'Black Jew Dialogs' to explore 'absurdity of prejudice' in Harrisburg

The history and absurdity of prejudice and racism will come to the Penn State Harrisburg Tuesday, Sept. 22, in the form of the two-actor play titled "The Black Jew Dialogs."

The one-hour performance, which begins at 12:45 p.m., draws from the African-American and Jewish experience and is free and open to the public in the Olmsted Auditorium on campus. For information, call 717-948-6273.

The show premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland in August of 2006. In September 2007 it was the only American play invited to be presented at the Leeds Jewish Performing Arts Festival in England. Since then, "The Black Jew Dialogues" has been touring to universities, high schools, synagogues and theatres throughout the U.S. with great success.

In the presentation, Larry Jay Tish and Ron Jones take the audience on a hysterical and poignant ride through three days they spent together in a cheap hotel room discussing their own experiences, the history of their people and why there has been a growing rift between the two groups since the early 70's. Through their dialogue, the audience gains insight to the true nature of prejudice and how our inability to face our own biases separate us in ways that we may not even think about. The comic journey begins in the Egypt of the Pharaohs and travels through Africa and colonial times, to present-day America.

Jones has been an actor, director, and trainer developing socially relevant theatre for over 20 years. He has been a classroom teacher, as well as an artist in residence in over a dozen communities across Massachusetts. In 1992 Jones co-founded “Urban Improv,” a theatre organization which uses improvisation to help young people deal with real life issues in a safe environment. In 2002 Urban Improv won an Emmy Award for Best Children's Programming for the television program "re:Action."

Tish is an educator, actor, writer, and improv performer. He is a founding member of StageCoach Improv, and has facilitated training workshops for Reebok, COMCAST, Harvard Business School, The American Bar Association, The International Academy of Collaboration Professionals (IACP), Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, The New Law Center and the state of Maine.

Last Updated November 18, 2010