Same Difference: Building Bridges through Oral History and the Arts


Marian Warden, Greater Harrisburg Arts Council, Union Theological Seminary, Congregation B'Nai Jeshurun
Sarah Brockus, Same Difference Interfaith Alliance
Eileen Weiss, Same Difference Interfaith Alliance
Daisy Khan, American Society for Muslim Advancement


Same Difference: Building Bridges through Oral History and the Arts

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The Same Difference Interfaith Alliance

The SAME DIFFERENCE INTERFAITH ALLIANCE session included an Introduction to the project (3-page description); the showing of a 15-minute pilot documentary film based on the original play itself; and a discussion with our interfaith arts panel, co-creators of the original production. Following that, everybody in the room created new interfaith dialogue by interviewing, one-on-one, fellow audience members of different backgrounds, choosing one of the three sample interview questions we provided. We all then reconvened together as a group to share what this experience was like for the participants. Finally, we presented a scene from the play, SAME DIFFERENCE, read by the panelists along with two of the original cast members. The scene focused on various opinions about the use of the veil or hijab in the different faith traditions. This then led into the veil dance where Basya Schechter of the band Pharaoh's Daughter played the oud and sang her original composition, HAGAR (which was used in our original production of SAME DIFFERENCE) while Kristi Little danced an original piece expressing the multiple attitudes about the veil -- loving, beautiful, prayerful, oppressive, etc. (photos) The song tells the Biblical story of Hagar, the mother of Ishmael, but sung in Hebrew with a middle-eastern undertone, further representing both intellectually and viscerally the interfaith elements of the project.

Generations of Brooklyn [Nina Talbot]