Original Plays

Abraham and Isaac in Jerusalem

by Robert Cohen
UC Irvine 2010

A group of California student actors decide to mount their production of a medieval “Abraham and Isaac” cycle play in contemporary Jerusalem’s Rova Square, where they and their Hebrew and Arabic translators face a heckling audience of Israelis and Palestinians. “Deep religious awe and ironic kitsch collide like atomic particles, illuminating the transcendent and immanent axis of a graph on which all religious experience might be plotted.” —Guy Zimmerman, The Times Quotidian


Alison Plott (in red shirt) as “the Director,” stands helpless as Mo Aboul-Zelof (back to camera) as the Arabic translator
interrupts the play, with Jesse Easley as Abraham (left) and Erika Haaland as Isaac wondering when they will be able to proceed.


Atop the “mountain,” Jesse Easley as Abraham kneels over Erika Haaland as his son Isaac, whom Abraham has been ordered
by God to sacrifice.


Abraham and Isaac travel on horseback to Mount Moriah.