The Matzo Ball Diaries

January 21 – February 26, 2017

This show reveals the secret stories of food and home. Laugh and cry and discover the power of food to nourish, heal or move us to action.




Adapted, Curated & Produced by Ronda Spinak
Directed by Susan Morgenstern
South Bay Producer Liz Altman
Dramaturge  Lisa Rosenbaum
Assistant Directed by Michelle Altman
Associate Producers Susie Yuré & Rose Ziff
Literary Manager Suzanna Kaplan

Challa — Adapted from Poems For My People (Euclid Press, 1986)
Written by Rose Taylor.  Performed by Kate Zentall.

Eat, Eat — Adapted from The Best Boy in the United States of America (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2015) Written by Ron Wolfson.  Performed by Cliff Weissman and Ensemble.

Iranian Tar-off
Written by Esther Amini.  Performed by Emma Berdie Donson.

American Dream — Adapted from  Living the Gift of Time (2015)
Written by Albert Kallis.  Performed by Cliff Weissman, Kate Zentall and Emma Berdie Donson.

Written by Deirdre Hennings.  Performed by Emma Berdie Donson and Kate Zentall.

The Tomato Omelet — Adapted from Cosmpolitian
Written by Barbara Bottner.  Performed by Kate Zentall and Cliff Weissman.

Food Glorious Food — A Commission of Jewish Women’s Theatre
Written and performed by Shelly Goldstein.

My Lekker Figure — Adapted from her novel in progress, The Tokoloshe
Written by Robyn Travis.  Adapted to the stage by Lisa Rosenbaum.  Performed by Emma Berdie Donson.

Tasty Morsels — A compilation of short pieces, adapted by Ronda Spinak
Written by:  Sherry Mendelson, Steve Bluestein, Lynne Himelstein, Monique Barry, Arlene Schindler,
Allyson Himelstein, Liz Altman, Wendy Hammers.  Performed by the Ensemble.

It Was Mommie Lila’s Food That Kept Us Together
Written by Amy Flanzbaum.  Performed by Cliff Weissman.

Feathers and Hair — Adapted from The Flying Camel, Edited by Loolwa Khazzom (Seal Press, 2003) Written by Farideh Goldin.  Performed by Kate Zentall.

The Secret to Brisket
Written by Rene Moilanen. Performed by Shelly Goldstein, Emma Berdie Donson and Kate Zentall.

A Jewish American Love Poem — Adapted from Hot Mamalah: The Ultimate Guide for
Every Woman of the Tribe (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2012)
Written by Lisa Alcalay Klug.  Performed by the Ensemble.


LIZ ALTMAN (Writer) 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; 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.

MICHELLE ALTMAN (Assistant Director/Tech Director/Stage Manager) graduated from Drake University with a BFA in Theatre/Acting in 2012. Since then she has been performing, writing, and directing in Chicago. Performance credits include Silent Night of the Living Dead, The Cherry Orchard (Charlotta) and Beast Women (Standup/performance art). Directing credits include The Chocolate Affair, Sure Thing, A Smell of Burnt Feathers, Immature (co-writer), When Angels Wept, Everybody Needs a Good Night Out, and The Titus Andronicus Project (co-writer). Thank you to all who support the arts community!

ESTHER AMINI (Writer) is an author and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Her writings have appeared in Elle Magazine, Tablet, The Jewish Week, Barnard Magazine, Inscape Literary Magazine, and Lilith. Five of her stories have been performed in Los Angeles by Jewish Women’s Theatre. Two were staged at the