For Sarah Vered, the wife of late Zeev Vered – an Ottawa builder famed for putting up buildings like the Nortel Skyline building on Baseline Road at Merivale Road – Bringing Israeli art to Ottawa is a labour of love.
With homes in Israel and in Ottawa, Vered said she loves both Israeli and Canadian culture and wants to use art to show case that.
Having already brought jazz and a film festival to Ottawa through her own cultural charity – the Vered Israel Cultural and Educational program at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre – Vered said she fell in love with a one-woman show called “An Israeli Love Story.”
In partnership with her own cultural charity, the Jewish Federation of Ottawa and the Embassy of Israel in Ottawa, Vered was able to pull it off.
“It was an autobiographical piece and I could see myself in it,” Vered said.
It’s the story of Margalit, a vibrant teenager and Ami, an idealistic kibutz pioneer and soldier.
The two meet by chance at a bus stop in the summer of 1942.
A relationship develops, despite the harshness of the time and drives the story.
Vered, who served in the Israeli army, said she could identify with the subject matter.
“I was about the same age when I went through something similar, so the story spoke to me,” Vered said.
The playwright Pnina Gary will be in Ottawa for both performances.
“She is amazing,” Vered said, adding that Gary was head of the Children’s Theatre in Israel.
Actress Adi Bielski will also be coming to Ottawa specifically for the performance, as well as musicians and technicians.
Vered who was back in Ottawa in mid-August, after spending considerable time in Israel putting the show together, said it was a lot of work, but well worth it.
The concept for the story was originally decided upon as a part of a school project for her grandson’s sixth grade class. Then she decided to expand on her experience to do a full play.
The show will hit the stage at the National Arts Centre’s Studio Hall – a 300-seat venue that Vered said is perfect for the feel of the piece.
“It reminds us that despite the war and the chaos, love was still able to happen,” Vered said.
There will be performances at 8 p.m. on Sept. 7 and 8. Tickets are $25 and available through Ticketmaster or the NAC box office.