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A Body of Water
Named on list of contemporary plays that "breaks new ground" by All About Jewish Theatre.
An impressionistic piece made up of three playlets following the lives of nine people who become involved with sacred Jewish rituals in unexpectedly intimate ways.
A "tahara" (washing) is performed as the members of the Jewish Sacred Burial Society join in this loving, personal ritual which is as much as affirmation of life as it is an evocation of how we let go.
A hairdresser tries to save the passion in her marriage by going to a "mikveh" (ritual bath). The consequences are both humorous and powerful as the ritual affects her and her husband in unexpected ways.
Devoutly observant Devi finds herself unhappily pregnant for the sixth time and learns about sin, expectation and forgiveness through "tashlich," a penitential rite performed on the Jewish New Year.
Produced by Circle Repertory Company and published by Dramatists Play Service. Can be performed by a cast of six: four women, two men.
"Jenna Zark, a playwright from Minneapolis and Chicago, has bothered to look somewhere new - or so old it's new - for journeys by women we seldom get to know in the theater."
Linda Winer, Newsday
"This is an unusual, provocative evening...the perceptive writing has been staged by Caroline Kava with the understated power that characterizes Zark's picture of women searching, in a markedly different way, for a personal identity within their religious faith."
Clive Barnes, New York Post
"In playwright Jenna Zark's New York debut, a young Midwestern Jewish hairdresser, in marital and spiritual crisis, visits an Orthodox mikvah (or ritual bathhouse) and is counseled by a devout and apparently contented married woman whose belief in Jewish law leads to her own crisis. Zark has put theological matters to lively dramatic use."
John Lahr, The New Yorker
"As written by Zark with humor and insight, and directed with zesty economy by Caroline Kava, Body of Water entertains with some odd and original women."
Francine Russo, The Village Voice
"Zark draws the women with compassion and humor. This small play is as much about passionate love as it is about the need for rituals that give us a way to honor ourselves. And it's about independence of spirit, the dignity that small, private acts...bring to ordinary lives."
Jeremy Gerard, Variety