Shulman, Misha

Jerusalem was the city of Misha Shulman’s birth and childhood.  The writings of his father David Shulman , an Israeli professor of Humanities who received the Rothschild Prize for culture and a 1987 MacArthur “genius” fellowship as an historian of religion,  have been a great influence on his work.  Both father and son are devoted to Ta’ayush (Arabic for “life in common”), a grassroots movement of Arabs and Jews working to construct an equal partnership and peace.

After serving in the Israeli Defense Forces as Commander in Charge of Education in the Communications Unit of Lebanon from 1996 to 1999,  Shulman came to America to enroll in the Theatre Department at Hunter College. There, with the support of Professor Michael Rutenberg,  he developed his first produced play (2004) The Fist, about a decorated Israeli soldier who refuses to continue serving in the army and the repercussions of his actions within the three-generations of his family.  Shulman’s drama in this anthology, Desert Sunrise,was produced a year later.  Both, he affirms, are ta’ayush or activist works.

As a participant in outreach efforts to Palestinian residents of the South Hebron Hills, Shulman has been a teacher in a drama camp for Palestinian children and an Israeli observer in efforts to gain safe passage for Palestinian residents to their ancestral water wells.  During these actions in 2004 and 2005, Shulman met cave dwellers in the Hebron Hills and used some of their own words in his drama Desert Sunrise. “Everything in the Middle East is fuzzy and you don’t know where the truth is,” Shulman observed, “but with the cave dwellers, everything is crystal clear.”  The headline of the New York Times review of the play called it “a West Bank Godot,” with critic George Hunka concluding that “The Godot who never comes to [the characters] is peace.”

Shadow theater has also influenced Shulman, in Desert Sunrise and in work with off off Broadway’s Boundless Theater, of which he is founding director.  As an actor, he is a member of The Living Theatre and has toured internationally with them, and he has written and directed several plays for the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York.

While Shulman’s 2006 play Apricots concerned the impasse between Israeli and Palestinian leadership through the story of two families, his 2007 work, The Vermillionaie, inspired by the life and art of American painter Oscar Bluemner,  was a  biography of the artist told through eighteen scenes set in different Bluemner paintings.   In his most recent play, Brunch at the Luthers, he took an absurdist look at Western consciousness, performing it DADA newyork a  comedic troupe.  He is currently completing his MFA in playwriting at Brooklyn College, studying with Mac Wellman.

After serving in the Israeli Defense Forces as Commander in Charge of Education in the Communications Unit of Lebanon from 1996 to 1999,  Shulman came to America to enroll in the Theatre Department at Hunter College. There, with the support of Professor Michael Rutenberg,  he developed his first produced play (2004) The Fist, about a decorated Israeli soldier who refuses to continue serving in the army and the repercussions of his actions within the three-generations of his family.  Shulman’s drama in this anthology, Desert Sunrise,was produced a year later.  Both, he affirms, are ta’ayush or activist works.

As a participant in outreach efforts to Palestinian residents of the South Hebron Hills, Shulman has been a teacher in a drama camp for Palestinian children and an Israeli observer in efforts to gain safe passage for Palestinian residents to their ancestral water wells.  During these actions in 2004 and 2005, Shulman met cave dwellers in the Hebron Hills and used some of their own words in his drama Desert Sunrise. “Everything in the Middle East is fuzzy and you don’t know where the truth is,” Shulman observed, “but with the cave dwellers, everything is crystal clear.”  The headline of the New York Times review of the play called it “a West Bank Godot,” with critic George Hunka concluding that “The Godot who never comes to [the characters] is peace.”

Shadow theater has also influenced Shulman, in Desert Sunrise and in work with off off Broadway’s Boundless Theater, of which he is founding director.  As an actor, he is a member of The Living Theatre and has toured internationally with them, and he has written and directed several plays for the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York.

While Shulman’s 2006 play Apricots concerned the impasse between Israeli and Palestinian leadership through the story of two families, his 2007 work, The Vermillionaie, inspired by the life and art of American painter Oscar Bluemner,  was a  biography of the artist told through eighteen scenes set in different Bluemner paintings.   In his most recent play, Brunch at the Luthers, he took an absurdist look at Western consciousness, performing it DADA newyork a  comedic troupe.  He is currently completing his MFA in playwriting at Brooklyn College, studying with Mac Wellman.

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