Original score lends a new sound to familiar story

February 22, 2013 11:00 AM

New Wave staff

While audiences may be familiar with the Barbara Streisand film, a production of Yentl staged by the Tulane Department of Theatre and Dance will feature an original, contemporary score blending Klezmer and American folk music. The play, taking the stage Feb. 26 – March 3, will feature live performances by musicians from the Tulane and New Orleans communities.


Tulane students Julia Delois (Yentl), left, and Abigail Yesso (Hadass) star in the play Yentl, opening on Tuesday (Feb. 26) on the uptown campus. (Photo by Arynne S. Fannin)

The score, written by Jill Sobule and Robin Eaton, relies on a nontraditional orchestra and allows for instrumental improvisation.

Alumnus Ken Goode returns to campus as musical director and Dmitry Troyanovsky, assistant professor of theater, will direct the play, written by Leah Napolin, about an intelligent Jewish girl who defies tradition, disguising herself as a man in order to continue her education.

“The music adds powerful layers of heartbreak, humor and irony,” Troyanovksy says. “While directing the show, it’s important for me to fashion a unique style that balances these elements; the show should feel both expansive (in the way that musical theater can be) and intimate like an eloquent short story.”

The play is based on “Yentl the Yeshiva Boy,” a beloved Yiddish short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer.

Senior Julia Delois stars as Yentl, with sophomore Duncan Becker as Avigdor and Abigail Yesso, a first-year student, as Hadass. Set design and lighting design are by MFA candidate Derek Blanco.

Choreographer Jeffrey Gunshol, professor of practice in modern dance, emphasizes ritual and also breaks from tradition, mirroring the play’s plot in movement. “The style and movement of the show are slightly askew from the norm” to reflect the central conflict in the show, he says.

The play will be at the Albert Lupin Experimental Theater in the Dixon Performing Arts Center on the uptown campus. General admission is $12, with tickets at $9 for the Tulane community and $8 for students.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu