Vanessa Redgrave, Tony Kushner and other American artists support Israeli artists’ Ariel boycott

Press Release
6 September 2010

Following the movement of Israeli theater professionals who authored a letter refusing to perform in the settlement of Ariel on August 27th,and the attack on them that ensued, American counterparts have come together with their own statement of support.

Organized by Jewish Voice for Peace, a national Jewish-American organization, the statement has been signed by over 150 theater and film professionals representing some of the most respected and renowned artists in theater and film – including Four Pulitzer Prize winners, several recipients of Guggenheim Fellowships, a MacArthur Fellowship, a National Medal of Honor,and scores of recipients of the highest U.S. acting honors, including Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, Obie Awards, Drama Desk Awards, and more. Some names include Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon, world-renowned playwright Tony Kushner, 21-time Tony winner for productions of “The Pajama Game” to “Phantom of the Opera” Harold Prince , star of the film “Yentl,” Mandy Patinkin, and Cameri co-founder Theodore Bikel, among many others.

Organized by Jewish Voice for Peace, a national Jewish-American organization, the statement has been signed by over 150 theater and film professionals representing a wide geographic, political, cultural and professional range – including Four Pulitzer winners, several recipients of Guggenheim Fellowships, a MacArthur Fellowship, a National Medal of Honor,and scores of recipients of the highest U.S. acting honors, including Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, Obie Awards, Drama Desk Awards, and more. Some names include Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon, Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave, world-renowned playwright Tony Kushner, 21-time Tony winner for productions of “The Pajama Game” to “Phantom of the Opera” Harold Prince , star of the film “Yentl,” Mandy Patinkin, and Cameri co-founder Theodore Bikel, among many others.

Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace: “The response of American artists to the courageous actions of their Israeli counterparts is just phenomenal. It is especially notable that so many of the signatories are Jewish Americans with long-standing connections to Israel. We hope that the strong show of solidarity by Americans in response to these brave Israelis will help spark a new conversation in both countries, one that acknowledges that the Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are illegal by every measure of international law, contribute to the daily violation of human rights of Palestinians, and are a major obstacle to a just peace in the region.”

Press contact:
Jonathan Pollak 054-632-7736
Libby Lenkinski Friedlander 054-800-1917

Text of the statement:

On August 27th, dozens of Israeli actors, directors, and playwrights made the brave decision not to perform in Ariel, one of the largest of the West Bank settlements, which by all standards of international law are clearly illegal. As American actors, directors, critics and playwrights, we salute our Israeli counterparts for their courageous decision.

Most of us are involved in daily compromises with wrongful acts. When a group of people suddenly have the clarity of mind to see that the next compromise looming up before them is an unbearable one — and when they somehow find the strength to refuse to cross that line — we can’t help but be overjoyed and inspired and grateful.

It’s thrilling to think that these Israeli theatre artists have refused to allow their work to be used to normalize a cruel occupation which they know to be wrong, which violates international law and which is impeding the hope for a just and lasting peace for Israelis an Palestinians alike. They’ve made a wonderful decision, and they deserve the respect of people everywhere who dream of justice. We stand with them.

*Statement organizers and signatories represent a wide range of political opinions and perspectives, but have come together for the sole purpose of making a joint statement on this one critical issue.

**All identifications and affiliations are for identification purposes only and do not imply endorsements by any institutions


Vanessa Redgrave, Actress
The only British actress to ever have won the Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Canes, Golden Globe and the Screen Actors Guild awards; Mission: Impossible, Mary Queen of Scots, Atonement.

Cynthia Nixon, Actress
Portrayed Miranda Hobbes in the HBO series Sex and the City; Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award-winning actress

Ed Asner, Actor
8 time Emmy award Winner (more than any other male actor); Former president Screen Actors Guild, lead voice in Pixar’s Up, Mary Tyler Moore

Tony Kushner, Playwright; Screenwriter;
Pulitzer Prize winner for Angels in America; Tony Award winner; Emmy Award winner; Drama Desk Award winner; Was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award; Co-author of Munich

Theodore Bikel, Actor, Folk Singer, Musician
Co-founder of the Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv; president of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America; Academy Award nominee; Tony Award nominee; actor in film, TV and theater; vocalist

Jennifer Tilly, Actress
Portrayed Olive Neal in Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway, Fabulous Baker Boys, Liar Liar, Bound; Academy Award Nominee

Miriam Margolyes, Actor
Portrayed Professor Sprout in Harry Potter; BAFTA Winner

Harold Prince, Director, Producer,
21 Tony Awards winner (Pajama Game, Cabaret, West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, Evita, Phantom of the Opera), National Medal of the Arts Recipient

Mandy Patinkin, Actor, Vocalist
Actor in Yentl, the Princess Bride (portrayed Inigo Montoya), Sunday in the Park with George; Vocalist, (Mamaloshen), Tony Award winner

Wallace Shawn, Actor, Playwright, Translator
Actor in Princess Bride (portrayed Vizzini) My Dinner With Andre, Vanya on 42nd St; playwright of The Fever, The Designated Mourner; translator of Three Penny Opera by Bertoldt Brecht

James Schamus, Producer, Screenwriter, Film Historian
BAFTA Award Winner; producer of Brokeback Mountain, co-writer and producer of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Ice Storm, Eat Drink Man Woman, Academy Award nominee, CEO Focus Features

Eve Ensler, Playwright, preformer
The Vagina Monologues; Obie Award winner; Guggenheim Fellowship

Liz Diamond, Scholar
Chair, Directing Dept., Yale School of Drama

Andre Gregory, Actor
My Dinner With Andre

Lynn Nottage, Playwright
Winner of 2009 Pulitzer Prize; winner of 2007 MacArthur Genius Award

Sheldon Harnick, Lyricist
Pulitzer Prize Winner, Fiddler on the Roof, Tony Award Winner

Paula Vogel, Playwright, Scholar
Pulitzer Prize Winner, Eugene O’Neill Chair, Playwriting Department -Yale School of Drama

Bill Irwin, Actor, Mime, Choreographer
Winner two Tony Awards ;Winner of the National Endowment for the Arts Choreographer’s Fellowship; Guggenheim, Fulbright and MacArthur Fellowships

David Adjmi, Playwright
Steinberg Playwright Award, the Bush Artists Fellowship, and the Kesselring Fellowship for Drama, named in the New Yorker as up and coming playwrigh t

Najla Said, Actor, Playwright
Daughter of Edward Said; “Palestine,” Her one-woman Off Broadway play is a coming-of-age story about Ms. Said”s journey to become an Arab-American on her own terms.

Bruce Allardice, Managing Director
Ping Chong & Co.

Philip Arnoult, Director, Center for International Theatre Development (CITD)

Anthony Arnove, Author and Editor
Co-Directed (with Howard Zinn and Chris Moore) and Executive Produced “The People Speak (film)

Caron Atlas, Cultural Organizer and Consultant
Founding director of the American Festival Project, a national coalition of activist artists (

Arthur Aviles, Artistic Director
Artistic Director, The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Arthur Aviles Typical Theatre

David Barlow, Actor, Writer, Performance Artist

Laura Barnett, Theater Educator, Performance Artist, Director

George Bartenieff, Actor
Obie Award Winner

Mark Barton, Lighting Designer

John Bell, Director
Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, Puppeteer, Scholar, Great Small Works.

Melia Bensussen, Director
Obie Award Winning Director; Chair of Emerson College Department of Performing Arts

Eric Bentley, Theatre scholar, critic, author, playwright, editor and translator

Theodore S. Berger, Executive Director of the New York Foundation for the Arts for thirty years

Susan Bernfield, Artistic Director, New Georges

Philip Bither, Senior curator, Walker Arts Center

James Bundy, Dean, Yale School of Drama; Artistic Director, Yale Repertory Theatre

Kathleen Chalfant, Actor
Obie Award Winner, Drama Desk Winner, Tony Award Nominee

Linda Chapman, Associate Artistic Director, New York Theatre Workshop

Rachel Chavkin, Director; Founder and Artistic director of the TEAM (the Theater of the Emerging American Moment)

Trudi Cohen, Puppeteer, Theater Artist
Great Small Works

Kia Corthron, Playwright

Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas, Playwright

Clare Coss, Playwright

Alex Courtney, Stage, Film and Television Actor

Tim Cusack, Artistic Director, Theatre Askew

Savitri D., Director
The Church of Life After Shopping

Matthew Dellapina, Actor

Ivor Dembina, Comedian

David J. Diamond, Theatre consultant, producer and career coach for theatre artists

Elin Diamond, Critic, Scholar

Sally Eberhardt, Theatres Against War (THAW)

Edward Einhorn, Director, Playwright, Novelist, Executive Director of the Association of Jewish Theatre

Deborah Eisenberg, Playwright, Author, Actor, MacArthur Fellow

John Clinton Eisner, Artistic Director, Lark Play Development Center

Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, The Public Theater

Bertie Ferdman, Ph.D., Artistic Director, ExPgirl; Theatre Artist, Curator, Producer, Educator

Corey Fischer, Actor, Playwright
Playwright of See Under: Love; co-founder of the Traveling Jewish Theater, (now the Jewish Theater San Francisco)

Elinor Fuchs, Critic; Scholar, Yale School of Drama

Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, Playwright
2004 finalist, Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Adam Greenfield, Director of New Play Development, Playwright Horizons

David Greenspan, Actor, Award-Winning Playwright

Kathryn Grody, Actor; Writer
Obie Award Winner

Jason Grote, Playwright, Screenwriter

Del Hamilton, co-Founder and Artistic Director, 7 Stages

Karen Hartman, Playwright

David Herskovits, Founder and Artistic Director, Target Margin Theater

Joan Holden, Award-Winning Playwright

Jeffrey Horowitz, Founder and Artistic Director, Theater for a New Audience
Advisory Board of The Shakespeare Society and Artistic Directorate of London”s Globe Theatre, Artistic Advisor to the Shakespeare Globe Centre (USA).

Holly Hughes, Performance Artist, Guggenheim Fellow
One of the “NEA 4”, whose funding was vetoed for gay content

Birgit Huppuch, Actor

Julia Jarcho, Playwright, Director, Performer

Morgan Jenness, Dramaturge

John Jesurun, Writer, Director, Multi-Media Artist

Jeffrey M. Jones, Playwright, Curator –
Little Theatre @ Dixon Place, Pataphysics @ The Flea

Melanie Joseph, Artistic Producer
The Foundry Theatre

Chris Kam, Independent Producer

Stephen Kaplin, Puppeteer, Theater Designer/Performer
Great Small Works and Chinese Theatre Works

Melissa Kievman, Director

Josh Kornbluth, Monologist

Aaron Landsman, Independent Artist

Paul Lazar, Co-Artistic Director Big Dance Theater

Herbert Leibowitz, Writer and Editor

Maxinne Rhea Leighton, Author

Robert H. Leonard, Director, Professor, Department of Theatre Arts, Virginia Tech

Gideon Lester, Dramaturge and Curator
Former associate artistic director, American Repertory Theatre; former Acting Artistic Director, American Repertory Theatre

Roberta Levitow, Co-Founder, Theatre Without Borders

Irene Lewis, Artistic Director
Center Stage, Baltimore, Maryland

Ethan Lipton, Playwright

Casey Llewellyn, Theater Artist

Quincy Long, Playwright

John Carroll Lynch, Actor

Kirk Lynn, Co-Producing Artistic Director
Rude Mechs, Austin, TX

Matthew Maguire, Co-Artistic Director, Creation Production Company

Matthew Maher, Actor

Judith Malina, Actor Director
Founder and Artistic Director, The Living Theatre

Karen Malpede, Playwright, Theater Three Collaborative

Nina Mankin, Dramaturge, Writer

Emily Mann, Artistic Director/Playwright
McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton, NJ

Deborah Margolin, Playwright, Actor, Scholar

Vijay Mathew, Co-Director, American Voices New Play Institute

Marin Mazzie, Actress, Singer

Ellen McLaughlin, Playwright, Actor

Erin Mee, Director, Scholar
Swarthmore theater arts professor

Greg Mehrten, Actor, Director, Writer

David Michalek, Artist, Photographer
Visiting Faculty Member – Yale Divinity School

Tyler Micoleau, Lighting Designer

Tim Miller, Performance Artist
One of the “NEA 4”, whose funding was vetoed for gay content

Jennifer Miller, Performance Artist, director
Founder and Artistic Director of Circus Amok

Steve Moore, Artistic Director
Physical Plant Theater

Susan Mosakowski, Playwright
Co-Artistic Director Creation Production Company

David Moscow, Actor

Erika Munk, Critic, Professor
Yale School of Drama, theater critic

Tom Nelis, Actor

Jim Nicola, Artistic Director
New York Theatre Workshop

Annie-B Parson, Director
Co-Founder, Artistic director Big Dance Theater, NYFA and Guggenheim Fellow

Sally Ann Parsons, Costumer, Craftsman, Designer

Shailja Patel, Sundance Theatre Fellow 2010

Katie Pearl, Director

Sybille Pearson, Playwright
Rockefeller Playwrights Fellowship; founding member of The Playwrights Circle at The New York Theatre Workshop; an Artistic Resident at the Vineyard Theater

Ralph Pena, Artistic Director, Ma Yi Theater

Carla Peterson, Director
Artistic Director, Dance Theater Workshop

Brian Pickett, Theater Artist and Educator
Member Steering Committee – Theaters Against War (THAW)

Catherine Porter, Director
Co-Artistic Director Peculiar Works Project, Obie Award Winner

Ruth Reichl, Writer; PBS Television host
former restaurant critic, NYTimes, former editor in chief, Gourmet magazine, PBS television series host, memoirist

Reno, Comedian

Gordon Rogoff, Theater Critic; Director; Professor of Theater
Yale School of Drama; Obie Award Winner

Jenny Romaine, Puppeteer, Theater Artist
Great Small Works

Avital Ronell, Writer, Academic, Literary Critic

Ken Rus Schmoll, Director

Brian H. Scott, Theatrical Designer

Regine Anna Seckinger, Ph.D., Advisory Board Member, Rude Mechanicals, Austin, TX

Jamil Shamasdin, Actor

Peggy Shaw, Performance Artist, Actor, Playwright

Christopher Shinn, Playwright
Obie Award Winner, Guggenheim Fellow

Sarah Schulman, Novelist, Playwright

Jeanmarie Simpson, Theatre/Film Artist

Michael Singer, Television News Producer
Former producer, CBS News

Alisa Solomon, Theater Critic
Director of Arts Concentration, School of Journalism, Columbia

Bonnie Stein, Performing Arts Administrator, Manager, Project Producer and Coordinator, Executive Director
GOH Productions

Kris Stone, Stage Designer

Mark Sussman, Scholar, Puppeteer Director.
Great Small Works; Concordia University

Caridad Svich, Playwright, Songwriter, Translator, Editor

Bill Talen, Director
The Church of Life After Shopping

Kathleen Tolan, Playwright, Actor

Basil Twist, Puppeteer
Obie Award Winner

Charlie Varon, Playwright, Performer

Naomi Wallace, Playwright, Screenwriter

Anne Washburn, Playwright
Guggenheim Fellow

Donya K. Washington, Director

Stephen Webber, Actor

Brenda Wehle, Actor

Mac Wellman, Playwright, Author, Poet, Scholar
Donald I. Fine Professor of Play writing at Brooklyn College

Anabelle Winograd, Writer, Critic, Educator

Eunice Wong, Actor

Kristina Wong, Solo Performer and Writer.
Recipient of awards from Creative Capital, MAPFUND, two Creation Funds from the National Performance Network, three grants from the Center for Cultural Innovation, three Durfee ARC Grants, and four Artist-in-Residence Awards from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Had also received residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Hermitage in Englewood, FL.

Susan Yankowitz, Award-Winning Playwright and Librettist

David Zellnick, Playwright, Screenwriter, Lyricist

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