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 Valley. New 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, Boychick. Stars 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 51. Jericho will play April 18 through May 10, 2015.
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.