles for Waiting for Godot (I’ve gotten to know this show very well.). Now that tech for the show has mostly smoothed out, I’m beginning to develop a series of children’s puppet shows in a mixture of english and yiddish. I’m really excited for whatever those end up becoming!
Okay, that feels like enough exposition…
To finish off my first post, I’d like to briefly reflect on yesterday’s show: it was great, other than the fact that I really had to sneeze the whole time. Yes, the full two and a half hours. To sum it up in a single slide of Waiting for Godot supertitles (which I now eat, sleep, and breath)…
*I found the perfect kitty litter. Come to Waiting for Godot to see what it’s become.