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.

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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

THE MAGIC DREIDELS Returns with Barbara Brooks, MJTC’s Producing Artistic Director, at the Helm

St. Paul, MN, November 13, 2013:  Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company’s hit holiday production, The Magic Dreidels, is back this holiday season.  Originally commissioned by MJTC in 2000, and subsequently produced in other cities in the United States, The Magic Dreidels was adapted by Twin Cities playwright Jenna Zark from the endearing book of the same name by noted children’s book author Eric A. Kimmel.

The Magic Dreidels is the story of Jakob, a young boy who is sent to the well by his father to get water for preparation of the holiday meal.  There he loses his new dreidel, a small spinning top, down the well.  A goblin living in the well replaces his dreidel with magical ones, beginning a series of adventures for Jakob with a lonely neighbor, Fruma Sarah.  This engaging holiday tale is an opportunity to learn about the cultural traditions of Hanukkah, and the universal themes of sharing, caring, compassion, and friendship.

The Magic Dreidels features three actors known well to MJTC audiences: Bob Malos (Photograph 51) will appear as Yankel, Bethany Ford (Photograph 51, Compulsion or the House Behind, and Women’s Minyan) will be seen as Fruma Sarah, and Skyler Nowinski (The Last Word, Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins) takes on the role of the goblin.  James Pratt will make his first appearance with MJTC in the role of Jakob.

MJTC is pleased to present Doorways program in conjunction with The Magic Dreidels. Doorways is MJTC’s initiative of ongoing programs such as symposia, community forums, post-show discussions, written communications, and work with schoolchildren, all designed to open the door to greater understanding and enjoyment of the plays we present and to deeper insight into the subjects and issues they address.

Doorways programs in conjunction with The Magic Dreidels are as follows:

-          Thursday, December 5: Pre-show reading of the book and discussion with director, Barbara Brooks, and potato latke tasting (space is limited)

-          Saturday, December 7: Post-performance meet and greet

The Magic Dreidels opens December 5, 2013 and plays through December 20, 2013; opening night performance on Thursday, December 5 at 7 pm, and continuing on week-day mornings through December 20th.  There are two week-end performances:  Saturday, December 7 at 7 pm and Sunday December 8 at 1 pm.  Ticket price is $17.  Group discounts are available for school groups.  For ticket reservations call 651-647-4315 Monday through Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.

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 activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

 

MJTC Launches Fall Production Written by Jon Marans

The Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company is pleased to open the regional premiere of Jon Marans' A Strange and Separate People on October 12, 2013.

This contemporary drama of betrayal and new beginnings focuses on Jay and Phyllis-a young, Upper West Side, Orthodox Jewish couple whose marriage unravels when Jay becomes romantically involved with Stuart-a young doctor who is handsome, cocky, and strangely charismatic. Stuart is also Orthodox but has recently been awakened to his religion. A Strange and Separate People explores the struggle for many to accept their homosexuality while observing their religious beliefs, and questions the meaning of love.

A Strange and Separate People will run October 12 through November 3, 2013 and will be directed by Kurt Schweickhardt.  This is Mr. Schweickhardt's sixth production with MJTC; his previous productions include Old Wicked Songs, also by Jon Marans.

Barbara Brooks, producing artistic director at MJTC shares, "The overarching theme of Jon's plays tend to address self discovery and struggling with one's personal beliefs. A Strange and Separate People is a compelling play that will encourage community discussion and, hopefully, understanding and acceptance. Jon's play Old Wicked Songs, which we produced in 1997, is one of my most favorite plays.  I couldn't be more pleased with an opportunity to again introduce a new work of Jon's to Minnesota audiences."

MJTC would also like to welcome back to the stage Elena Giannetti. Ms. Giannetti previously appeared in Our Class, My Name is Asher Lev, and Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, and will play the role of Phyllis in A Strange and Separate People. Other acting credits include the Guthrie, Park Square, History Theatre, Penumbra, Mixed Blood, TRP, Children's Theatre, Playwrights' Center, Off Leash Area, MN Shakespeare Project.

  Brand new to the MJTC stage are Brandon Bruce (Jay) and Nate Cheeseman (Stuart). Mr. Bruce is a recent transplant to the Twin Cities and has performed with such theaters as the Cleveland Play House, Porthouse, Signal Ensemble, and Iowa Summer Repertory.  Mr. Cheeseman recently graduated from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie BFA Actor Training Program.  MJTC is delighted to have a dynamic cast to bring this play to life at MJTC.

A Strange and Separate People will run October 12 through November 3, 2013.

 

MJTC Closes Season With A Comedy

The Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company will close its 18th season with the laugh-out-loud comedy Handle With Care by Jason Odell Williams.

Receiving its regional premiere, Handle With Care is the story of Ayelet, a young Israeli woman who is dragged by her grandmother on a road trip through America in search of a dream.  A strange itinerary through small Virginia towns, a botched DHL delivery, a surprise blizzard, and a strong language barrier all eventually lead Ayelet to find what she didn’t know she was looking for: her destiny. 

MJTC would like to welcome two new actresses to the MJTC stage for Handle With Care. Linda Kelsey will be playing the role of Edna, Ayelet’s grandmother. Ms. Kelsey is best known for the role of Billie Newman in Lou Grant.  Other TV roles include: ERThe Mary Tyler Moore ShowM*A*S*H, The Twilight ZoneStreets of San Francisco, and Eleanor and Franklin. Local theater credits include Park Square Theatre (Mary Queen of ScottsEleemosynaryBiographyDancing at LughnasaThe Belle of AmherstDoubt), Guthrie Theater (When We Are Married).  Miriam

Schwartz will play the role of Ayelet. Ms. Schwartz is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program.  Past credits include Sonya in Uncle Vanya, Jenny in In Game or Real, Arden in Cinephilia, and multiple roles in Clandestino

Dustin Bronson and Ryan Lindberg return to the MJTC stage to round out this dynamic cast.  Mr. Bronson last appeared in Photograph 51 with MJTC.  Other theatre credits include Park Square Theater (Of Mice and Men) and Illusion Theater (My Antonia, Autistic License).  Ryan Lindberg previously appeared with MJTC in Goats, Moonlight and MagnoliasThe Gospel According to JerryModern Orthodox, and Twilight of the Golds.  Other theater credits include Guthrie Theater (Six Degrees of Separation), Milwaukee Shakespeare (The Taming of the Shrew), Walking Shadow (Robots vs. Fake RobotsSquawk), and Gremlin Theatre (Corleone). Hayley Finn will direct Handle With Care.  Previously at MJTC she directed Compulsion or the House BehindThe Last Word…, and The Gospel According to Jerry.  Ms. Finn is the Resident Director and Lab Producer at the Playwrights’ Center. Other directing credits in the Twin Cities include Hiding In The Open (History Theatre), ADY (Pangea World Theater), and Permanence Collection (Walker Art Center).  She holds both a B.A. and M.A. from Brown University.

Handle With Care will run April 13 through May 5, 2013. 

Further information, media inquiries, and photo requests can be directed to Cadence Cornelius atcadence@mnjewishtheatre.org.