‘The Black-Jew Dialogues’ spreads laughter, message

IUS Horizon

Larry Jay Tish and Ron Jones, co-creators and performers, act out a scene as old women in “The Black-Jew Dialogues.”

Ron Jones and Larry Jay Tish, co-creators and performers, presented a play called “The Black-Jew Dialogues” at the Stem Concert Hall in the Ogle Center on Jan. 13.

In the play, several probAlems in society and experiences in everyday lives were addressed, such as racism, religious issues and bullying.

Jones and Tish were very flexible with Jewish, white and black humor and jokes.

The pair danced, rapped and dressed up as different characters in order to put themselves in the other’s shoes.

Jones and Tish opened up to the audience, which led them to express their personal experiences as individuals.

There were several quotes about racism that had the audience intrigued.

“It’s not racism, it’s the behavior and attitude of the majority,” Jones and Tish said.

The audience also learned words such as “Fearotype,” which is fear that leads to judgment and stereotyping.

Jones grew up in Washington, D.C., and attended college in Boston. Jones said he was inspired to write this play by the torture and constant bullying by his roommates and schoolmates based on the fact he was black.

“My roommates were throwing a party, and they were being loud and out of control,” Jones said. “I came out of my room to ask them to keep it down, and four guys jumped me and beat me up because I was the only black guy. It was not the four guys that got to me, but the fact that other people just stood around and watched an innocent guy get beat up by four other guys.”

Jones said he later came across a flier about a play on campus. He auditioned for it and was accepted.

“I always wanted to do acting, so this was a great opportunity to start,” Jones said. “I began to write this play because I had a lot to say and wanted to reach out to people and put a stop to this behavior.”

Jones said he met Tish 13 years ago in Boston at an acting job.

“I needed someone to help me with this play, and Larry was the perfect person to partner up with,” Jones said.

Tish was raised in Brooklyn, New York, and he helped write and create the play with Jones.

“It was a great combination in order to send out the message in the play — a Jew and a black man,” Jones said, with humor.

Jones said he believes people should come out of their comfort zones and start from a place of understanding and respect.

With all the fun, edgy language, crazy performance and outrageous interactions with the audience, Jones and Tish were able to spread the message to students and staff.

Maria Accardi, assistant librarian and coordinator of library instruction, said she loved the play.

“It was awesome, funny, interesting but very edgy, and I still learned a lot,” Accardi said. “I didn’t even know that the Jews were involved in the slave trade.”

Kayla Jennings, accounting freshman, said it felt good that someone actually understood how she felt being stereotyped.

“I like how they pointed out all the different stereotypes, and the choice of words was genius because they use words that we use in our everyday lives.” Jennings said. “More people need to see and hear about this play. They were able to relate to me because I have been in a situation where I was considered dumb because I was black, and I later ended up being one of the smartest kids in school.”

Ebone Frederick, nursing sophomore, said she enjoyed the play but felt like the provocative words were a little too much.

“At first, the cursing was a little too much, but it ended up being very funny, and it always had a message behind it,” Frederick said. “I learned that stereotyping is not true, and, most of the time, it’s the behavior of the majority at the time and place.