MJTC announces its 2016 / 2017 Season

Contact:     Morgan Holmes
                   Communications Manager
                   [email protected]

July 6, 2016

MJTC announces its 2016 / 2017 Season

New season features a world premiere and
Twin Cities favorite Sally Wingert in her directorial debut

St. Paul, MN -- Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) is pleased to announce its 22nd 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. “With the unprecedented success of our previous season, I wanted to make sure this season’s selections and complementary Doorways programs continue to excite our growing audiences,” said Brooks.

The season begins with the solo performance DAI (enough) (August 17 – 31, 2016), the 2008 Lucille Lortel Award–winning play by Israeli-American performance artist Iris Bahr. Jarring and complex, the play shares a glimpse into the private lives and thoughts of eleven vibrant characters in a Tel Aviv café before a bombing. The honesty of the characters and their voices reveals the humanity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Miriam Schwartz (seen at MJTC in Bad Jews, Becoming Dr. Ruth, and Jericho) returns to MJTC to take on this expansive role, directed by Warren C. Bowles.  

Next will be the professional theater premiere of Washington-based playwright Tom Smith’s drama, Aunt Raini (October 29 – November 20, 2016), inspired by the life of German film director Leni Riefenstahl. 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 forces her to examine whether Raini’s art is inextricably tied to its subject matter or can be judged for its artistic merit alone.

In celebration of the holidays MJTC will restage its original commission The Magic Dreidels (December 6 – December 21, 2016), adapted by Twin Cities playwright Jenna Zark from the endearing book of the same name by noted children’s author Eric A. Kimmel. Jakob, a curious young boy with a knack for misplacing things, loses his Hanukkah dreidel down a well. A goblin living in the well replaces his dreidel with magical ones, setting off a series of adventures for Jakob with his father and his lonely neighbor, Fruma Sarah. A charming and festive holiday tale for the whole family, The Magic Dreidels is an opportunity to learn about the cultural traditions of Hanukkah, and the universal themes of sharing, compassion, and friendship. Directed by Michael Kissin and starring Soren Thayne Miller (seen in MJTC’s 2015 The Chanukah Guest) as Jakob.

The new year will begin with the 2011 Outer Critics Circle Award-winning play The Whipping Man (February 4 – 26, 2017) by Matthew Lopez and directed by Sally Wingert (seen at MJTC in Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, Rose, Women Before a Glass, Family Secrets, and 2.5 Minute Ride). It’s April 1865 and the Civil War is over. Caleb De Leon, a young Jewish Confederate soldier, returns home wounded to find his plantation home burned and looted, and his former slaves Simon and John now freed. As Simon, brought into the Jewish faith by the DeLeon family, prepares a Passover seder, the three men help each other navigate their newfound understandings of family, power and freedom, until the secrets that still bind them start to unravel.

To end the season, MJTC will present the world premiere of theater/film/TV writer and producer Wendy Kout’s new comedy, We Are the Levinsons (April 22 – May 14, 2017). Lil and Lenny Levinson’s house is brimming with hummed tunes and bright chatter when their daughter Rosie makes a surprise homecoming for Lil’s birthday. Three weeks later, Lil’s sudden passing leaves Rosie miscast to fill her mother’s shoes as she fights to rally the depressed Lenny and her rebellious daughter Sara. Through death, dysfunction and delusions, the Levinsons and their caregiver Coco, a transwoman hoping to start her own family, revel in the artifacts and rituals that help us survive.

All performances are held in the theater of Highland Park Community Center at 1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul, MN 55116. Season subscriptions are now availableTo order, call (651) 647-4315 or visit mnjewishtheatre.org

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) is a non-profit organization in its 22nd 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 22nd season, visit mnjewishtheatre.org, email [email protected], or call (651) 647-4315.

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, as well as support from Fredrikson and Byron, P.A., the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul, RBC Wealth Management, and Target®.

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