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Tender and Tough Experiences in Fairfax
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Tender and Tough Experiences in Fairfax

A single dad and his son: ‘The Unaccompanied Minor’ in performance at the JCCNV.

A hit with audiences and critics alike at the Capitol Fringe Festival, the JCCNV (Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia) is bringing Elan Zafir’s “The Unaccompanied Minor” to local audiences. “The Unaccompanied Minor” is a tough, yet hilarious play aiming to grab the audience and not let go.

“The Unaccompanied Minor” is a solo show “about a father, his son and the 1,795 miles that divide them,” said Zafir. “It is part stand-up, part autobiography, part physical theatre.”

Zafir will turn an empty stage into backdrops for his humiliations, deepest fears, anxiety, and greatest joy. To do this, he will turn a JCCNV stage into a busy airport terminal, a trashy talk show, a third-grade science fair, and even a south Florida gang war; all within the intermission free 60 minutes or so that is “The Unaccompanied Minor.”

If you are not familiar with Zafir, he has appeared on stage at Folger Theatre, Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, Mosaic Theatre, and on the cinema screen.

Asked about the inspiration for "The Unaccompanied Minor," Zafir indicated that his son lives in Texas; “I see him four times a year. It never feels normal. He flies on something called the unaccompanied minor's program, which is the fee you pay for your child to travel alone, and picking him up from the airport is an incredibly stressful experience.”

Zafir mentioned, “One time I was dropping him off at the airport. It was a very packed flight—a long line of people were waiting to board. As we were saying goodbye, I noticed the line of people staring at us. And as he walked down the Jet Bridge I realized ‘oh, this experience isn't normal for anybody.’"

“The Unaccompanied Minor” is also about other parts of Zafir’s life; ”the experiences that shaped who I am as a father,” said Zafir. “Sometimes my son stays with me for a short time so I feel as though I have to cram my whole life into a week. And in some ways that's what I'm trying to do in the show as well. You'll find out about my Israeli Stepfather; my third grade science project which involved a bird and Neil Sedaka. And what it is like to be involved in a gang fight in south Florida.

“The Unaccompanied Minor” is a performance that aims to connect with its audience, no matter who they are.

Where and When

“The Unaccompanied Minor,” a solo performance by Elan Zafir at the JCCNV (Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia), 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax. Performance on Sunday, May 19, at 5 p.m. For tickets call 703-323-0880 or visit www.jccnv.org/ Note: There will be a “Q&A” with Elan Zafir immediately following the performance.