August 7, 2017


Via Dolorosa directed by Raye Birk in his Twin Cities directorial debut

St. Paul, MN--Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) is pleased to announce its upcoming production, Via Dolorosa, kicking off the 23rd season of staging stories about Jewish history and culture with themes universal to people of all backgrounds. MJTC is led by producing artistic director Barbara Brooks.

 “In this theater, I get to commune with an audience and a group of artists that are interested in life affirming plays about the human experience and the Jewish experience. I greatly look forward to the dialogue that is sparked by Via Dolorosa.”

  -Robert Dorfman

 Via Dolorosa by David Hare

At the age of 50, playwright, screenwriter and director David Hare traveled to Israel to explore the 50 year-old state and write about it. His conversations with politicians, artists, settlers and historians in Israel and Palestine provocatively reveal the ideas, hopes and dreams of those living amidst the Israeli-Arab conflict.      

August 19-27 2017

Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday at 8:00 p.m.

Sunday at 1:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Tickets $39 ($30 with a 3-show package)

Robert Dorfman recently appeared with MJTC in We Are the Levinsons. Local credits include over a dozen productions at Guthrie Theater, Dark and Stormy Productions, and Children’s Theatre Company. A native New Yorker, Broadway credits include The Lion King and Social Security. Regional credits include Long Wharf Theatre, Old Globe Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC.

Robert, has working on Via Dolorosa deepened your personal faith or enriched your Jewish experience? I am a Jewish actor born and raised in New York City. I’ve spent most of my adult life living in New York and Southern California. I moved to the Twin Cities almost five years ago.  Here in the Midwest I feel my otherness. Meeting Barbara Brooks and working with the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company on Via Dolorosa and We Are the Levinsons has greatly enhanced my sense of self as an artist and as a man of faith.

What elements of the play have you found the most challenging to work on? Via Dolorosa is written by David Hare, of course.  He, himself, was the solo actor in the original iterations of this fine play.  A poet and an intellectual, he touches on themes of politics and faith set against the backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian condition.  Taking on this role for the MJTC production, I have been forced to question what I ever thought about the subject, whatever allegiances I may have for one side or the other, and have found a greater understanding and compassion for the lives of the Israeli and the Palestinian people who are putting themselves on the line everyday to protect their citizens and find a peaceable continuity to their own historical stories.

Anything else you’d like to say about your experience with Via Dolorosa or working with Raye Birk? I love working with Mr. Raye Birk.  He is in every sense “a man of the theater”.  A consummate actor himself, I feel very fortunate to have him help me shape this performance, [and] represent the great themes of the play in an honest and focused manner.

Raye Birk is pleased to be making his Twin Cities directorial debut with MJTC.  No stranger to the Twin Cities theater scene, Mr. Birk has appeared in more than 25 productions at the Guthrie Theater as well as local performances at Park Square, Theatre Latte Da, The Old Log, Sidekick and Jungle Theater.  He was last seen at MJTC in The Last Word.  Earlier this year he appeared in London’s West End with Mark Rylance in the Guthrie-spawned production of Nice Fish.

All performances are held in the theater of Highland Park Community Center at 1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul, MN 55116. Season subscriptions are now available.

To order, call (651)647-4315 or visit www.mnjewishtheatre.org.

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.  

Individual Producers Larry and Honey Zelle

 About MJTC

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) is a non-profit organization currently celebrating its 23rd 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 more information about MJTC and its 23rd season, visit www.mnjewishtheatre.org, email info@mnjewishtheatre.org, or call (651)647-4315.