Living After

Poignant, moving and funny stories about what it means to live with and live after cancer.
October 26 & 27, 2019

DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE HERE

THE PROGRAM

Material Adapted, Curated, and Produced by Ronda Spinak
Directed by Susan Morgenstern
Associate Producers Rose Ziff & Susie Yuré
Assistant Producer Barbara Koletsky
Artistic Associate Daphna Shull
Assistant Artistic Director Andrew Fromer

In Memory of Abby Freeman
Honoring National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

WELCOME
THE PROGRAM

Crank House Just Got Crankier – From My Bad, My Good, Season 8
Written by Grace Fetterman. Performed by Rosie Moss, Monica Piper, and Jasmine Curry.

Shabbos Goy – From Hold Me, Heal Me, Season 6
Written by Joanne Verdino. Performed by AJ Meijer and Rosie Moss.

Fat – From The Matzo Ball Diaries, Season 9
Written by Wendy Hammers. Performed by Monica Piper.

Tempted to Believe – From Temptation, Season 8 Written by Cynthia Freeman. Performed by Rosie Moss.

Mi Shebeirach – From More Courage, Season 9
Music and Lyrics by Debbie Friedman. Performed by AJ Meijer and Rosie Moss.

Four Not So Simple Words – From The Art of Forgiveness, Season 5
Written by Didi Carr Reuben. Performed by Jasmine Curry and Monica Piper.

God Dog – From Crossing Our Red Sea, Season 10 Written by Robin Uriel Russin. Performed by AJ Meijer.

But Who Will Love Me Now? – From Beyond Jacob’s Ladder, Season 8 Written and performed by Monica Piper.

Wildfire – Submitted Season 2
Written by Maia Danziger. Performed by Jasmine Curry and ensemble.

Fighter (Copyright © 2014 Achtober Songs (BMI) Meaux Mercy (BMI) Moody Producer Music (BMI) Songs Of Third Base (SESAC) Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Tunes (SESAC) (adm. at CapitolCMGPublishing.com) All rights reserved. Used by permission.) Music & Lyrics by Toby McKeehan, Chris Stevens, Cary Barlowe, Jamie Grace.  Performed by Rosie Moss.

The Moment I Knew – From The Moment You Knew, Season 4 Written and performed by Monica Piper.

Cold Solace – From Oh, Mother, Season 5
By Anna Belle Kaufman. Performed by Jasmine Curry.

Q&A POST SHOW

ARTIST BIOS

JASMINE CURRY (Actor) trained at New York University, Experimental Theatre Wing, and was a resident actor at Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley, PA. She studied improv and sketch writing with The Groundlings Theatre and iO West. Jasmine has worked in educational theatre with Writers Room Productions, California Weekly Explorer, and The Imagination Machine. Most recently she has appeared in Top Girls and Blood Wedding, and will be portraying the Stage Manager in Our Town at Pierce College this December. Jasmine often lends her voice to audiobooks and voice-over projects and is currently co-authoring a book with her mother, inspired by their travel adventures in Ireland.

MAIA DANZIGER (Writer) is a writer and Emmy Award–winning actress. She has appeared on and off-Broadway, on television and in film, and is the founder and former co-artistic director of the Actors Company Theatre in New York. Maia is the creator of Relax & Write, a meditative writing process that she teaches in LA, online, and in workshops and retreats all over the world.  Check it out at www.relxandwrite.com.

GRACE FETTERMAN (Writer) is a copywriter and screenwriter based in Los Angeles. She has produced written content for NBCUniversal, Inc. Magazine, Cisco, and Google Nest, among others.

CYNTHIA FREEMAN (Writer) is a senior program director at Community Partners, where for 13 years she has helped people start and run nonprofit organizations and led re-granting, convening, and training programs for foundations and government agencies. Previously, she was a program officer for the New York Foundation making grants to community organizing and advocacy organizations, and has served as a consultant to government and nonprofits. A graduate of Brown University with a master’s in nonprofit management from NYU, Freeman has served on the boards of Interfaith Funders, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, and Jewish Jumpstart. She is co-leader of the SoCal Fiscal Sponsors Network and a Heart to Heart racial justice dialogue facilitator for LA’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation initiative. She misses her sister.

ANDREW FROMER  (NEXT Producer & Program Facilitator/JWT 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 career as an actor began in the school plays and musicals. After completing his BFA in theater at UC Santa Barbara and an exciting year of living in Israel, Andrew returned to LA for acting and producing. His TV credits include Never Have I Ever (Netflix), Anger Management (FX) and feature film credits include Highway to Havasu( Billy/Producer) and The Sweet Life (Mike/Assistant to Production). 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 www.jewishwomenstheatre.org/nextAndrew also serves as Teen Engagement Coordinator and Communications Manager for Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas.

WENDY HAMMERS (Writer) JWT Alum. Onstage: As an actress, she has toured 7 cities with her LA Times acclaimed solo show, Ripe, and is currently starring in Old Jews Telling Jokes (Bunny) TV appearances include Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Sopranos, Mad About You, Oprah.  Producer: Creator/host of Tasty Words™, an LA-based spoken-word salon. Wendy is a thriving pancreatic cancer survivor and travels the country as an empowerment speaker.  Learn more here: www.wendyhammers.com.

ANNA BELLE KAUFMAN (Writer) has had many incarnations in this lifetime. These include being a designer of costumes and sets, a silversmith, an AIDS activist, and an art psychotherapist. Her poetry and essays have appeared in The Sun, Calyx, the Utne Reader and Brain, Child. She lives in the countryside near Sebastopol, California, with her husband, dog, and her goats, Yankl and Yosl.

BARBARA KOLETSKY(Assistant Producer/Stage Manager) was associate producer and production manager for Miss America’s Ugly Daughter, at The Broad Theatre. She spent the previous six months as a production associate and costumer on the off-Broadway production of Not That Jewish at New World Stages, prior to which she was assistant producer and stage manager for that show’s Los Angeles debut, in association with Jewish Women’s Theatre. In the past eleven years she has worked with Jewish Women’s Theatre in various capacities—assistant producer, lighting designer, stage manager—in a number of productions. In her earlier career she served as the president for the special-event company R.S.V.P., which entailed everything from budgeting to leading a team to achieve flawless events. Barbara began her career in marketing and promotions at Polygram Records.

AJ MEIJER (Actor) is an artist-in-residence with JWT. Film: Laundromat (upcoming, directed by Steven Soderbergh), All About Nina (with Common and Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Life Partners (with Adam Brody and Leighton Meester), Broken Horses (with Vincent D’Onfrio and Anton Yelchin). TV: Sneaky Pete, NCIS:LA, Hannah Montana. He is a member of the original cast of the off-Broadway smash hit musical Heathers and featured on the cast recordingHe co-founded Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble and was seen in their productions of The War Cycle (Ovation Award nomination). Regional: Lennie in Of Mice and Men at TheatreWorks, Silicon Valley; All About Gordon at the Ahmanson; Getty Center with the National Theatre of Greece; Tug of War at the Getty Villa. AJ is a graduate of the UCLA School of Theatre, Film, and Television. More info at ajmeijer.com.

SUSAN MORGENSTERN (Director) began directing in college by staging musical-theatre concert readings while co-teaching American musical comedy with Tom Lehrer at UC Santa Cruz.  She went on to teach and direct at the renowned Stage Door Manor, a performing-arts camp in upstate New York.  Los Angeles productions: Theatre West – selections from David Ives’ All in the Timing; the musicals Just Too Cool, Saturday Night at Grossinger’s, as well as Barbara Nell Beery’s play, The Socialization of Ruthie Shapiro.  Falcon/Garry Marshall Theatre –Leap, by Arnold Margolin; Surviving Sex, by David Landsberg; the hit comedy The Psychic, by Sam Bobrick.  Whitefire Theatre – Richard Martin Hirsch’s Memorizing Rome.  Skylight Theatre – an INKubator reading of Ghost-s, a Musical About a Musical, book by Kincaid Jones, music by Brian Woodbury, as well as an extended run of Meryl Cohn’s comedy Reasons to Live.  In addition, Susan directed Happy Days, a New Musical, for Cabrillo Music Theatre. She co-authored and directed 18 Minutes of Fame: A Musical Journey with Barbara Minkus, which has played in Los Angeles and NYC. Susan works as a consultant show director at Disneyland Parks and Resorts, Anaheim, where she has the privilege of working with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and all their pals.  She has directed numerous JWT salon shows and is especially proud to be its Producing Director, working closely with a tremendous group of brilliant and passionately creative people.

ROSIE MOSS (Actor) recently performed in JWT’s Family Secrets and is excited to be back!  You can watch her star in Lifetime/A&E’s miniseries’ The Rookie on MyLifetime.com. She originated the role of Sarah Kaufman in the West Coast Jewish Theatre’s production of FUGU. Other theatre includes Macbethx5 (Odyssey), The Physicists (Sacred Fools), and The Ascent (Blank Theatre). Film/TV: The Conners, Famous in Love, and Strangers. BFA, Boston University. Keep up with Rosie at RosieMoss.com.

MONICA PIPER (Writer/Performer) is an Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe nominated comedy writer and stand-up comic. She has written for sit-coms Roseanne, Mad About You and Veronica’s Closet, and was the head writer of the #1 children’s animated series Rugrats. She starred in her own Showtime Network special, No, Monica, Just You and was nominated by the American Comedy Awards as one of the top five female comedians in the country.  Monica is proud to be an artist-in-residence with Jewish Women’s Theatre of Los Angeles.  Her critically acclaimed one-woman play, Not That Jewish, ran to sell-out crowds in LA, before its hit 7-month run Off Broadway. Monica performs for Jewish organizations around the nation with her biographical blend of stand up and storytelling, Farmisht, Farklempt, and Farblungit!

DIDI CARR REUBEN (Writer) grew up in “da Bronx” NY (hence the NOO YAWK accent). In the mid-‘70′s she moved to LA to continue to pursue her music career and landed a co-starring role on the ABC sitcom Sugar Time in 1977. She transitioned from show biz to shul biz when she married Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben in the early ‘80′s. In 1986, Didi and Rabbi Reuben became rabbi and rebbetzin of Kehillat Israel Synagogue in Pacific Palisades. Didi is most proud of her work as rebbetzin of KI and mom to daughter Gable.

ROBIN URIEL RUSSIN (Writer), is a professor of screenwriting and playwriting in the Department of Theatre, Film & Digital Production at the University of California, Riverside.  He has written, produced, and directed for film, TV, and the theater, including Warner Bros. On Deadly Ground; America’s Most Wanted on Fox; and Vital Signs on ABC; and his original one-hour pilot script about King David, Beloved, was adapted by ABC as Of Kings and Prophets. Robin serves as chair of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival’s National Playwriting Program for Region 8 (California, Hawaii, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada) and is co-author with William Missouri Downs of the books Naked Playwriting and Screenplay: Writing the Picture, now in its second edition. A Rhodes Scholar, he has degrees from Harvard, Oxford, RISD, and UCLA, where he received his MFA in screenwriting.  Robin has won or been a finalist for numerous awards, including two Jack Nicholson Awards for excellence in screenwriting, and competitions such as ScriptPIMP, The Movie Deal, Award Winning Screenwriters, Northwest Film Forum, ScreenCraft, TV Writer People’s Pilot Award, the Austin Film Festival, among others.

DAPHNA SHULL (JWT Artistic Associate/NEXT literary team) is a three-time NEXT Arts Council Fellow, literary manager, and writer, born and raised in Tampa, Florida. She received her bachelor’s degree in media production from Florida State University. After graduating in 2014, she headed west to pursue a career in screenwriting and the arts. Today Daphna works as JWT’s Artistic Associate and as a museum educator for the Zimmer Children’s Museum.

RONDA SPINAK (Producer/Artistic Director) created JWT’s At-Homes Salon Theatre Series and since has curated and produced more than 45 original Jewish-themed salon shows, as well as adapted many of the pieces performed. Spinak developed and produced Ovation Recommended Not That Jewish at JWT’s The Braid, which ran for 16 months, garnered an LA Drama Critics Circle nomination, and then moved to off-Broadway. She also produced Rain Pryor’s hit show Fried Chicken & Latkes and Vicki Juditz’s Ovation Recommended Sacred Resistance. Spinak co-wrote Stories from the Fringe, putting the stories of women rabbis on stage for the first time. Since then, she and her team have interviewed on videotape 180 national and international women rabbis, and in partnership with Jewish Women’s Archive have made many of the interviews available online at www.jwa.org. She has written for Rugrats, and her plays include Oscar Wilde’s Wife, a favorite at the Ashland New Play Festival. She is on the board of the Alliance for Jewish Theatres, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. She feels blessed to be working with so many creative people who give their hearts and souls to JWT.

JOANNE VERDINO (Writer) is a licensed clinical social worker from New York who worked in multicultural middle and high schools for 35 years. Currently, Joanne provides professional development for educators  and is a certified Olweus Bully Prevention Program trainer.  Known to friends and family as a storyteller, Joanne wrote The Shabbos Goy as a testament to the comfort and companionship of the Orthodox people sharing the ICU waiting room at NYU Hospital in the final days of her sister Judi’s life. Joanne lives on Long Island with her husband, Roland Ng, and their two wonderful daughters, Codi and Kasey.

SUSIE YURÉ (Director of Community Engagement/Associate Producer) has proudly worked with JWT for 7 years. She has volunteered in non-profit organizations, in which she has held leadership roles in fundraising, event planning, facilities coordinating, programming, membership, marketing, and administration. Susie has produced musical theatre productions, classical concerts, and cabaret performances. She holds a BA and MA in elementary education from USC, along with her California lifetime teaching credential. While at USC, she met her husband. Her favorite role is as mom to her two children and recently as a grandmother.

ROSE ZIFF (Special Projects Manager/Associate Producer) came out of retirement to work for JWT after working at UCLA Medical Center for 33 years, where she functioned as “den mother” to more than 1000 interns, residents, and clinical fellows at UCLA, the VA, and Olive View-UCLA Medical Centers, providing resources and support. Rose is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Lev Eisha, a Jewish women’s non-profit religious organization and spiritual community. Her hobbies include gardening, dog training and hosting a monthly book club.

GALLERY

Part of the pre show dessert buffet

Jasmine Curry