Actor/director Ami Dayan was born in Israel, lives and works in Boulder, and has taken some of his theater pieces to New York, where they’ve received serious attention and critical praise. These include The Tale of a Tiger, Dayan’s interpretation of a one-act by Italian Nobel-winner Dario Fo; The Man Himself, another adaptation — this time of an English play — in which the protagonist moves further and further into dangerous religious fanaticism; and Mask, a sympathetic drama about three Palestinian brothers. Dayan brings an exciting sense of inclusiveness, multi-nationalism and concern about freedom and oppression to everything he does. Now, with frequent collaborator Mark Williams, he’s tackled — and updated — Conviction, a play by Israeli writer Oren Neeman, which is based on a novel about the Spanish Inquisition.

The year is 1962. An Israeli scholar arrives in Franco’s Spain to study some musty Inquisition files and discovers the 1485 confession of Andres Gonzalez, a real-life priest who was sent on a witch hunt against the Jews. Gonzalez fell in love with a Jewish woman, married her and paid the ultimate price for his apostasy. The fascist setting provides an uneasy echo of the darkness and terror of the Inquisition, but the themes of identity denied, fear and forbidden love are timeless, says Dayan.

Conviction was commissioned by artistic director Kent Thompson for the Denver Center Theatre Company; the piece received an early reading there. It will show in New York early next year — but is now on stage through July 12 at Curious Theater, 1080 Acoma Street. For ticket and showtime information, call 303-623-0524 or go to
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Tue., July 7, 8 p.m. Starts: June 27. Continues through July 12, 2009