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LI playwright's 'Sabbath Elevator' takes flight

Ellen Pober Rittberg started writing "Sabbath Elevator" 30

Ellen Pober Rittberg started writing "Sabbath Elevator" 30 years ago. Credit: Kim Rittberg

Ellen Pober Rittberg has waited more than 30 years for her "Sabbath Elevator" to get off the ground, but that big moment has finally arrived

The retired attorney who lives in Southold and Brooklyn will have her play presented by Jocunda Music, Film and Theatre Festival on Zoom at 8 p.m. on Nov. 8. As the title indicates, her "#MeToo thriller" takes place in the elevator, one designed to stop automatically at every floor in accordance with Jewish law requiring Jews to abstain from operating electrical switches on Shabbat. (Zoom backgrounds will serve as a stand-in for the actual elevator.)

Emotional buttons, however, are sure to be pushed. Rittberg says the drama occurs on Yom Kippur when a man and a woman find themselves stuck in the elevator and something extreme happens.

"The play is very different from when I started writing it 30 years ago," Rittberg says. "It changed quite a bit when #MeToo came along."

The register for the event, go to Zoom (a $15 donation for Jocunda festival is requested). The play will be followed by a Q&A with director Van Dirk Fisher, cast members and Rittberg.

Portions of the play had been presented before at arts festivals on Long Island and in New York City, but this marks the first time it will be shown in its entirety. "I've never seen the whole thing done before," Rittberg says. "It's going to be very exciting to see these actors perform it."

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