The Original Deed – two performances left

Zuzana MacKnight

Saturday & Sunday, November 18 & 19 at 7 pm — are your last opportunities to see Zuzana Macknight as Rivka Abelman, wife of the lead character in the play The Original Deed by Sid Tafler currently running at Congregation Emanu-El synagogue.

Tickets are available at Ticket Rocket $20 for adults, $15 for students and will be available at the door.

Sid Tafler provides his understanding of how Zuzana and the character she plays became friends…

Zuzana was born in Czechoslovakia where she enjoyed a promising career as an actor in film, theatre, television and radio. In 1968, she was visiting her father in Canada when the Russians suddenly overthrew the Czech reformist government of Alexander Dubček. When a hardline regime took power in Prague, the new government ruled her stay illegal and she became stranded in Canada. Shortly after, her father died and she struggled to build a new life in a country she barely knew.

Here’s what Zuzana says about the play and her role:

“I perceive the play as a message that reaches beyond the boundaries of the synagogue in Victoria, B.C.

“The ‘Deed‘ is a much needed reminder in these troubled times, to adhere to and preserve sustaining values: love, faith, family, honour, compassion, decency, loyalty, respect–the building blocks of community.

Rivka has my empathy and admiration. After an avalanche of questions, reading, re-reading of the play and character, analyzing, visualizing, identifying the traits, looking for similarities and differences (Rivka and I are both emigrants…), I found this to be an exciting but monumental task for an actress.

“As I searched for the traits of Rivka’s character, her motivations, her purpose in life, and relationship with others, she became my friend. I wanted to be like her.

“From the text in the script, she emerged as a warm, strong person who through tragic experiences, (like I had) namely in her youth, through suffering and losses she gained wisdom and learned to value life and family.

“Rivka possesses a loving intelligence in dealing with people by understanding them and therefore is able to defuse situations that could lead to conflicts. She is dedicated to her own family, always identifying and willing to meet the needs of her husband and sons.”

“The final task for me as an actress is to have control of the part. Meaning: to be able to act time after time as if what is happening on stage is happening for the first time. The audience must feel the freshness of the moment in order to be completely engaged and drawn into the theatrical experience.”

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An inclusive, warm, and progressive Conservative synagogue in Victoria, B.C.

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