It is my honor and pleasure to be a part of Jewish Women's Theatre as a writer, dramaturge, program developer, and Advisory Board member. JWT was founded in Los Angeles a decade ago by its Artistic Director, Ronda Spinak. She conceived a "Salon Theater" of original, cutting edge dramatic writings by, or about, Jewish women. It would present the untold stories of our diversity - culturally, sexually, religiously, linguistically, socially, ethnically.... The shows, crafted from submissions or adaptations, are performed by professional actors - without sets or costumes - in private homes, in the centuries-old tradition of salons.
Each season's three productions have a theme. Some relate specifically to Jewishness - like the modern midrashes (interpretations) of biblical stories in Eden According to Eve, Unknown Stories of Biblical Proportion, and Crossing Our Red Sea. Other shows have asked, what is it like to be a Mash-Up Jew in America? Persian women told us in Saffron and Rosewater, Russians told us in Past & Present, Latino women told us in Chutzpah and Salsa. There are shows where we just throw out an idea and see what writers come up with - like Uncuffed, The Moment You Knew, or Sex, Lies and Virtual Relationships... The shows then go on to other venues and cities.
In the Fall of 2015, we moved into our new performance and art space, The Braid, in Santa Monica. We had the happy problem of selling out our salons every night, and we still do. But we needed more space and a place we could extend our runs and develop longer dramatic work, like Emmy- Award winning Monica Piper's hilarious Not That Jewish, which later went to Off-Broadway after a wildly successful extended run with us. The space is also an art gallery – each exhibit linked to the theme of the current show.
I develop programming, including “hybrid” events that highlight Jewish women in any number of roles – Entrepreneurs, Politicians, Women in Hollywood. For each of these, we write a short dramatic piece, taken from archival material, about a historic woman in that field and bring her to life with an actor. Then. we introduce our audience to contemporary women in that same field. It's fun to produce, and always interesting.
I also hunt for possible new classes, talks, films, etc. Got something interesting to offer? Get in touch! You can visit on Facebook and at the JWT website. Come see a show. Submit your writing. We read it all! Email me here or go to: http://www.jewishwomenstheatre.org/
And, oh yes, we just started podcasting! Have a listen! Our podcasts can be found at our website at: http://www.jewishwomenstheatre.org/series/the-podcast/ or in the ITunes store and on the Apple Podcast app. Just look for Jewish Women's Theatre: The Podcast...and subscribe!