The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Friday, July 12, 2019


WHERE: Amherst College campus in Amherst, MA
WHEN: Friday and Saturday, July 26 and 27 and 8:00 PM, Sunday, July 28 at 4:00 PM.

July 26-28, 2019 on the Amherst College campus in Amherst, MA

 Debórah Eliezer, Co-Artistic Director of foolsFURY, one of the most respected and dynamic theaters in the Bay Area is coming to Western Massachusetts as the next performer in the Ko Festival of Performance’s 5-week “HABITAT” season. In a solo show she’s calling “(dis)Place[d],” Eliezer cracks open the assumptions of her own identity through the story of her father, Edward Ben-Eliezer, an Iraqi Jew born in 1930, a member of the Zionist underground, refugee, Israeli spy, and immigrant to America. “(dis)Place[d]” will be performed at KoFest on July 26, 27, and 28 in the Holden Theater at Amherst College.

Eliezer brings twenty years’ experience as an acclaimed physical performer and voice-over artist to create a dozen different characters, including her father at three different ages, her great-grandmother, their Iraqi neighbors, itself, refugees, immigrants, and an ethereal embodiment of the Tigris and Euphrates River Valley itself. This performance, both written and performed by Debórah Eliezer, is directed by the other half of the foolsFURY Artistic Directorship, Ben Yalom, wand has video design by Kedar Lawrence and lighting design by KoFest Artistic Director Sabrina Hamilton.

First generation immigrants have often hidden the stories of their past, sometimes to keep painful memories from their children, sometimes to enthusiastically embrace their new countries. The children are caught between cultures, with no way of acknowledging a multi-national, multi-ethnic identity. It was not until Eliezer’s father had begun his descent into dementia that she began to glimpse his past.

“We kept cyanide in our socks,” he said out of the blue one day. This is how she learned that her peace-loving father had been a spy for the Israeli Defense Forces. Bit by bit, Debórah uncovered her roots, and the remarkable history of the Iraqi Jewish Diaspora, remarkable because Jews had been deeply integrated into Iraqi life for over 2500 years, and made up a third of Baghdad’s population in 1940. Within a decade, all 130,000 were gone, expelled, escaped, or killed. Today fewer than 10 Jews remain in Iraq.

“(dis)Place[d]” follows her exploration of these stories, and asks hard questions: Who has the right to tell the story of a people? What is the significance of borders versus land and culture? What is the relationship of nationality to identity? The work aims to open a space for community dialogue around these issues in general, and specifically within the diaspora of Mizrahi Jews. Through this journey, the artist also finds a missing part of herself, “a song sung in a language I can’t understand” as she puts it. “A dream I can’t remember.”

At foolsFURY, Debórah Eliezer is in charge of producing new work, internship opportunities, public educational programs and a national festival, the FURYfactory, that is a West Coast mirror image of the Ko Festival. She has been a company member since 2005. Eliezer has also worked with a number of other theater companies including Golden Thread, Woman’s Will, The Puppet Players, Marin Shakespeare, Antenna Theater, Eclipse Dance Theater and Traveling Jewish Theatre. She also runs a 33-acre artist retreat center in Sonoma County. For more information, visit

Performances are Friday and Saturday, July 26 and 27 and 8:00 PM, Sunday, July 28 at 4:00 PM. KoFest performances take place in Amherst College’s Holden Theater, located behind the Admissions Office off South Pleasant Street in Amherst, MA. Tickets are $22 Adults / $18 Students & Seniors and $10 for SNAP/EBT cardholders. Tickets are available online at, by email at and by phone at (413) 542-3750. The box office phone line is staffed daily from 1-5 and 1 to curtain on performance days. Call about a limited number of $8 tickets.

More information about the artists can be found at
The Ko Festival, where the only certainty is surprise!




TWITTER: @kofest

Funded, in part, by The Massachusetts Cultural Council, a stage agency, The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, and by Art Angels.

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