Family Secrets

Shhh.  It’s nobody’s business…stories of fauxpas, missteps and outrageous behavior!
January 19 – February 12, 2019



Material Adapted, Curated, and Produced by Ronda Spinak
Directed by Susan Morgenstern & Lisa Cirincione
South Bay Producer Liz Altman
Dramaturg Lisa Rosenbaum Literary Manager Suzanna Kaplan
Assistant Producer Barbara Koletsky Associate Producers Rose Ziff & Susie Yuré
Artistic Associate Daphna Shull Assistant Artistic Director Andrew Fromer

Welcome – JWT Artistic Director Ronda Spinak

My Secret Dysfunctional Family
Music and lyrics by Mike Himelstein. Performed by Ensemble.

Ham & Cheese Croissants and a Letter to God
Written by Alexander Nemser. Performed by Michael Naishtut and Debbie Kasper.

The First Time
Written by Farnaz Solomon. Performed by Niloo.

Zayde’s Legacy
Written by Maureen Rubin. Performed by Rosie Moss and Ensemble.

Sissy Boo
Written and performed by Debbie Kasper.

Double Admission – First appeared in The Jewish Journal
Written by Eli as told to Tabby Refael. Performed by Niloo.

What We Learned About Grandfather
Written by David Naude and Raoul Naude and adapted by Ronda Spinak.
Performed by Michael Naishtut.

Discovering My Dad
Written by Eve Lederman. Performed by Rosie Moss.

Written by Betty Goldstein. Performed by Niloo.

The Wicked Son
Written by Lisa Rosenbaum. Performed by Rosie Moss, Michael Naishtut and Niloo.

A Sister’s Secret
Written by Susan Morgenstern. Performed by Niloo and Ensemble.

The Magic of Authenticity
Written by Judy Carter. Performed by Debbie Kasper and Ensemble.


LIZ ALTMAN (South Bay Producer) wrote “Almost a Sacrifice,” previously performed at the JWT salon Unknown Stories of Biblical Proportions. Other credits include song lyrics for activities at the University of Michigan and the Dallas Bar Follies; and co-directing, co-writing, and performing in the annual SMU law school follies. JWT: Advisory board member and South Bay producer. Professional: vice president of a real estate company. Hobbies: tennis, art, and travel. Special love to her muse, Louis.

JUDY CARTER (Writer) At an early age, Judy discovered that the messes in her life made great comedy material, leading her to a career working as a headlining standup comic performing with Jerry Seinfeld, Prince, and others. As an author, Judy doesn’t like to brag, but she did write the Bible. No joke, she’s the author of The Comedy Bible (Simon & Schuster), touted by Oprah Winfrey as the book that can show you how to be funnier. Judy’s new book, The Message of You (St. Martin’s Press), shows how to find your signature life story and use it to inspire others. Judy’s message of using humor as a transformational tool has made her a sought-after international keynote speaker for Fortune 500 companies and the Jewish Federation, as well as a regular contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered, The Wall Street Journal and CNN. Watch videos at

LISA CIRINCIONE (Director) a proud JWT artist-in-residence, is thrilled to be working with this incredible team.  Lisa produced and stars in the short film Porcupine, which made its World Premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival and has now played on screens around the globe. Lisa recently shot an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! with NBA Legend, Mr. Ron Artest, and can be seen in the comedy web-series, Mrs. Gary, for which she won Best Supporting Actress at The Los Angeles Web Festival. She received LA WEEKLY and LA Drama Critic’s Circle nominations for playing the role of Catherine in Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge at Pacific Resident Theatre. Lisa is a member of The Road Theatre Company and Pacific Resident Theatre and received her BFA in acting from the University of Southern California. Much love to her vibrant Sicilian Jewish family.  More at

ANDREW FROMER (Assistant Artistic Director), a Los Angeles native, grew up as an active member in the Jewish community through Stephen Wise Temple. He attended Windward School in Mar Vista, where his acting career began in plays and musicals. After completing his BFA in theater at UC Santa Barbara, and an exciting year of living in Israel, Andrew took a dive into filmmaking and has since branched into production by helping prepare for distribution two
feature films he has acted in: AMP Creative’s Highway to Havasu (dir. Jeff Janke) and Mockingbird Pictures’ The Sweet Life (dir. Rob Spera). Andrew also edits, directs, and is very excited to be coordinating this year’s iteration of NEXT @ The Braid, JWT’s Emerging Artists Fellowship. Find out more info at

BETTY GOLDSTEIN (Writer) is well known in the storytelling circuit in Los Angeles and New York.  This is the third time a piece of hers has been performed by Jewish Women’s Theatre. Betty’s play, Tushy in the Sky, had a run at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks in 2018.  Her stories have appeared in Reader’s Digest’s The Best Life Stories and in What Was I Thinking? 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories. Betty regularly performs her original ghost stories for KCRW’s Masquerade Ball.  She also blogs on Huffington Post and is a Moth story slam winner.

MIKE HIMELSTEIN (Songwriter) has had more than 500 songs recorded by artists ranging from the Temptations, Al Jarreau, Stray Cats, the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Johnny Winter, and Joe Bonamassa to Julie Andrews, Mandy Moore, Dick Van Dyke, Martin Short, and William Shatner, among others. His songs have been featured in TV, films, and onstage in productions including Shrek (the Academy Award-winning movie and Broadway musical), Blades of Glory, Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, The Sopranos, Disney’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Special Agent Oso, Sheriff Callie’s Wild West, Jim Henson’s Sid the Science Kid, Dinosaur Train, and Splash & Bubbles. He has written several television theme songs and many songs for Disneyland Parks around the world. Mike is a three-time Emmy nominee, an Annie nominee, and the two-time winner of the Cynopsis Imagination Awards. He was a 2007 recipient of the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Award for his hit song God’s Gift to the World.

DEBBIE KASPER (Actor/Writer), a two-time Emmy-nominated writer and award-winning comedian, has written for such seminal TV shows as Roseanne and The Rosie O’Donnell Show and has toured the country several times as a comedian. Her book of humorous personal essays, A Poke in the Eye with a Sharp Stick, is due out in 2019, and her new one-woman show is slated to open in New York this year as well.