Dirty Laundry Theater returns with an all-new cast for BORDERS
Dirty Laundry Theater has announced the virtual return of its nominee for Best Play at NY Summer Festival 2019 and Best Virtual Theater TimeOUT 2020 – Borders, now with a new cast!
Directed by Michael R. Piazza, the New York production is an intimate portrait of two men who meet on Grindr. Although they are only 20 km away, they are worlds apart, one in Lebanon and the other in Israel. Inspired by an experience similar to that of playwright Nimrod Danishman, the play examines the bonds that form and can prevail despite literal and metaphorical distances.
The American adaptation of the play, which was first written and directed in Tel Aviv, Israel, was first produced by DLT, an emerging theater company in New York City.
Borders also became the first Israeli piece to be shown at the Stonewall Inn. Adapting to the 2020 pandemic, production has pivoted to a virtual format, garnering good reviews for its screen release in May 2020 and February 2021.
“Borders is a consistently top-notch virtual experience for viewers that perfectly evokes the virtual experiences of its very human protagonist,” Deb Miller wrote for DC Metro Theater Arts.
As in-person performances in the city resume, out of an excess of caution, the play will return in a hybrid format with two new faces to take on the roles of two Middle Eastern men navigating the complex world of dating.
Yochai Greenfeld, an Israeli-American actor, writer, singer and dancer takes on the role of Boaz, a flirtatious Israeli student in Jerusalem. Greenfeld will succeed Eli Schoenfeld, who played the role in the play’s initial and virtual run. Borders also marks Greenfeld’s return to the theater after a pre-pandemic Fiddler on the Roof Broadway tour, Charlie Brown Christmas nationwide tour, and more.
Gabriel Sahyoun, who plays George in the production, supports the man across the border in Lebanon. Previously, Adrian Rifat played the role of the shy and serious Lebanese man looking for a deep connection. With George, Sahyoun finds his way back to New York after a ten-year journey into the wild pockets of the United States, where savagery and fearlessness have flourished; looking for people and stories that moved and inspired him. A recent graduate of the Stella Adler Studio for Acting, Sahyoun is delighted to portray his Middle Eastern / Lebanese roots in the play.
The majority of the production team (except for the cast) remains the same as the previous two iterations of Borders. Last year, Schoenfeld and Rifat listened to their YouTube performances live from their homes. A new relevance to the growing culture of virtual dating amid the pandemic allowed audiences to instantly connect to the production.
Add to that the conflicts of two gay men divided and brought together by cultural and personal “boundaries”, and the audience got a nuanced look at the “dirty laundry” life of the LGBTQ community in the Middle East.
In its new iteration, the actors seek to bring a depth similar to that of Schoenfeld and Rifat, with a tinge of their personal flavor to their characters. Combined with educational programs, Borders will begin its second virtual race in November 2021.
In an effort to have a full audience in person if the situation permits, Dirty Laundry Theater is currently offering onstage, hybrid and virtual experiences of Borders. For more information on this and other DLT projects, please visit and subscribe to www.dirtylaundrytheatre.org