PLEASE NOTE: The start/end date above is NOT the event date. This event will be held Oct. 11.
JOHNSON CITY (Posted Oct. 5, 2012) — On Thursday, Oct. 11, storyteller Noa Baum will bring her one-woman show for adults, “A Land Twice Promised,” to East Tennessee State University’s Martha Street Culp Auditorium in the D.P. Culp University Center at 7:30 p.m., as the first in a three-part storytelling series entitled “When Worlds Collide.” The series is sponsored by ETSU’s Mary B. Martin School of the Arts.
Baum, who received a grant from the National Storytelling Network for the show, was born and reared in Jerusalem, although she has lived in the U.S. since 1990. The Israeli actress and storyteller made friends with a Palestinian woman at a playground in Davis, Calif., when their sons were babies. Baum has woven together their and their mothers’ stories, creating a moving testimony illuminating the complex and contradictory history and emotions that surround Jerusalem for the Israelis and Palestinians.
Baum began to explore the third of the Arab-Israeli wars, the Six-Day War, fought in June 1967, pitting Israel against Syria, Jordan and Egypt. Israel prevailed, capturing the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
When she returned to California, Baum phoned her Palestinian friend. “I realized I have known her for almost seven years and never heard what that war was like for her,” she says. “It was a very powerful experience for both of us. For the first time, I was actually hearing what it is like to be a Palestinian living under occupation. She said, ‘I would not tell you these things if I had not known you and we had this level of trust.’”
“A Land Twice Promised” has received critical acclaim from experts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including David Shipler, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land. “All the fine newspaper reporting and nonfiction book writing can’t quite capture what [Baum] captured in just a few minutes of storytelling, acting and impersonation,” Shipler said. “Impressive.”
“The region of the Middle East has been volatile for decades, and it’s important to stop and reflect on the experiences of people who lived through conflicts, including stories from opposing sides,” says Anita DeAngelis, director of the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts.
Baum holds a B.F.A. in theater from Tel Aviv University and was an actress with the Khan Repertory Theater of Jerusalem. She also studied with acclaimed acting teacher Uta Hagen in New York and holds a master of arts degree in educational theater from New York University. While at NYU, she received a graduate fellowship to work in inner-city schools from C.A.T., the Theater in Education company there.
She has presented at hundreds of venues, including the World Bank, Mayo Clinic, the Kennedy Center, U.S. Defense Department, George Washington University Law School, and Brandeis, Stanford and Hebrew universities. Baum also won a Parents’ Choice Recommended Award for her CD, “Far Away and Close to Home.”
Ticket prices for “A Land Twice Promised” are $5 for students with a valid student ID; $10 for general admission; and $5 for seniors 60 and over.
For information about the ETSU Mary B. Martin School of the Arts, call (423) 439-TKTS (8587) or visit www.etsu.edu/cas/arts/ or www.Facebook.com/ETSU.MBMSOTA. Visit www.noabaum.com for more about Baum.