October 29 - November 20, 2016

by Tom Smith                              
Directed by Kurt Schweickhardt

Katharine is a young, successful art gallery owner. Joel, her Jewish boyfriend, is a struggling photographer exploring Judaism in his work. When Katharine inherits her great-aunt Raini’s original film reels that document Adolf Hitler and the rise of the Nazi Party, Joel and Raini's partner Horst force her to examine whether Raini’s art is inextricably tied to its subject matter or can be judged for its artistic merit alone. Inspired by the life of German film director Leni Riefenstahl, Aunt Raini will have its professional theater premiere at MJTC.

Individual Producers: Rhoda and Don Mains.

Individual tickets will go on sale October 4. For group sales, call

Meet the Cast

Maggie Bearmon Pistner (Aunt Raini) returns to MJTC after previously appearing in The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, Jericho and The History of Invulnerability. Other theater credits include Jungle Theater, Park Square Theatre, Artistry, Red Eye Theater and Walking Shadow Theatre Company. In 2013, she debuted her one-woman, sold-out Fringe show They Called Her Captain. It was remounted at the Sabes Jewish Community Center in March 2016. Maggie is a voice-over and commercial talent. 

Heidi Fellner (Katherine) appears at MJTC for the first time. She received her B.A. from Northern State University in South Dakota. She has appeared locally at Park Square Theatre, Frank Theatre, Old Log Theater and Actor's Theater of Minnesota, among others. Regional theater credits include Paul Bunyan Playhouse and Black Hills Playhouse. Heidi is a film, television and commercial talent.

Dan Hopman (Horst) has previously appeared at MJTC in A Report on the Banality of Love. He most recently appeared in Scapegoat at Pillsbury House Theatre and Clybourne Park at Yellow Tree Theatre. Other local credits include Park Square Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, Theater Latte Da, Red Eye Theater, Balance Theatre Project, Theatre L’ Homme Dieu, History Theatre, and The Playwrights’ Center. 

Michael Torsch (Joel) returns to MJTC after appearing in The Twenty-Seventh ManJericho and New Jerusalem. He is a co-founder of Sheep Theater, which so far in 2016 has produced George at Bedlam Lowertown and The Most Dangerous Game at the MN Fringe Festival. He has also worked with Cromulent Shakespeare Company and Workhouse Collective, and directed the Hennepin County Library's 2016 Northern Spark submission, Night Library.

Meet the Director

Kurt Schweickhardt.jpg

Kurt Schweickhardt (Director) has a long history with Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company. Previous directing projects for MJTC include The Twenty-Seventh ManNew Jerusalem, A Strange and Separate People, The 75th (inaugural season), The Value of Names (which starred MJTC’s Producing Artistic Director, Barbara Brooks), and Old Wicked Songs. Kurt has also performed with MJTC in The Shadow of the Valley. He teaches at Normandale Community College, and is a freelance actor and director.

Michael Hoover (Scenic Design) returns to MJTC for the 2016-2017 season, having designed the 2015-2016 season, Jericho, and Stars of David. Michael designs sets locally, including Juno and the Paycock (co-designer) and Choir Boy at Guthrie Theater. Other stage design credits include Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, Theater Latté Da, and Torch Theater. In addition to his freelance career as a scenic designer, Michael is on staff as the Lead Scenic Artist at Guthrie Theater. 

Liz Josheff Busa (Costume Design) previously designed Bad JewsThe Tale of the Allergist’s WifeBecoming Dr. Ruth Jericho and Stars of David for MJTC. As well as being a freelance designer, she is a Red Eye Theater company member where she has collaborated on over 40 productions. Her theater work includes costume, set, and projection design. In addition, she has designed for film and television, and has worked in arts education as a teaching artist.

Anita Kelling (Sound Design) graduated from the University of MN in 2010 with a BA in Theatre Arts. Previous MJTC designs include The Chanukah GuestBecoming Dr. Ruth Handle with CareHanukkah Lights in the Big Sky, and The Magic Dreidels. Around town, she has designed productions for Park Square Theatre, Walking Shadow Theatre Company, Yellow Tree Theatre, 20% Theatre Company, COLLIDE Theatrical Dance, Theatre Unbound, Freshwater Theatre, Theatre in the Round, Chameleon Theatre Circle, and the Sabes JCC Theatre. 

Robert J. Smith (Properties Design) has designed props for several MJTC productions. He's designed props for 21 shows at Theatre in the Round, most recently for Fahrenheit 451Black Coffee and Treasure Island, and stage-managed 3 shows. Other local credits include Gray Space, Starting Gate,  Tedious Brief Productions and Walking Shadow Theatre Company. In Salt Lake City, he was resident stage manager for the Children's Theater at Promised Valley Playhouse.

Samson Perry (Stage Manager) previously stage managed Bad Jews at MJTC. He has previously stage managed Theatre Unbound’s production of The How and the Why, as well as Walking Shadow Theatre Company’s A Midwinter Night’s Revel, and was the Assistant Stage Manager for their Ivey Award-winning production of Compleat Female Stage Beauty. He wrote, directed and produced "Lockdown" for the 2016 MN Fringe Festival.