Ilana K. Levinsky was born in London, England, and currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. She earned her LL.B (J.D. equivalent) from Manchester University, England, and has been involved in many writing projects spanning different genres. A Recipe for Hummus, a play that she wrote and directed was performed at the Arts Factory in Las Vegas in 2008; What if I Had a Different name? is a collaboration with her son Jack and artist Danielle Carrol, and it’s a fun exploration of some of the weird and fantastical names that Jack imagines as his own; The Diary of a Wrinkle is a novel that chronicles the life of a forty-something single woman experiencing a midlife crisis after discovering her first wrinkle–the diary slowly becomes a vehicle into her past; Age Schmage is her little book (64 pages) intended to help women in their moments of doubt; East End Dreams is a historical novel that follows the life of Gertie Schraggar in the East End of London in 1910, and her involvement in the Communist Party including her move to Bloemfontein, South Africa; A Cookbook for the Woman Who Hates Cooking is rich with enchanting stories about food, people, and traditions including more than 100 first-class recipes made easy for the woman who hates cooking. Ilana also created a blog for The Diary of a Wrinkle where she muses on the topic of aging and beauty, she also contributes to The Times of Israel, The Blogs section. She has adapted East End Dreams into a three-act stage play titled The Staircase, and The Diary of A Wrinkle has been adapted into a screenplay. A Yemenite Bride is her screenplay about her great-grandmother’s life in Yemen. The Cloud That Covered My Head is her latest children’s book, and a collaboration with artist Kelly Adams available for purchase September 2017.
A Recipe for Hummus
Comedy – Two acts
A Recipe for Hummus is a nostalgic journey to Israel through the rebellious perspective of two Jewish, teenage girls from Las Vegas. RUBY and GEMMA are not in the least bit interested in Israel; in fact, they are forced by their parents to spend their entire summer vacation over there, and they have no idea why there’s a continuous need to include Israel in their lives when in reality they just don’t care about the place.
However, their demeanor changes as does the timbre of their voice—even their body melts into their seat once they find themselves seated next to a handsome, young Israeli named Allon. Although Allon remains invisible to the audience throughout the play, there is something wild and free about him, something they can’t resist and they are instantly drawn to him. Moreover, they’ve also had a sudden change of heart about their impending trip.
A Recipe for Hummus is a fun way of exploring Israel and our connection to the country, its history and people. It invites us to take an introspective look at our lives and our values through a comedic approach to culture and politics. The way that Ruby and Gemma present Israel and Israeli society is endearing and continuously challenges us to evaluate the place it has in our hearts.
Drama- A two-act play based on a true story and Ilana’s novel East End Dreams.
GERTRUDE is a widowed, middle-aged, Jewish woman who leaves South Africa and returns to her birthplace of London where she battles with a type of existential crisis as she tries to find her purpose as well as love in an unfamiliar world. She fully embraces the opportunity to rekindle old friendships and embark on an academic path, and she also falls in love again. However, JOHNNY is not her intellectual equal and his secretive life leaves her feeling insecure about the nature of their relationship.
The Staircase is about a strange relationship between Gertrude and Johnny, but Jewishness is not incidental to Gertrude’s character. Her Jewish background is something we are well aware of throughout the play, as her identity is entwined with her Jewish culture.