AJT April 2020 NEWSLETTER
This Issue: Telling Monologues Posts, May Webinar, & More
The Telling Monologues Submissions
Alliance for Jewish Theatre (AJT) is excited to share the submissions from our first virtual theatre project: The Telling Monologues.
Alliance for Jewish Theatre (AJT) just completed our first virtual theatre project: The Telling Monologues. Theatre artists from around the world submitted written and performed pieces about Passover.
We wanted to create a community in a time of a plague, and we joined together to create a sense of hope, a sense of love. Passover provided this inspiration: a universal story, a story of freedom, of redemption, and of coming out of oppression.
Written & Performed Monologues:
AJT Artistic Director Panel: Programming during Covid-19 (AJT May 2020 Monthly Webinar)
What - AJT Artistic Director Panel: Programming during Covid-19 Webinar
Who - Host/Panelist: Ralph Meranto, Artistic Director of CenterStage Theatre, Rochester, NY
Panelists: Adam Immerwahr, Artistic Director of Theater J, Washington D.C.
Ronda Spinak, Artistic Director of Jewish Women's Theatre & The Braid, Los Angeles, CA
Barbara Brooks, Founder & Producing Artistic Director of Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, St. Paul, Minnesota
When - Sunday, May 10, 12pm - 1:15pm Central Time (starting at 1pm Eastern, 10am Pacific)
How - via Zoom Video and Audio Conferencing, email AJT’s Executive Director, Jeremy Aluma for the link: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets - Free for AJT Members, $20 for Non-Members
RSVP and More Info - email email@example.com
Join four leading AJT Artistic Directors from around the U.S. for a chat about the challenges and opportunities of running a theatre during a global pandemic. Learn how our panelists are handling the crisis and what the future may look like for Jewish theatres. An open discussion and Q&A period will follow the presentations.
Magical Dialogue Playwriting Workshop (AJT April 2020 Monthly Webinar Materials)
Also, here is the recording and packet from the 'Magical Dialogue Playwriting Workshop' April 2020 Webinar led by Emma Goldman-Sherman. It was held this past Sunday, 4/12. These materials will be available until Tuesday, May 12, 2020.
"AJT's Jeremy Aluma set up an outstanding opportunity for playwrights. Emma Goldman-Sherman's inspirational style, thoughtful responses, and explicit ideas transported writing exercises to innovative heights! Her strategies to visually block dialogue, and use metaphors to create BIG WANTS, impacted both the dramatic action, and character development of my scenes...excellent tools shared by a superior instructor!" - Robin Pullen, Playwright
"The Magic Dialogue exercise progression in Emma Goldman-Sherman’s workshop Sunday was really good by way of using an actor’s prep techniques to create better dialogue." - Pamela Turner, Ph.D., Atlanta Regional Rep, Dramatists Guild of America
AJT Member Theatre Videos & Streaming Content
The National Jewish Theater Foundation (NJTF) - Holocaust Theater International Initiative (HTII) was proud to produce THE SOAP MYTH in its critically acclaimed premiere production at New York’s Roundabout Theatre in 2012. The PBS filming of Jeff Cohen’s THE SOAP MYTH, a staged reading that features two legendary performers, Ed Asner, and Tovah Feldshuh. Filmed by WNET’s All Arts channel last April 2019 at the Center for Jewish History in New York City, this 80-minute film is now available for free streaming around the world by clicking here.
Recently, actor and director Robert Dorfman and Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company’s Barbara Brooks sat down and talked about Robert’s beginnings in New York, and how his roots are in the Jewish Theatre. You can view it by clicking here.
Central Massachusetts Jewish Theatre Company webinar, live from Israel on Sunday, May 3, 2020, 1:00 - 2:OO PM EDT. What really happened on board the refugee ship Exodus 1947? Join Israeli playwright Yehudit Shier Weisberg and director Aryeh Weisberg in an insightful discussion of her gripping drama, The Trial of Uncle Charlie. You can register by clicking here.
Make a Connection with the AJT: Introducing Danielle Levsky (Our April 2020 Featured Member)
- Name: Danielle Levsky
- Website: criticturnedclown.com
- Current City: Chicago, IL
- Primary Artistic Role: Clown, Actor, Producer
- AJT Member Since: 2019
- AJT Affiliations: AJT Board, AJT Social Media
- Theatre Affiliations: The Conspirators, Grimm Without Grimm Productions
What was the last piece of theatre you did?
Beckett: a show about nothingness as part of Prop Thtr's Rhinofest. I played Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett's wacky next-door neighbor.
What are you creating in this current crisis?
- Live performing and editing quarantine survival videos of one of my clown personas, Baba Yana, a Soviet Jewish Grandma clown
- Devising a physical theatre piece based off the Grimm Brothers' Town Musicians of Bremen
- Typewriter poems
- Charcoal drawings
What do you hope for the future of theatre?
I hope for theatre to become more collaborative in nature, to further test the conventional limits of performance, for theatre groups/collectives/etc. to be owned by workers/artists, for there to be more experimentation and subversiveness on stage, and for performances to be accessible to folks of all backgrounds.
How has your Jewishness been part of your theatre work previously and now during this pandemic?
Making theatre is a profoundly affirming experience for my Jewish identity. Humans, on a whole, are beautiful and greatly flawed. Theatre and live performance are avenues specifically about displaying this duality, transcending the stories of the Torah. For me, making theatre is rooted in Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, and therefore, rooted in political activism.
It’s necessary to represent Jewish people on stage; we are constantly living in a time where it is confusing, challenging, and at times, dangerous to be Jewish.
My family came to the United States in 1992 from the Soviet Union as political refugees. During their immigration interview, the American embassy in Moscow asked, in broken Russian, why they wanted to leave the Soviet Union. They said they were leaving because of discrimination against Jewish people. My parents recalled how their youth was full of micro-aggressions, offensive commentary, and name-calling. They recalled how they were rejected from universities once admissions offices saw the ethnic section on their passport that identified them as Jews. They recalled how they were not considered for employment, how they had to network with friends or family just to secure an interview. My mother described how one workplace first asked her how they knew they could trust her, and how they knew she wouldn’t leave the Soviet Union at the drop of a hat.
Connecting Jewish theatre artists to one another allows us to come together in times of hardship, in times of peace, and always, in times of connection. Theatre must be a place that welcomes all – a place where we can mirror the human experience, showing how similar we all are when we peel away the trauma. May the seeds and trees that have been planted in the collective consciousness of this community inform our own work and extend out into the world.
What gives you sustenance at this time?
- Nature! Birds! Water! Leaves! Squirrels!
- Movement, like yoga, dance, and meditation, have also been a big part of my sustenance.
- Music and laughter for the days I can't go outside.