MJTC Announces the Opening of Regional Premiere: JERICHO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 17, 2015

MJTC ANNOUNCES THE OPENING OF REGIONAL PREMIERE:

JERICHO

A new play by Jack Canfora

Directed by Warren C. Bowles

“A smart, hard-hitting drama filled with biting wit.”

                                     -The New York Times

St. Paul, MN -- Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) is pleased to announce the opening of a new work by Jack Canfora, Jericho. This regional premiere runs from April 18 - May 10 at the Highland Park Center Theater, 1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul, MN 55116. Tickets range in price from $19 - $28. Student and group discounts are available. To order, call (651)647-4315 or visit mnjewishtheatre.org. Press passes are available for the performances on Saturday, April 18 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 19 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. 

This powerful new play looks at four thirty-something New Yorkers as they navigate the emotional aftermath of September 11. Characters struggle to make sense of their lives as they grapple with cultural identity, fraught relationships, residual guilt, and overwhelming grief. These issues come to a head as the family gathers for a confrontational Thanksgiving meal. Displaying surprising humor and wit, this thought-provoking play about living and letting go is a moving testament to survival and redemption. 

Cast:

 Ryan M. Lindberg (Josh) is thrilled to be returning to MJTC for his seventh production. Previous credits at MJTC include Handle With Care, The Gospel According to Jerry, Goats, Moonlight and Magnolias, Modern Orthodox, and The Twilight of the Golds. Ryan has appeared around town with the Guthrie Theater (Six Degrees of Separation), Walking Shadow Theatre Company (Squawk, Robots vs. Fake Robots), Park Square Theatre (You Can’t Take It With You), and Gremlin Theater (An Absolute Turkey, Corleone: The Shakespearean Godfather). Ryan is a graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program.

Maggie Bearmon Pistner (Rachel) is delighted to return to MJTC. She was recently seen in Other Desert Cities at Bloomington Civic Theatre and, in June, will be in an original experimental piece created for the Red Eye Theatre’s Work in Progress. Maggie has worked at many Twin Cities theaters including The Jungle, Park Square Theatre, and Walking Shadow. In 2013, Maggie told her mother’s story in the one-woman sold-out Fringe show “They Called Her Captain.” Maggie is a voice-over and commercial talent.    

Max Polski (Ethan) is happy to make his debut at MJTC. Max is a graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program. He has acted at the Guthrie Theater, Drury Lane Theater in Chicago, and Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in New York. 

Miriam Schwartz (Jessica) is a Seattle native and graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program. She is thrilled to be working with MJTC again where she was previously seen as Ayelet in Handle With Care. Other theater credits include Walking Shadow Theatre Company (Gabriel), 7th House Theater (Cinephillia), Workhaus Collective (Homegrown, The Hollow), Guthrie Theater (Born Yesterday), and Theatre Forever (The Brutes), as well as Sonya in Uncle Vanya,  Jenny in In Game or Real, and multiple roles in Clandestino

Anna Sutheim (Beth) has been working in theater and music in the Twin Cities since 2011. Favorite performing experiences have included shows with 20% Theatre (her solo show Singing Out), Nimbus Theatre (Emma in Babel, Penelope in Happy Birthday, Wanda June), The Friction Collective (the Countess in Primadonnas), and Nautilus Music Theater (performer and writer for REACH, and a 2014 Management Fellow). She is currently writing a pastiche chamber opera set in a coffee shop.

Michael Torsch (Dr. Kim/Alec) is happy to be returning to MJTC after playing Baruch de Spinoza in New Jerusalem last fall. Other recent credits include Ken in RED (Normandale Theatre), Dad in Matthew McGuire's Beget (Agile Rabbit Theatre Company), and Dromio of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors (Cromulent Shakespeare Company). He also recently directed and acted in an original stage adaptation of Richard Connell's The Most Dangerous Game at the Bedlam Lowertown. 

Creative Team:

Warren C. Bowles (Director) previously directed Photograph 51 at MJTC.  He has more than 40 years of experience as an actor, director, fight choreographer, and playwright at Mixed Blood Theatre and others across the country. Directing credits include Park Square Theatre, San Diego Public Theatre, Theatre L’Homme Dieu, Interact, Southwest State University, Augsburg College, and others. In 2004, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak proclaimed a "Warren Caesar Bowles Day." Warren is a recipient of a 2005 McKnight Fellowship for Theater Artists.

Michael Hoover (Scenic Design) returns to MJTC, having recently designed Stars of David. Michael designs sets locally for many theaters including the Guthrie Theater, Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, Theater Latté Da, and Torch Theater. Upcoming, Michael is co-designing Juno and the Paycock and designing Choir Boy at the Guthrie later this spring. In addition to his freelance career as a scenic designer, Michael is on staff as the Lead Scenic Artist at the Guthrie Theater.

Paul Epton (Lighting Design) discovered theater lighting at Carleton College and was an award-winning designer in Detroit. Since moving to Minneapolis, he’s designed regularly for MJTC (over 50 shows, including Photograph 51, Handle With Care, Goats, My Name is Asher Lev, Women's Minyan, The Triangle Factory Fire Project, Rose, Old Wicked Songs, and The Chosen), Mixed Blood Theatre, Off-Leash Area, Torch Theater, and the Jon Hassler Theater. 

C Andrew Mayer (Sound Design) has been privileged to work with many of the finest Twin Cities theater companies. Previously for MJTC, he was sound designer for New Jerusalem, The History of Invulnerability, and Photograph 51, among others, and projections designer for Stars of David. He was a McKnight Theatre Fellow and won an Audelco Award for his design for Carlyle Brown's Pure Confidence at 59E59 in New York City. In summer, he serves as Producing Director of the Acadia Repertory Theatre in Maine.

Liz Josheff Busa (Costume Design) is pleased to be back at MJTC, having previously designed for Stars of David. 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.

Kelli Tucker (Stage Manager) has been the regular stage manager for MJTC since 2011. Jericho marks her 21st production at MJTC. She stage-managed the Ivey Award-winning productions Rose and Our Class. Other credits at MJTC include Stars of David, New Jerusalem, Handle with Care, My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, Photograph 51, and others. 

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) is a non-profit organization currently celebrating its 20th season. Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company ignites the hearts and minds of people of all cultural backgrounds by producing theater of the highest artistic standards. Rooted in Jewish content, our work explores differences, illuminates commonalities, and fosters greater understanding among all people. For further information about MJTC and its 20th anniversary season, visit www.mnjewishtheatre.org, email info@mnjewishtheatre.org, or call (651)647-4315.

 

# # #

 

 

MJTC Announces the Opening of Musical Revue: Stars of David

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 20, 2015

MJTC ANNOUNCES THE OPENING OF MUSICAL REVUE:

STARS OF DAVID

Based on the book by Abigail Pogrebin

Directed by Michael Kissin 

“You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy. Touching, humorous, and often moving.”

                                     -The New York Times

 St. Paul, MN -- Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) is pleased to announce the opening of a rousing musical revue, Stars of David. This regional premiere runs on weekends from February 14 - March 8 at the Highland Park Center Theater, 1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul, MN 55116. Tickets range in price from $19 - $28. Student and group discounts are available. To order, call (651)647-4315 or visit www.mnjewishtheatre.org. Press passes are available for the performances on Saturday, February 14 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 15 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. 

This captivating musical revue, based on the best-selling book by Abigail Pogrebin and conceived by Aaron Harnick , shines with engaging personal portraits of over 30 accomplished Americans as they reflect on their Jewish heritage and the role it has played in their lives.  With original songs by some of theater’s most noted composers and lyricists, including Duncan Sheik, Marvin Hamlisch, and Sheldon Harnick, we hear the stories of admired people such as Leonard Nimoy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Al Franken, Kenneth Cole, Tony Kushner, Steven Spielberg, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Joan Rivers, Fran Drescher, Aaron Sorkin, and many more 

Cast:

Laura B. Adams returns to MJTC where she previously played Claire in My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding. She has appeared in numerous TV commercials and voice-overs. Stage credits include Hamlet (Park Square Theatre), Mishagas! (Actors Theater of MN), Michele! A Musical Bachumanntary (Theatre Garage), and Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays (Frank Theatre). She was most recently seen in Three Penny Opera (Frank Theatre). She has been an actress with The Mystery Cafe for 25 years.

David Carey makes his MJTC debut in this production. Previous Twin Cities credits include Company and 1776 (Theatre in the Round), Private Lives (Park Square Theatre), How To Talk Minnesotan (Plymouth Playhouse), Sunday In The Park With George (Bloomington Civic Theatre), and Our Town (Theater Latté Da). 

Bryan Porter returns to MJTC where he previously appeared in My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding. Other recent credits include Buddy Holly  (History Theatre), Alice in Wonderland  (Flying Foot Forum), One Arm (2014 MN Fringe), The Three Musketeers  (Walking Shadow/Guthrie), Dear White People  (Lionsgate), Gershwin Songbook Series  (Ordway), and Sherlock Holmes (Park Square Theatre). 

Daisy Macklin Skarning returns to MJTC where she previously appeared in The God of Isaac. Her credits include Yellow Tree Theatre, Gremlin Theatre, History Theatre, Old Log Theater, Theatre Latté Da, Starting Gate Productions, Illusion Theater, The Playwrights' Center PlayLabs, Jungle Theater, Children's Theatre Company, Brave New Workshop, and Hey City Theater.  Film and television credits include Public Domain and ShopHQ Guest Host.  

Creative Team:

Michael Kissin (Director) is a freelance actor, musician, and college educator.  A company member at Mixed Blood Theatre for over 20 years, Michael also served as Artistic Director at Minnesota Festival Theater and Paul Bunyan Playhouse. At MJTC, he directed Talley’s Folly, Goats, and My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, and starred in Boychik. Other directing credits include Mixed Blood Theatre, Park Square, TRP, Theatre L’Homme Dieu, and Acadia Rep (Maine).  Many onstage roles include the fiddler in A Christmas Carol for 13 seasons at the Guthrie Theater.

Kevin Dutcher (Music Director) has been a part of MJTC for over 18 years. He appeared onstage  in Old Wicked Songs and Parade, directed The Last Five Years, and music directed My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding,  Chutzpah á go-go, and The Odd Potato. He combines his passions for theater, music and teaching by directing plays for the Spring Lake Park and Fridley school districts, and teaching music at Horace Mann Elementary School in St. Paul.

Liz Josheff Busa (Costume Design) 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.

Paul Epton (Lighting Design) has designed regularly for MJTC (over 50 shows, including Photograph 51, Handle With Care, Goats, My Name is Asher Lev, Women's Minyan, The Triangle Factory Fire Project, Rose, Old Wicked Songs, The Chosen), Mixed Blood Theatre, Off-Leash Area, Torch Theater, and the Jon Hassler Theater.

Michael Hoover (Scenic Designer) is making his MJTC debut with this production. Michael has designed sets locally for many theaters, including the Guthrie Theater, Park Square Theatre, Theater Latté Da, Gremlin, and Torch.  He most recently designed Death and the Maiden for Torch and Gremlin Theaters. In addition to his freelance career as a scenic designer, Michael is on staff as the Lead Scenic Artist at the Guthrie Theater.

C Andrew Mayer (Projections) has worked previously for MJTC in New Jerusalem, The History of Invulnerability, Photograph 51, The Last Word…, and The Action Against Sol Schumann. He was a McKnight Theatre Fellow and won an Audelco Award for his design for Carlyle Brown's Pure Confidence at 59E59 in New York City. In summers, he serves as Producing Director of the Acadia Repertory Theatre in Maine.

Shelli Place (Choreographer) has staged plays, musical reviews, and fashion shows in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. She has created live shows for museums and major cruise lines. She was Creative Director for Disney Business Productions, where she developed shows for ADP, Wells Fargo, HP, Liz Claiborne, and directed the NFLA-Player of the Year Awards for several years during Super Bowl Week.  She recently choreographed Life Could be A Dream (Old Log Theatre). 

Kelli Tucker (Stage Manager) has been the regular stage manager for MJTC since 2011. She is proud to be working on her 20th production at MJTC, Stars of David. She stage managed the Ivey Award-winning productions Rose and Our Class. Other credits at MJTC include New Jerusalem, Handle with Care, My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, Photograph 51, and others.  

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) is a non-profit organization currently celebrating its 20th season. Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company ignites the hearts and minds of people of all cultural backgrounds by producing theater of the highest artistic standards. Rooted in Jewish content, our work explores differences, illuminates commonalities, and fosters greater understanding among all people. For further information about MJTC and its 20th anniversary season, visit www.mnjewishtheatre.org, email info@mnjewishtheatre.org, or call (651)647-4315.

 

# # #

 

MJTC Launches its Holiday Show!

Click here to download the Press Release for The Chanukah Guest.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 28, 2014

MJTC announces the launch of its holiday show:

The Chanukah Guest 

By Jenna Zark

Based on the book by Eric A. Kimmel

Directed by Candace Barrett Birk

A new MJTC commission and world premiere!

St. Paul, MN -- Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) will feature The Chanukah Guest, a new commission and world premiere production, as its holiday show this year. The Chanukah Guest will run from December 4 - 21, 2014 at Hillcrest Center Theater, 1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul, MN 55116. This production is appropriate for children ages 3 and up. For tickets, call (651)647-4315 or visit www.mnjewishtheatre.org.

The Chanukah Guest is based upon the children’s book of the same title by Eric A. Kimmel. It tells the story of Bubba Brayna, who is quite old and cannot see nor hear well, but she makes the best potato latkes in the village. As she prepares for the first night of Chanukah, a knock at the door brings a most unexpected visitor. This charming, heartwarming, and imaginative tale explores the cultural traditions of Chanukah and will bring extra excitement to the holiday season for theatergoers of all ages.

The Chanukah Guest will actively engage children in the audience by opening each performance with interactive opportunities that will allow children to experience the production from a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective. 

Creative Team:

Jenna Zark (Playwright) is a playwright whose work was last produced at MJTC in last season’s holiday commission, The Magic Dreidels. Her work, A Body of Water, was published by Dramatists Play Service and was produced at Circle Repertory in New York. Recent Twin Cities productions include Alyeska at Blank Slate Theatre, A Great Miracle Happened Here at the Illusion Theater’s Fresh Ink Series, A Little Princess at Steppingstone Theatre, and I Wouldn’t Be Here and In Coya’s House at the History Theatre. Jenna is a two- time winner of McKnight Artists Fellowships and a member of the musical theater collective Prosody. This year, she also published The Beat on Ruby’s Street, a novel for middle-school readers.

Candace Barrett Birk (Director) is an actress, teaching-artist, director, and health-coach.  She was the director of the Children’s Museum of Los Angeles.  She has directed/performed with the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theater, and locally, with the Guthrie, Live Action Set, Hippocrates Café, Theatre in the Round and Open Eye Figure Theater. She was seen on the MJTC stage in Our Class. She also teaches acting at the Guthrie and serves as Lead Artist for their Theater and the Healing Arts program.

Cast:

Skyler Nowinski (Rabbi / Guest) is from Houston Texas. He graduated from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. actor training program. He appeared previously at MJTC in New Jerusalem The Interrogation of Baruch De Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656The Magic Dreidels, Hanukkah Lights in the Big Sky, and The Last Word.... Other credits include Mixed Blood Theatre, Walking Shadow, The Strange Capers, Workhaus Collective, The Showboat, and Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. He traveled with Step In Time Theater to present Why We Laugh at the Nine Gates Jewish Culture Festival in the Czech Republic. 

Joanna Harmon (Bubba Brayna) was previously seen on MJTC’s stage playing Lois Lane in The History of Invulnerability. Recent credits include the title role in Charlotte's Web at Children’s Theatre Company, and performer/deviser of The Big Show with Theatre Forever. She serves as Executive Director of Live Action Set (LAS) and leads the company's pursuit to inspire creativity, speak to the soul, and explore live theater’s distinct potential. In 2011, LAS was recognized with an Ivey Award for Best Overall Performance. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program. 

James Pratt (David) was previously seen on MJTC’s stage playing Jakob in The Magic Dreidels. He is a sixth grader at Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet School in St. Paul. James has been in previous productions at Steppingstone Theatre and Chanhassen Dinner Theater. One of his favorite roles has been Ollie Herdman in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. James also enjoys listening to music, especially the Beatles, and playing bass guitar.

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) is a non-profit organization currently celebrating its 20th season. Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company ignites the hearts and minds of people of all cultural backgrounds by producing theater of the highest artistic standards. Rooted in Jewish content, our work explores differences, illuminates commonalities, and fosters greater understanding among all people. For further information about MJTC and its 20th anniversary season, visit www.mnjewishtheatre.org, email info@mnjewishtheatre.org, or call (651)647-4315.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.      

# # #

 

MJTC Wins an Ivey Award for "Rose"

Contact:     Katharine Kline
                   Communications Manager
                   mnjewishtheatre@gmail.com
                   (612)205-1609

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2014

 

MJTC Wins an Ivey Award for Rose

St. Paul, MN -- Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) was awarded an Ivey Award for its late summer production, Rose, by Martin Sherman. Rose ran at MJTC from August 9 - 24, 2014 and took place in private homes. The production starred Sally Wingert and was directed by Hayley Finn.

The Ivey Awards Committee recognized Rose for its “intellect and emotional intensity,” calling Sally Wingert’s performance “captivating.” Rose weaves 80 years of memories into a personal portrait of Jewish identity and history from the perspective of an elderly woman sitting Shiva. Her memories weave their way all the way from a Ukrainian shtetl in the 1920’s to the Nazi invasion of Poland, to Israel and, finally, to modern American life in Miami.

Accepting the award on behalf of MJTC was Producing Artistic Director, Barbara Brooks. In her acceptance speech, Barbara thanked lead actress Sally Wingert, Director Hayley Finn, Stage Manager Kelli Tucker, Costumer Christine A. Richardson, and the gracious hosts who opened their homes for this uniquely intimate theatrical experience.

This is the fourth Ivey Award recognizing MJTC productions. The other Iveys were awarded to Miriam Monasch for her direction of Our Class (2012), Chris Griffith for his puppet design in Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins (2009), and Sally Wingert for her performance in Woman Before A Glass (2007).

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) is a non-profit organization currently celebrating its 20th season. Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company ignites the hearts and minds of people of all cultural backgrounds by producing theater of the highest artistic standards. Rooted in Jewish content, our work explores differences, illuminates commonalities, and fosters greater understanding among all people. For further information about MJTC and its 20th anniversary season, visit www.mnjewishtheatre.org, email info@mnjewishtheatre.org, or call (651)647-4315.

# # #

Announcing the Launch of Fall Production

Contact:     Katharine Kline
                   Communications Manager
                   mnjewishtheatre@gmail.com
                   (612)205-1609

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2014

 MJTC’s 20th Anniversary Season

Announcing the launch of its fall production:

NEW JERUSALEM, THE INTERROGATION OF BARUCH DE SPINOZA AT TALMUD TORAH CONGREGATION: AMSTERDAM, JULY 27, 1656

By David Ives

Directed by Kurt Schweickhardt

“Fierce, funny, and up-to-the-minute in its moral investigations.”

                                     -The Washington Post

St. Paul, MN -- Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) launches its fall season with New Jerusalem, The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656. This production runs from October 18 - November 9, 2014 at the Hillcrest Center Theater, 1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul, MN 55116. Tickets range in price from $19 - $28. Student and group discounts are available. To order, call (651)647-4315 or visit www.mnjewishtheatre.org.

New Jerusalem, The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656 is a timely and riveting exploration of identity, morality, community, and theology. In the 1600‘s, Sephardic Jews of Spain and Portugal fled to Amsterdam to escape the mass conversions, public burnings, and killings of the Catholic Inquisition. In exchange for safe haven, they agreed to police their own community for unorthodox beliefs. So when Spinoza, heir apparent to the chief Rabbi, is accused of atheism, he is summoned to the synagogue to defend himself. The ensuing trial is rich with philosophical and political investigations that echo strongly today.

Creative Team:

David Ives (Playwright) is perhaps best known for his evening of one-act plays, All In The Timing and for his drama Venus In Fur, which was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. His other plays include The School For Lies (adapted from Molière’s The Misanthrope); The Liar (adapted from Corneille); Time Flies; and Is He Dead? (adapted from Mark Twain.) He has also translated Feydeau’s A Flea In Her Ear and Yasmina Reza’s A Spanish Play. He is a former Guggenheim Fellow in playwriting and a graduate of The Yale School of Drama.

Kurt Schweickhardt (Director) returns to MJTC for his 7th production. Previous productions include A Strange and Separate People, The 75th, The Value of Names, and Old Wicked Songs. Kurt has also performed at MJTC in The Shadow of the Valley.

Alex Brightwell (Simon De Vries) has previously appeared at MJTC in Photograph 51 and The History of Invulnerability. His other credits include Walking Shadow Theater Company and Theatre in the Round. He is a graduate of the U of MN / Guthrie Theater B.F. A. actor training program.

George Muellner (Saul Levi Mortera) has previously appeared at MJTC in Our Class, Chaim’s Love Song, and Parade. His other credits include Park Square Theatre, Nautilus Music Theater, Children’s Theatre Company, Guthrie Theater, History Theatre, The Playwrights’ Center, and MN Fringe Festival.

Skyler Nowinski (Gasper Rodrigues Ben Israel) has previously appeared at MJTC in The Magic Dreidels, Hanukkah Lights in the Big Sky, and The Last Word. His other credits include Mixed Blood Theatre, Walking Shadow, Workhaus Collective, and the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. He is a graduate of the U of MN / Guthrie Theater B.F. A. actor training program.

Briana Patnode (Clara Van Den Eden) makes her MJTC debut. Her credits include Theatre Coup d’Etat, Public Theater of Minnesota, and CLIMB Theater Company.

James Ramlet (Abraham Van Valkenburgh) makes his MJTC debut. His credits include the Guthrie Theater, Frank Theatre, History Theatre, and Children’s Theatre Company.

Michael Hugh Torsch (Baruch De Spinoza) makes his MJTC debut. His credits include Normandale Theater, Agile Rabbit Theatre Company, and Theatre Corrobora.

Rachel Weber (Rebecca De Spinoza) makes her MJTC debut. Credits include Children’s Theatre Company, Bloomington Civic Theatre, Park Square Theatre, and Theatre in the Round.

The creative team also includes Theresa Akers (Scenic Design), Annie Cady (Costume Design), Paul Epton (Lighting Design), C. Andrew Mayer (Sound Design), and Kelli Tucker (Stage Manager).

Related Programs:

MJTC’s Doorways Programs provide deeper insights into the subjects and issues addressed in its productions. For New Jerusalem, these include:

Symposium on Baruch de SpinozaJoin us after the matinee performance on Sunday, October 19th for a presentation by Geoffrey Gorham, Philosophy Department Chair, Macalester College. 

Continuing Legal Education Program Judges and lawyers will discuss the themes that run throughout the play and apply to the legal system today. Following the matinee performance on Sunday, October 26.       (1 CLE credit applied for.) Sponsored by Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. 

Meet the Director & Cast Join us after the performance on Thursday, October 23rd  for a discussion with the director and cast of the show. Gain further insights into the play and how the director and actors approach their work.

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) is a non-profit organization currently celebrating its 20th season. Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company ignites the hearts and minds of people of all cultural backgrounds by producing theater of the highest artistic standards. Rooted in Jewish content, our work explores differences, illuminates commonalities, and fosters greater understanding among all people. For further information about MJTC and its 20th anniversary season, visit www.mnjewishtheatre.org, email info@mnjewishtheatre.org, or call (651)647-4315.

Individual Producers Linda and Mike Platt

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.     

# # #

MJTC Welcomes New Communications Manager

Contact:         Katharine Kline, Communications Manager
                       mnjewishtheatre@gmail.com
                       (612) 205-1609

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 15, 2014

MJTC Welcomes New Communications Manager

St. Paul, MN --- Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) welcomes Katharine Kline to the MJTC family as its newly appointed Communications Manager.

Katharine brings a wealth of arts experience to MJTC. Formerly, she was the Director of The Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts in Washington, DC. In this position, she oversaw Theater J, The Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery, The Screening Room Film Series, and The Washington Jewish Film Festival.  Additionally, Katharine directed the Department of Literary and Music Programs at the Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts where she oversaw an annual literary festival, founded and directed The Washington Jewish Music Festival, and curated a year-round author and concert series. She attracted nationally renowned talent to the arts center, including Tony Kushner, Robert Pinsky, Amos Oz, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Thomas Friedman, and guests for NPR's Selected Shorts program. Katharine holds a BA in Religion and an MA in Jewish Studies from the University of Chicago.

“I’m very excited to welcome Katie” says Barbara Brooks, MJTC’s producing artistic director.  “The part-time communications manager position was established two years ago as part of MJTC's long-range strategic plan to increase organizational capacity by enlarging staff.  Katie brings not only an extensive background in arts administration, but an enthusiasm for and commitment to the work of MJTC.  She’s a perfect fit for the position and our plans for growing staff-time.”

MJTC is a non-profit organization currently celebrating its 20th season. MJTC ignites the hearts and minds of people of all cultural backgrounds by producing theater of the highest artistic standards. Rooted in Jewish content, its work explores differences, illuminates commonalities, and fosters greater understanding of all people. For more information about MJTC and its 20th anniversary season, visit www.mnjewishtheatre.org, email info@mnjewishtheatre.org, or call (651)647-4315.

###

MINNESOTA JEWISH THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES 20th ANNIVERSARY SEASON

2014-15 Season to Include A New Commission/World Premiere, A New Musical, and Performances in Twin Cities Homes

ST. PAUL, MN (July 17 2014) ‐‐ Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company is pleased to announce an exciting line up of five shows for its 2014-15 season.  Artists familiar to MJTC theatergoers will be on stage and on the creative teams through the 20th anniversary season. 

The season will open with Rose by Martin Sherman.  Sally Wingert, previously seen at MJTC in Family Secrets, Woman Before a Glass, and 2.5 Minute Ride, stars in this riveting solo show, previously produced by MJTC in 2002 and 2003.  “I’m very excited to open our 20th season with Rose. This glorious script provides an illuminating historical overview of 20th century Jewish events, and I’m thrilled to welcome back Sally to bring this work to life” says Barbara Brooks, MJTC’s producing artistic director.  Throughout the play, Rose sits Shiva, a Jewish tradition of mourning in which following a death, the mourner sits on a wooden bench at home.   Performances of Rose will take place in different homes throughout the Twin Cities. Rose will be directed by Hayley Finn, who previously directed The Gospel According to Jerry, The Last Word, Compulsion or the House Behind, Handle with Care, and The History of Invulnerability at MJTC.  Rose will run August 9 through August 24, 2014.

Up next will be New Jerusalem, the Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656 by David Ives.  This riveting drama, rich with philosophical and political ideologies that echo today, is an exploration of nature, liberty, and the meaning of G-d.  When Sephardic Jews of Spain and Portugal came to Amsterdam to escape the mass conversions, public burnings, and killing of the Catholic inquisition, they agreed to police their own community for unorthodox beliefs.  When Baruch de Spinoza, heir apparent to the chief Rabbi, is accused of atheism, he’s summoned to the synagogue to defend himself.  New Jerusalem will be directed by Kurt Schweickhardt. Previously at MJTC, Kurt directed The 75th for MJTC’s inaugural season, and then subsequently directed The Value of Names, Old Wicked Songs, Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, and most recently, A Strange and Separate People.  Kurt appeared on the MJTC stage in the world premiere production of Shadow of the ValleyNew Jerusalem will play October 18 through November 9, 2014.

The Chanukkah Guest, a new MJTC commission, will receive its world premiere in the holiday season.  Adapted for the stage by Twin Cities playwright Jenna Zark, and based on the book of the same name by Eric A. Kimmel, this funny, heartwarming, and imaginative tale explores the cultural traditions of Chanukkah.  Although Bubba Braina is quite old and cannot see nor hear well, she makes the best potato latkes in the village.  As she prepares for the first night of Chanukkah and her guests, a knock at the door brings a most unexpected visitor.  MJTC previously commissioned Jenna to adapt The Magic Dreidels, also based on a book by Eric A. Kimmel. The Magic Dreidels has been embraced by audiences, subsequently playing many times at MJTC as well as in other American cities.  The Chanukkah Guest will run December 4 through 21, 2014.

MJTC will return after the new year with Stars of David, adapted from the book written by former 60 Minutes producer Abigal Pogrebin, and conceived by Aaron Harnick.  This new musical revue shines with engaging personal portraits of over 30 accomplished Americans as they reflect on their Jewish heritage and the role it has played in their lives.  With original songs by some of theater’s most noted composers and lyricists including Duncan Sheik, Marvin Hamlisch, Jeanine Tesori and Sheldon Harnick, we hear the stories of admired people such as Leonard Nimoy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Al Franken, Kenneth Cole, Tony Kushner, Steven Spielberg, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  “I will thrilled to be introduced to this new show by the office of Daryl Roth.  As it was being developed, they kept me informed and then invited me to see the early run in NYC.  I’m so pleased that MJTC is one of the first theaters to bring this work to the stage.”  Stars of David will be directed by Michael Kissin.  Previously at MJTC, Mike directed the sold-out hit My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding and its return engagement, as well as Goats and Talley’s Folley.  Mike appeared on stage in the one-man show, BoychickStars of David will run February 14-March 8, 2015.

MJTC will conclude the season with Jericho by Jack Canfora.  This absorbing new play looks at four 30-something New Yorkers navigating the emotional aftermath of tragedy.  Beth lost her husband in the World Trade Center on 9/11, and now, four years later, is dating Ethan. Thanksgiving brings the two together with Ethan’s brother, Josh, and his wife, Jessica.  Josh, who survived the attack on the towers, is trying to make sense of his life, now with differently held perspectives and values. This insightful play about living and letting go is a testament to survival and recovery.  Jericho will be directed by Warren C. Bowles.  Previously at MJTC, Warran directed Photograph 51Jericho will play April 18 through May 10, 2015.

Tickets

Season passbooks are now available by calling 651‐647‐4315. Subscription prices: $55‐$75; full time student passbook is $36. 

Individual tickets for Rose are also now on sale; price: $45/$55 for opening night.  

Box office hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company is a non‐profit organization now in its 20th year of presenting professional productions rooted in the Jewish experience and illuminating the common humanity among us all. The audience for MJTC is almost equally divided between Jews and non‐Jews. For further information about MJTC, call 651‐647‐4315 or visit our website at www.mnjewishtheatre.org; or join our facebook family at http://www.facebook.com/MinnesotaJewishTheatreCompany or follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/MNJewishTheatre.

 

MINNESOTA JEWISH THEATRE COMPANY CLOSES SEASON WITH REGIONAL PREMIERE ABOUT CREATION OF SUPERMAN

Who:                     Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company

 What:                   The History of Invulnerability by David Bar Katz

 When:                  Opening April 19, 2014 

MINNESOTA JEWISH THEATRE COMPANY CLOSES SEASON WITH REGIONAL PREMIERE ABOUT CREATION OF SUPERMAN

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company is pleased to present The History of Invulnerability, running April 19 through May 11, 2014.

This intriguing new work about the true story of the creation of Superman and the tumultuous events surrounding the growth of this superhero to iconic status amidst the depression and W.W. II will be directed by Hayley Finn with a cast including Ivey Award-winner Jim Lichtscheidl portraying Jerry Siegel, Dan Beckmann portraying Superman, and Alex Brightwell portraying Joe Shuster.  Joanna Harmon, Charles Numrich, Dustin Valenta, and Maggie Bearmon Pistner round out the cast.

Original, illustrated images totaling nearly 100 have been created by artist Sam Smith for projection.  They play an integral role in telling the story.  The design team also includes Eric Hugunin (scenic design), Michael Wangen (lighting design), Barbara Portinga (costume design), and C Andrew Mayer (sound design).

Barbara Brooks, producing artistic director at MJTC shares, “Waiting two years for the rights to produce this exciting work was well worth it!  I’m thrilled that Jim Lichtscheidl comes to MJTC for the first time for this play, and Sam Smith’s work is quite impressive. “    

The History of Invulnerability will be playing April 19 through May 11; Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 1 p.m.  There will be one Sunday evening performance on April 20 at 7 p.m.  There will be an audio described performance on Sunday, April 27 at 1 p.m.    Ticket prices are $19 - $28; special student rush $12.

Further information and media inquiries can be directed to Barbara Brooks at 651-647-4315 or Barbara@mnjewishtheatre.org

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company is a non-profit organization now in its 19th year of presenting professional productions rooted in the Jewish experience and illuminating the common humanity among us all.  The audience for MJTC is almost equally divided between Jews and non-Jews.  For further information about MJTC, call 651-647-4315 or visit our website at www.mnjewishtheatre.org; or join our facebook family at http://www.facebook.com/MinnesotaJewishTheatreCompany or follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/MNJewishTheatre.

This project was made possible in part with the support of RIMON: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council, an initiative of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

###

MJTC announces cast for "The History of Invulnerability"

For Release 3/14/14

 “Bar Katz has X-ray vision to see into the human soul, and his
powerful play should be required viewing.”

                                                              – City Beat of Cincinnati

St. Paul, MN – Minnesota Jewish Theater Company is pleased to announce the cast for the regional premiere of The History of Invulnerability by David Bar Katz and directed by Hayley Finn. The show tells the story of the creation of Superman by Jerry Siegel with illustrator Joe Shuster, and the rise of this superhero to iconic status during the 1930s and 40s.  Based on true events, this intriguing new play tells the tumultuous story, intertwining the events of a world in strife, a place where even Superman has his limits.

The cast features Jim Lichtscheidl as Jerry Siegel, Dan Beckmann as Superman, Alex Brightwell as Joe Shuster, and Joanna Harmon as Lois Lane as well as the talents of Maggie Bearmon Pistner, Charles Numrich, and Dustin Valenta. The show will include projections of original artwork by artist Sam Smith, incorporated into the scenic design of Eric Hugunin with lighting design by Michael Wangen, and sound design by C Andrew Mayer.

“The History of Invulnerability is one of the most unique and profound plays I’ve ever come across, and I don’t even read comics nor have I ever followed Superman” says Barbara Brooks, Producing Artistic Director of MJTC.  “I waited over two years for the rights, and we’ve got a cast and production team that will bring this story about an enduring cultural icon to life beautifully.”

The History of Invulnerability

April 19 – May 11

Hillcrest Center Theater
1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul, MN 55116

Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Sundays at 1 p.m.

There will be one Sunday evening performance on April 20th at 7 p.m.

Audio Description will be on Sunday, April 27 at 1 p.m.

For tickets and more information call 651-647-4315 or go to mnjewishtheatre.org.

Media inquiries can be directed to Barbara Brooks at barbara@mnjewishtheatre.org or 651-647-4315.

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company is a non-profit organization now in its 19th year of presenting professional productions rooted in the Jewish experience and illuminating the common humanity among us all.  The audience for MJTC is almost equally divided between Jews and non-Jews.  For further information about MJTC, call 651-647-4315 or visit our website at www.mnjewishtheatre.org; or join our facebook family at http://www.facebook.com/MinnesotaJewishTheatreCompany or follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/MNJewishTheatre.

This project was made possible in part with the support of RIMON: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council, an initiative of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.

 

 


Website MRAC MSAB Arts Legacy.jpg

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

 

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company Introduces Winter Weekend Production

St. Paul, MN, December 30, 2013:  Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company is pleased to introduce the winter weekend production, The Last Five Years.  This intimate musical will open February 8 and run through March 2, 2014.

The Last Five Years tells the story of two urban, aspiring artists who dive into a relationship fueled by youthful optimism.  It chronologically follows Jamie, a Jewish writer, and Cathy, a gentile actress, she telling her story backward, and he telling his story moving forward.  Funny and honest, the work examines a relationship where professional and personal passions collide and bring piercing and unexpected challenges.

The Last Five Years is directed by Kevin Dutcher.  Kevin has a long history with MJTC, having appeared in Old Wicked Songs (1997, 1998) and Parade (2008).  He was musical director for the sold-out hit My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, Chutzpah á go-go, and The Odd Potato, and has directed and/or music directed 80+ productions in the Twin Cities as well as acted in 40 more.  He was one of the hosts of the BBC television series Look Ahead, and has been seen locally in 50+ commercials.  He combines his passions for theater, music and teaching by directing plays for the Spring Lake Park and Fridley school districts, and teaching music at Horace Mann Elementary in St Paul.  Kevin was the music director for the MN Twins for 11 years, providing the soundtrack to 6 division-winning seasons.

The Last Five Years will feature Matthew Rein and Sarah Shervey.  Matthew was previously seen at MJTC as David in My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, as well as in Compulsion or the House Behind and The Triangle Factory Fire Project. Most recently, he appeared with Theater Latté Da in All is Calm.  Other credits include Theater Latté Da (Company, Song of Extinction), Children’s Theatre Company (Five Fingers of Funk, Romeo and Juliet), Gremlin Theatre (Orson’s Shadow, The Water Engine), The Phoenix Theater Project (Proof, Art), as well as Park Square Theatre, Illusion Theater, Mu Performing Arts, Walking Shadow, Teatro del Pueblo, The Tennessee Williams Festival Provincetown, MA and The Court Theatre in Christchurch, New Zealand.  Sarah will make her debut with MJTC.  She is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with degrees in Music Theatre and Music Education. Favorite credits include Footloose (Ariel Moore), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Christine Colgate), and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Narrator). 

The Last Five Years will play on weekends from February 8 through March 2, 2014. 

Media inquiries can be directed to Sarah Rae Helms at info@mnjewishtheatre.org.

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company is a non-profit organization now in its 19th year of presenting professional productions rooted in the Jewish experience and illuminating the common humanity among us all.  The audience for MJTC is almost equally divided between Jews and non-Jews.  For further information about MJTC, call 651-647-4315 or visit our website at www.mnjewishtheatre.org; or join our facebook family at http://www.facebook.com/MinnesotaJewishTheatreCompany or follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/MNJewishTheatre