I am outside of the theatre, walking down the poorly lit road to the train. I am still crying. What I saw touched something so raw, so genuine that when it was over, I felt as if I was somehow different.
The play was the Mikvah project at the Yard Theatre, with Oliver Coopersmith as Eitan and Jonah Russell as Avi. The play was directed by Jay Miller and written by Josh Azouz, and it follows the story of two Jewish men of different backgrounds that share a pool and a secret that flourishes from admiration, to lust, to love, to destruction and beyond.
The play was very intense, with the romance between the two characters building slowly but steadily while the impossibility of the union always present. You are rooting for them, but it feels like a lost battle from the start.
There were two moments that I found unbearably moving:
The first one was when Avi is dreaming, and he sees Eitan as a dragon, burning him, but he does not move, surrendering to the flames.
The second was when Eitan is told that Avi will destroy him, to which he replies ‘ok‘.
It is this nature of love, the willingness to open up despite being hurt, understanding that what is happening might destroy you, but still being unable, unwilling to move, realising that not being consumed by this love would be unbearable.
I understand this feeling. We are all casualties of love. The dragons that burn us live within, and the rest is smoke.