Crossing Jerusalem Production Photos

Crossing Jerusalem runs from August 4-29 at Park Theatre, London.  Click here to book tickets.


Crossing Jerusalem Video Trailer

Crossing Jerusalem runs from August 4-29 at Park Theatre, London.


Crossing Jerusalem from Pascal Theatre Company on Vimeo.

Crossing Jerusalem Actor Profile: Trudy Weiss

Trudy Weiss as VARDA KAUFMANN GOLDSTEIN

Welcome to an eight part interview series featuring the cast members of Crossing Jerusalem.  Check back daily for the next installment.

Introduce yourself and tell us about your character in Crossing Jerusalem.

My name is Trudy Weiss and I play Varda Kaufmann Goldstein in Crossing Jerusalem.  I am the matriarch in of the Kauffman family.   Varda has this whole world in her hands.  She’s been in Israel since the beginning, before the Six-Day War.  Her overview is quite comprehensive in comparison to her children or her second husband, the Russian Serge.  She’s of European parentage, so she has retained that specific ineffable sensibility.  And yes, Varda has an American accent because she was taught by Americans as a child.  Varda has become hard-bitten and cynical due to everything she has witnessed and all the tragedy and disappointment that has ensued. We are in the second Intifada, God help everyone!  The anticipated harmony has deteriorated into chaos,rage, mistrust, hatred, and a seeming inability to find a way to co-habit  at all.

One of the interesting parts of your character is she seems to be the keeper of secrets.  Can you elaborate more about this aspect of Varda?

I do think she was quite a passionate optomistic zealot when she was young.  Varda had absolute faith in all that had been hoped for and felt sure that together the Palestinians and the Jews could create  harmonious and respectful living conditions . This  has deteriorated into something completely unexpected.  Thus Varda is an absolute lioness about protecting her family, regardless if she’s “getting along” with them or not.  Varda will maintain the lineage at all costs.  Surely in this beautiful tender and explosive play, our dysfunctional family is a reflection of the dysfunctional country.  Israel , though still vibrant, alive, loud, wild , brilliant and determined, does not have the relatively peaceful balanced plans for unity that it had held sacred.  And yes, she has some of her own secrets….she’s been around a lot longer than her kids!

Rehearsal photo of Trudy Weiss as Varda Kaufmann Goldstein (foreground) & Chris Spyrides as Serge Goldstein (background) (Photo credit: Habie Schwarz)

Varda also comes across as intense.

Varda is intense.  She’s is like a whirling dervish as all activities converge. She’s also very outspoken and manipulative.  Part of that comes from her wanting to make sure everyone is behaving appropriately to ensure their survival.  Varda is an aging hippy and has transformed herself into a very effective and  successful business woman.Look at the Chicago 7.  She’s demanding and narcissistic.  There are positive virtues to that, the art of selfishness. Varda will keep her head above water through sheer bloody minded determinism.  Her saving grace is her abundant humour and perspective on the whole ensuing drama that has overwhelmed this tiny country. She is The Proctectress of the Jewish identity and that involves sacrifice.

How is working with Julia Pascal?

Julia is a fabulous, energetic massively intelligent woman . It’s been a great  advantage to have the writer working as director.That certainly expands our opportunities to develop as ,ultimately, after all our  exploration, she can weave our efforts into her intended tapestry.   It’s a gift.  Every day new layers are being revealed.  A good friend of mine has worked with Julia on many occassions and Julia had mentioned to my her that she was looking for a Varda.  My friend graciously suggested me. Lucky me! I’m very happy to be with Julia.  It’s a vibrant, lively, committed group of talented actors.It is a big emotional journey and we are all willingly taking it together.

Why should people see Crossing Jerusalem?

It’s a necessary even-handed perspective on an issue that has claimed the hearts, minds, and opinions of the entire world.  It’s a  balanced story in which we are able to clearly hear both opinions as reflected in the dense cornucopia of thought and emotion. It is of The Heart as it deals with the humanity of these people, not just the politics. It is the bottom line . We don’t get much of that in the newspapers.  Crossing Jerusalem is a powerful classic play because it’s timeless. This is an issue that we’ll be fretting and steaming about into eternity. Hopefully.

Crossing Jerusalem – Written and Directed by Julia Pascal

Synopsis:  Set during the 2002 intifada, and just before the invasion of Iraq, Crossing Jerusalem is a potent and dynamic exploration of the theatre of war. The play describes 24 hours in the life of an Israeli family who cross Jerusalem to eat in an Arab village. In the course of a single day Arab and Jewish histories burst into the present in the most politically tense city in the world.

Venue & Address: Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP
Telephone booking number: 020 7870 6876
Booking website: www.parktheatre.co.uk
Direct link to book tickets online click here

Opening and closing dates: Dates: Tues 4 August – Sat 29 August 2015 (Preview 4th and 5th August)
Times: 7.45pm Tues – Sat / Thu & Sat Matinees 3.15pm
Prices: £12.50 Previews / £18 Full / £15 Concessions /
£12.50 Tuesdays Residents with N.London postcode or Under 25s