Noam Shapiro, '07, Launches Theatre Company
After spending four years at Yale double majoring in History and Theater Studies, with several electives in Biology, Noam Shapiro, ’07, returned to New York City last spring to pursue a career as a theater director. Seven months ago, Noam, along with his collaborators, Kyle Yoder and Hope Chavez, met to discuss how to create work that educates and inspires. By the end of that meeting, Lyra Theater
, Noam's new theatre collective, was formed.
“Lyra’s mission is very simple: We exist to launch the next generation of American theater artists onto the New York stage. Lyra seeks to produce thought-provoking work by diverse new voices, pay our artists for their valuable work, and offer affordable tickets to the public,” Noam says.
Lyra emerged out of a spirit of collaboration and discovery that Noam traces back to his time at Rodeph Sholom. “Throughout my time at Rodeph, my teachers always challenged me to engage with the world, build communities, and take risks outside of my comfort zone. Over the past few years, I became drawn to theater because I recognized its ability to change minds, break down barriers, and initiate meaningful conversations.”
Lyra’s first production is The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht. Performances will run from October 20th through November 5th in New York City and tickets will go on sale in the middle of this month. Written as Brecht fled from the Nazis, the play chronicles the ascent of Arturo Ui, an American hustler, as he attempts to take over the city of Chicago by any means necessary. Lyra’s production updates Brecht’s play to 2016 and asks, “Why does this election matter and what can we do to make a difference?”
“Although I didn’t participate in theater at Rodeph Sholom, the lessons I learned at Rodeph informed my desire to make a difference within my community,” Noam says.
“From engaging in social justice projects to studying ethics in Jewish Studies, from learning the scientific method to mastering critical analysis in English, Rodeph encouraged me to open new dialogues, ask hard questions, and think outside of the box. Through this company, I hope to challenge both audiences and artists to examine how we can create a better world.”