The Dreamery Rural Arts Initiative on DreamAcres Farm launches its summer "Play! in the Barn" performance series with "The Hebrew Lesson" by Esther Ouray.

This is the first in the series of three shows that will take place on DreamAcres, located between Spring Valley and Wykoff, during the summer months. Tickets for all shows are $12, or pay what you can.

"The Hebrew Lesson" is a one-woman play, written and performed by Ouray, with live music by composers and musicians Tim O'Keefe, Maryam Yusefzadeh and Greg Herriges. Esther Ouray, a Minneapolis-based theater artist, traveled to Israel and Palestine in 2007 as part of a delegation investigating nonviolent movements in the region.

Ouray's father had died a year earlier, and she decided to bring his ashes with her. Her desire was to spread her father's ashes from the top of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, as a tribute to him. But as Ouray traveled within Israel and the Palestinian Territories, she became witness to the complex historical, political and social injustices of life there. When she finally ascended to the top of the Mount of Olives, while wrestling with what she knew to be true, the seed for "The Hebrew Lesson" was planted.

"The Hebrew Lesson" was originally presented as a part of a commission awarded to Ouray by the Jerome Foundation. Despite brief public exposure, the play generated a strong response amongst its audiences and was the subject of discussion in articles in both the Star Tribune and American Jewish World newspapers. It has played to sold out houses at Dreamland Arts in St Paul in addition to other Twin Cities venues. On May 24, "Play! in the Barn" fans will be able to view this thought provoking play in their own backyard.

DreamAcres offers wood-fired pizza from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday nights, a meal option which will complement this first show. Two more shows are scheduled for this summer: July 5 - "Nauvoo," and Aug. 24 - "The Other MR. Gandhi." There will also be a summer solstice celebration on Saturday, June 21.

The Dreamery Rural Arts Initiative is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting and expanding arts experiences in rural Fillmore County, and to making use of renewable/sustainable energy sources to do so. For more information, including directions to the farm, or to make reservations, call (507) 352-4255, or visit websites at www.dreamacresfarm.org. or www.dreameryruralartsinitiative.org.

This activity is funded in part by the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council through the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund.