Jewish Women Do Men

ARTIST BIOS

SARAH ALONIM BARASH (Writer/Performer, Blessing—Love Is) is the Poet-in-Residence for her beloved Lev Eisha, a joyous community of Jewish women engaged in prayer, study and spiritual growth. She has read her work for Craig Taubman’s One Shabbat Morning, and is currently and blessedly readying her first collection of prayers, and has just completed a first novel dealing with the redemptive power of love and faith.
PHILLIP BELOVE (Tango Dancer) is a psychologist with a specialty in relationships. He also teaches social dancing. He lives in Montreal and Los Angeles. His web sites are: www.datingatmidlife.com and www.drbelove.com.
JANET BUCHWALD, (Co-Author, The Mikveh Monologues—Niddah), was a founder of the Boston Shakespeare Company, and served as its Associate Artistic Director. As Artistic Director of the Rhode Island Feminist Theatre, she collaborated on plays exploring women’s experience. She has directed all productions of The Mikveh Monologues in Boston, as well as several performances around the US. Janet holds a BA in Theater from Tufts University.
SANDRA CARUSO (Actor, Hotel Lobbyist) recently performed a one-woman show at the Santa Monica Public Library, Into The Torrent Sea, about a female pirate from the 1500’s who is an ancestor of Sandras. Sandra has appeared in many plays: Art Alive: Nine Wanted Women at The Lonny Chapman Theater, The Secret Rose and at UCLA as part of the Maryanne Murphy Series. She also understudied at the Geffen Playhouse in: Hedda Gabler with Annette Bening, Uncle Vanya, Wit, Looking for Normal and Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, understuding for Uta Hagen. Sandra taught acting in the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA for twenty years. She also teaches classes for the UCLA Honors Program in collaboration with the Getty Museum. Sandra produced and directed Art Alive: Nine Wanted Women and After Magritte by Tom Stoppard at the UCLA Armand Hammer Museum. She has authored three books, The Actor’s Book of Improvisation: Dramatic Situations for the Teacher and the Actor and The Actor’s Book of Improvisation: Dramatic Situations from Shakespeare.
ANITA DIAMANT, (Co-Author, The Mikveh Monologues—Niddah) is a founder and president of Mayyim Hayyim. She is the author of six non-fiction guides to contemporary Jewish life, including The New Jewish Wedding, and Choosing a Jewish Life. Her first novel, The Red Tent, is an international best-seller. She has written three other novels: Day After Night, The Last Days of Dogtown, and Good Harbor, and a collection of essays, Pitching My Tent.
ELENA FINNEY (Actor, My Grandpa Who Was, Nocturnal Comfort, Niddah,) has performed improv comedy at the Second City LA, UCB’s Comedy Death Ray and IO West. Her TV credits include Charmed, Mind of Mencia and Love Inc. She recently toured the play Salvage in Los Angeles and in London as part of the Origins Festival. “Being Mescalero Apache, Mexican, Irish and Jewish, I have had to adapt to different cultures all of my life by studying the traditions of my various tribes and weaving them together in a way that preserves the integrity of the rituals. Being included in Jewish Women’s Theatre has become a part of this ongoing study and is deeply meaningful to me.
RABBI LYNNE A. KERN (Writer, All My Vows) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, poet and writer whose work has been published in magazines,newspapers and anthologies worldwide. She teaches classes for women in synagogues and is currently working on a Jewish Memoir. As a pulpit rabbi, she created innovative women’s programming focused on excavating the women’s voice in Torah, and the creation of ritual and spiritual writing. She is currently producing a documentary film about LA women rabbis and co-wrote the play, Stories From The Fringe:  Women Rabbis, Revealed! She is also a Founding Board  Member of the Jewish Women’s Theatre.
JOAN MORAN (Director/Dancer/Wrtier Through the Lens of the Argentine Tango & Doctor Demento) attended UCLA and Berkeley, majoring in Theater Arts. She holds two master’s degrees, one in education, the other in theater. While teaching theater at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Joan authored two textbooks: The Dynamics of Acting, and Acting: In Person and In Style. She is a co-founder of the successful The Meadows Playhouse, a non-profit year-round professional theater, which won her the Governor’s Award for Distinguished Excellence in Theater. Joan moved to Los Angeles, to attend The American Film Institute as a Producing Fellow and began her writing and film-producing career. One of her screenplays was published as a novel, Women Obsessed. She has recently completed her memoir, Sixty, Sex, & Tango, Confessions of a Beatnik Boomer. Her website is joanfrancesmoran.com. Her blog is confessionsofabeatnikboomer.blogspot.com.
LISA ROBINS (Actor, All My Vows and Time Shared) understudied in the Fall at the Geffen Playhouse in Nora and Delia Ephron’s Love, Loss and What I Wore, directed by Jenny Sullivan. She recently starred in the role of “Sherri Mandell” in The Blessing of a Broken Heart, based on Sherri’s acclaimed book at the San Diego Rep and on tour. Lisa was directed by Paul Mazursky, originating the role of Annie Rosen in The Catskill Sonata, written by Michael Elias. Other recent theatre outings include Tom Baum’s Shock Therapy directed by Jenny O’Hara, and Hal Ackerman’s wife, daughter, mother, girlfriend, and nurse in Hal’s play, Testosterone, directed by Michael Arabian. Lisa also starred in Fallujah at Theatre East, which garnered the an Ovation nomination for “best new play.” Lisa’s work with the Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles includes Long Bridge Over Deep Waters, at the Ford Amphitheatre, and Center of the Star by Yehuda Hyman at the Greenway. As member of the Actors’ Studio, she was directed by John Rubinstein in George Furth’s Sex, Sex, Sex, Sex, Sex, Sex & Sex. Lisa will be seen opposite Johnny Depp in the upcoming film The Rum Diary and starred as Mildred Dean in the film James Dean directed by Mark Rydell. Thanks to Lisa’s finest work of art, her 11-year-old daughter, Renata.
ARVA ROSE (Writer/Performer, Excerpts from 504 Haverhill Street) started acting in college. Her first part, at 19, was as Shirley Kaplan in Elmer Rice’s Street Scene. In graduate school, at Brandeis University, she played Bessie Berger in Clifford Odet’s Awake and Sing for the American Jewish Theater. Thirty years later, she became a frequent performer at The Jewish Woman’s Theatre Project, later known as The Jewish Woman’s Theatre. Last year, Arva played Ida Kantor in Crossing Delancey . She has also been seen on LA Law, Hill Street Blues, Night Court and Hell Town. She also performed at regional theaters, Off-Off Broadway, in TV movies, soap operas, and in waiver theater. But for Arva, it has always been the Jewish stuff, which she has loved most and did best.
FAYE SHOLITON (Playwright, Timed Shared) is a member of the Playwrights’ Unit at the Cleveland Play House, where she has developed her work since 1996; and more recently, the Playwrights’ Gym at Dobama Theatre, in Cleveland Heights. Her full-length plays have been read and performed more than 40 times throughout the U.S., and in London. She has received three Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist grants and dozens of regional and national awards. Scenes from her plays The Interview, V-E Day and All Things Being Equal appear in anthologies published by Smith & Kraus, Meriwether, and Applause. She writes extensively about theater, teaches playwriting, and serves as Ohio Regional Representative to the Dramatists Guild. Her website is www.fayesplays.com.
RONDA SPINAK (Producer/Writer, My Grandpa Who Was & Nocturnal Comfort) is a writer and producer. She conceived of, created and produced At-Homes Salon Theatre in Los Angeles to sold-out audiences. She holds an MBA from UCLA, a Masters in Professional Writing from USC and two degrees from Stanford. She has written for the Emmy Award-winning children’s show, Rugrats, authored the critically acclaimed Non-fiction book ProBodX: Proper Body Exercise (HarperCollins, publisher), and written many plays, including festival favorite winner Oscar Wilde’s Wife. She is currently producing a documentary film about LA women rabbis and co-wrote the play, Stories From The Fringe: Women Rabbis, Revealed! Ronda is proud to be a co-founder of the Jewish Women’s Theatre and to serve as its Producing Artistic Director.
BARA SWAIN (Playwright, Hotel Lobbyist) serves as the Playwriting Outreach Coordinator at Abingdon Theatre Company, NYC. Her plays and monologues are anthologized in Best Ten-Minute Plays 2007 & 2009 (Smith & Kraus), Mother/Daughter Monologues: Babes and Beginnings (JAC Publications), Contemporary Monologues for Young Women (Meriwether), Journal of Law & Family Studies, 161 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith & Kraus), and Diverse Scenes for Actors (JAC Publications; in press). Bara’s award-winning plays have been performed in venues across the country in 13 states, including Potluck Productions (MO), Theater Works (TN), Flint City Theater Festival (MI), Dubuque Fine Arts Festival, Playwright’s Round Table (FLA), Resilience of the Spirit Festival (CA), and Y.E.S. Summer Shorts Festival.
ANDREA WAGNER (Co-Producer) has worked in non-profit for 25 years and was instrumental in the creation of the Jewish Women’s Theatre. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Theatre Arts and has taught theatre at both the high school and college level. As a member of several community theater groups throughout California, she directed plays, designed costumes and envisioned sets.  She has been active in the Jewish community and currently sits on the advisory boards of several community colleges and extension programs. She has extensive non-profit experience having worked professionally in the Jewish community with Jewish Vocational Services and the Anti-Defamation League.
RONNIE YESKEL (Casting Director) began her career in the entertainment industry in Washington D.C. working at The Folger Theatre, making shoes, boots and brass armor from scratch for Richard III. While studying acting in D.C., she worked in theater production, from props to associate producer. She stage-managed a play in D.C. that took her to New York City. Her first assistant positions in the world of casting were with Joy Todd and Bonnie Timmermann, before she went out on her own. After years of casting theatre in NYC, Ronnie made her way to LA where she became the casting director for the LA THEATRE CENTER. Some of her favorite film and TV projects have included The Marrying Man, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, L.A.Law, Waking the Dead, Bread and Roses, Hope Floats, Igby Goes Down, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Threshold. Ronnie is currently working on a number of projects including Zen Dog with directors Gillian Armstrong and W.H. Macy. She has three features coming out. What Ronnie is most proud of, however, is her daughter, Emily.

THE PROGRAM

Produced by Ronda Spinak
Directed by Joan Moran
Co-Produced by Andrea Wagner

Welcome ~ Ronda Spinak, Producing Artistic Director JWT
Blessing  ~ Written and Performed by Sarah Barash

Physical

Through the Lens of the Argentine Tango
Written and Performed by Joan Moran

Tango Danced by Joan Moran & Philip Belove

Doctor Demento

An excerpt from the book, Sixty, Sex, & Tango, Confessions of a Beatnik Boomer
Written and Performed by Joan Moran

“Joey” & “Charlie” From 504 Haverhill Street
Written and Performed by Arva Rose

All My Vows
Written by Rabbi Lynne A. Kern
Performed by Lisa Robins

Time Shared
Written by Faye Sholiton
Performed by Lisa Robins & Robert Trebor

Familial

“Doggerel” & “Davey” From 504 Haverhill Street
Written and Performed by Arva Rose

Hotel Lobbyist
Written by Bara Swain
Performed by Sandra Caruso & Robert Trebor

Memory

“Father” & “Zaddie” From 504 Haverhill Street
Written and Performed by Arva Rose

Spiritual

My Grandfather Who Was
Written by Ronda Spinak
Performed by Elena Finney

Nocturnal Comfort
Written by Ronda Spinak
Performed by Elena Finney

Niddah
Written by Anita Diamant & Janet Buchwald
Performed by Elena Finney

Conceptual

How Well do Jewish Women Know their Men? A Short Film

Question and Answer

GALLERY