A chance encounter with three Hasidim with lowered eyes when walking across a NY street leads to the new play, ‘Division Avenue’
By Renee Ghert-Zand
Sometimes you need the perspective of an outsider. “Division Avenue,” a new play about tension between Hasidim and hipsters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is written by Miki Bone, a Catholic playwright from Texas. The family drama, which manages some comedic moments while dealing with serious issues, is currently having a short debut run at New York’s Midtown International Theater Festival through August 3.
Fascinated by what she observed on a 2009 walking tour of Brooklyn, Bone couldn’t get the image of three Hasidic men crossing the street and averting their eyes from a young woman in modern dress as she passed them. Bone, a 52-year-old former high school drama teacher, captured the scene in a photograph and later turned the image into a painting for a class she was taking for her Masters degree at the University of Texas at Dallas. Eventually, the painting gave rise to a script.
“I took the men’s shielding their eyes as an act of respect, not rudeness,” Bone tells The Times of Israel in an interview from New York as she prepares for the play’s opening with director Dean Nolen. But further research led to a deeper and more complex understanding of the Hasidim’s behavior, perhaps in response to the gentrification and
Read Entire Story in Times of Israel