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OCTOBER 7, a new verbatim play, will make its World Premiere in New York City on May 2
Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 06:49 pm EDT 04/08/24
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 06:49 pm EDT 04/08/24

OCTOBER 7, a new verbatim play about the terrorist attacks on Israel as told by the individuals who were there that day. The production will make its World Premiere in New York City on May 2.

Written by Phelim McAleer, OCTOBER 7 tells the story of Israel’s darkest day by using the compelling and dramatic accounts of those who lived through it. OCTOBER 7 is a 100 percent verbatim play consisting entirely of stories from those who were there. The interviews were conducted by veteran Irish journalists Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney who traveled to Israel in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.

Directed by Karen Carpenter (Love, Loss and What I Wore), the limited run begins Thursday May 2nd and continues through Sunday, June 16th, with Opening Night set for Monday, May 13 th, at the historic Actors Temple Theatre (339 West 47th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues) - a synagogue built in the 1920s that now also operates an Off-Broadway theatre. Casting will be announced shortly. For tickets and more information, visit www.OCTOBER7theplay.com

OCTOBER 7 brings together accounts from those who experienced Oct. 7. Their experiences may have been different, but all were changed by that day. In OCTOBER 7, the play, we meet young and old, secular and religious, people who were with family and those who were at a dance party when the unthinkable happened.

We hear from the wounded and the bereaved, but we also meet the heroes who rescued dozens or fought back and saved multiple lives. We hear from mothers who hid for hours wondering if their family had survived, a policeman armed with a pistol and nine bullets who killed several Hamas and saved dozens of his neighbors. We meet the off-duty soldier who picked up his gun, protected his village, and was shot five times by three different terrorists. We hear how young people enjoying a dance party had to flee for their lives as they witnessed slaughter around them. OCTOBER 7is a story of Israel’s darkest day, but it is also a story of survival, hope and resilience and fighting back against the forces of darkness.

McElhinney was in Ireland when the Oct. 7 attack happened, “and we noticed that on October 8th conversations around the world were already shifting to Israel being the bad guys. They were being condemned for turning off the electricity supply in Gaza – after the single worst atrocity against Jews since the Holocaust. It was like an episode of the twilight-zone,” she says.

McAleer said there was a possibility that the stories of Oct. 7 would be suppressed or forgotten by those outside Israel. “We saw what was happening in Ireland and the wider world. That's why we went directly to Israel and interviewed people from all over the country whose lives were forever changed by the Oct. 7 attacks. Everyone we spoke to witnessed death and destruction or lost a loved one, often right in front of them. Many of them fought back, often in heroic ways against overwhelming odds. OCTOBER 7 is a story of humanity, surviving, and fighting back against the forces of darkness. We felt these stories had to be told.”

“The people we interviewed and whose compelling words you will hear in this play all suffered enormous losses, all witnessed the very worst and sometimes the best of humanity. We are so proud and privileged to have met them, and honored that they trusted us with their testimony. Audiences, and the world should never forget these stories.” says Phelim McAleer.

“They are a cross section of Israelis. Young and old, secular and religious, from all sides of Israeli society - who now share this common bond of having lived through October 7. The day changed them, we think it also changed Israel and we think you can't talk about Gaza without first understanding what happened in Israel on October 7. That's why we wrote this play,” McAleer said.

McAleer said that after the New York run they want the play to be seen by a wider audience and intend to put it on at Ivy League colleges across the US.

“There has been an explosion of anti-semitic behaviour recently - particularly in the universities. That’s why they need to know the truth about what happened that day. OCTOBER 7 the play - is the perfect way for college students to learn the truth. We want to bring it to multiple colleges including Harvard, Yale and MIT,” he added.

McAleer said they also intend filming the New York performance for a later wide release.

“This will mean that those who can't get to New York will still have an opportunity to learn the truth,” he said.


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Ann McElhinney is a New York Times best-selling author, journalist, podcaster, film producer and director and one of the most successful crowdfunders in the world. Together with her husband, Phelim McAleer, she has raised $6m in 8 separate crowdfunding campaigns. Their movie Gosnell – The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer was the most successful film project ever on Indiegogo. It raised $2.3m in just 45 days. She is a producer on the My Son Hunter movie (2022), starring Laurence Fox and Gina Carano. McElhinney produced the play FBI Lovebirds: Undercovers based on the text messages of Lisa Page and Peter Strzok. Other plays produced by McElhinney include Ferguson, Obamagate, Oh Gosnell: A Play About The Truth and Mermaids Vs. The Alliance. She produced and co-wrote the movie Gosnell - The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer. She and her husband, journalist Phelim McAleer wrote the NYT Best Seller Gosnell – The Untold Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer . The book debuted at #3 Amazon Best Seller and sold out in 3 days after publication. McElhinney has made documentaries for the BBC, CBC (Canada) and RTE (Ireland). The Search for Tristan's Mum concerned the case of Tristan Dowse, a baby who was adopted and later abandoned by an Irish man and his wife in Indonesia. McElhinney was featured in and was the Associate Producer of the highly controversial documentary Return to Sender (2005) for CBC about the adoption of a Romanian child by a rich Canadian couple who years later sent the child back. McElhinney has also written for or appeared on FOX News, CNN, BBC, CBC (Canada), ABC (Australia), RTE (Ireland), The Sunday Times and The Irish Times. She has worked as a journalist and filmmaker in the US, Canada, Romania, Bulgaria, Chile, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Ghana and Uganda.

Phelim McAleer is an award-winning journalist, filmmaker, public speaker, and podcaster. He is a New York Timesbest-selling author and one of the most successful crowdfunders in the world. Together with his wife, Ann McElhinney, he has raised $6m in 8 separate crowdfunding campaigns. Their movie Gosnell – The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer was the most successful film project ever on Indiegogo. It raised $2.3 million in just 45 days. A veteran journalist Phelim was a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times in Eastern Europe, and he covered Romania and Bulgaria for The Economist. Before that, he covered Ireland for the UK Sunday Times. McAleer began his career in journalism covering the Northern Ireland Troubles first as a reporter in Crossmaglen, south Armagh (known as Bandit Country) and then for The Irish News in Belfast. He was the night Editor of the Irish News in Belfast during the Troubles. McAleer produced and co-wrote the movie Gosnell - The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer. He co-wrote the NYT Best Seller Gosnell – The Untold Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer. The book debuted at #3 Amazon Best Seller and sold out in 3 days after publication.McAleer has produced and written several podcasts with his wife Ann McElhinney, including The Ann & Phelim Scoop Podcast, The Harvey Weinstein Trial: Unfiltered Podcast and Serial Killer: A True Crime Podcast, which reached the top 10 in all true crime podcasts worldwide.McAleer has produced documentaries for the BBC, CBC (Canada) and RTE (Ireland), as well as two independent feature-length documentaries.

Karen Carpenter directed the premiere of the smash hit Love Loss and What I Wore (writ. Nora & Delia Ephron). The play broke box office records, won the Drama Desk Award for “Best Unique Theatrical Experience,” and ran a record three years Off-Broadway, featuring rotating celebrity casts. Her stage work includes the Off-Broadway and West Coast premieres of New York Times Critic’s Pick Handle with Care (writ. Jason Odell Williams), The Wizard of Oz (Surflight Theater), Witnessed by the World (59E59), The Vagina Monologues (Bucks County Playhouse), and Admit One (writ. Wendy Yondorf, NJ Rep). She directed Michael Keaton in The 24HR Plays for the Festival de Sole (Napa), Kelly Bishop and Beth Fowler in Steel Magnolias (Paper Mill Playhouse), premiered Rosemary Loar’s fractured-fairytale rock musical, Spoolie Girl, for the Midtown International Theater Festival, and Mary Walsh’s Dancing With Rage. For five seasons, Karen was Associate Artistic Director of the Tony-winning Old Globe Theater, where she served as Artistic Producer for over forty plays and musicals. For her events company, The Figment Factory, she has directed Dazzle the District, an outdoor spectacle for Playhouse Square revealing the largest outdoor chandelier in the world (feat. cast of 365 Clevelanders), as well as the launch of the Million Women’s Heart Project: Take Heart, with Donna Karan and a panel of women at the forefront of producing innovative media and news journalism (including Deborah Roberts, Ali Wentworth, Pat Mitchell, Joni Evans). Karen was Line Producer for Moët-Hennessey’s first Louis Vuitton Car Show at Rockefeller Center, President Clinton’s inaugural Clinton Global Initiative, and the PBS Festival of Teaching & Learning with the original presentation of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. She conceived and directed the launch of the UN and WHO global campaign, “Deliver Now for Women and Children,” featuring Chaka Kahn and Ricki Lake in Bryant Park. In 2010, Boston University's School of Theatre Arts established the Karen Carpenter Award for Excellence in Theatre Arts, given annually to a graduating student of exceptional merit.

Actors Temple Theatre has been an Off-Broadway theatre since 2006. Recent productions include Soul Doctor, Zero Hour, Who’s Your Baghdaddy, Don’t Leave It All To Your Children!, The Big Voice: God or Merman? and The J.A.P. Show: Jewish American Princesses of Comedy. Actors' Temple was founded in 1917 as the West Side Hebrew Relief Association. Over time a bond formed between the shul and Jews working in the surrounding show business industry. Talent from vaudeville, musical theater, nightclubs, live television and the dramatic stage made the synagogue a true Actors Temple. Former members include Al Jolson, Sophie Tucker, Red Buttons, three of the Marx Brothers, Joe E. Lewis, Sandy Koufax, Edward G. Robinson, two of the Three Stooges, Jack Benny, Shelley Winters and Henny Youngman.
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