You Call This Love?

March 22-24, 2010


Produced by Ronda Spinak
Associate Producers Deena Novak & Abby Freeman
Directed by Deborah LaVine

Ronda Spinak, Producing Artistic Director

Blessing – Hands
Written and performed by Sarah Alonim Barash
Directed by Andrea Wagner

Art Talk
Performance and Fine Artist Doni Silver Simons

Grandparents & Parents

On Shabbat She Dances in the Candle
Written by Marge Percy
Performed by Patty Cornell

Papa, Can You Hear Me?
Written by Marilyn and Alan Bergman and Michel LeGrand
Performed by Ilene Graff

Loves and Lovers

I’m in Love with Chekov
Written and performed by Carol Schlanger

Chapel of Love
Written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector
Performed by Ilene Graff

House of Breath
Written by Marge Percy
Performed by Patty Cornell

Dear Metropolitan Diary
Written by Lynne Himelstein
Performed by Ilene Graff


A Mother’s Prayer
Written by Carole Bayer Sager and David Foster
Performed by Ilene Graff

Written by Jennifer Maisel
Performed by Patty Cornell, Robert Trebor, Brynn Chamblee, Kate Rylie

The Holy One

God, My Lover
Created by Ronda Spinak
From the Doc Film, On The Fringe, Courtesy of SixThirteen Productions

Our Loves and Ourselves

Six Pints Haagen Dazs
Written and Performed by Monica Piper
Commissioned by Jewish Women’s Theatre – WORLD PREMIERE

Jewish Women Love
Created by Ronda Spinak, Rabbi Lynne Kern and Lucas Lee Graham
Produced by SixThirteen Productions; Commissioned by Jewish Women’s Theatre

Q&A with Artists
Share Your Voice, Make Your Mark


SARAH ALONIM BARASH (Writer/Performer, Blessing–Hands) is the Poet-in-Residence for her beloved Lev Eshai, a jouous 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 in the process of completing her novel, Faithful Beyond Measure, a novel of love and redemption. Although Sarah wears a bathing suit exceedingly well she still regrets that, try as she may, she remains unable to juggle three balls in the air at one time.
BRYNN CHAMBLEE (Rachel, Fissshhhh) began acting at age 7 in Atlanta, performing in numerous plays and musicals, as well as a tv pilot, Girl Tech Network. Since arriving in LA, she has appeared on Nickelodeon’s Unfabulous, in many short films, and hosted Cosmo Girl magazine’s teen webisodes, Ouch! Embarrassing Stories. Additionally, she has appeared at the LA Improv with Standing Tall Comedy Kids and Teens, directed by Joey Paul Jensen. She is a trained singer and dancer. Brynn is represented by Bill Naoum at Commercial Talent Youth.
PATTY CORNELL (Anne, Fissshhhh) most recently acted in Jennifer Maisel’s web series Faux Baby, and the indie short Cranky Puss. Indie Features include: Bob Funk (with Grace Zabriski and Rachel Leigh Cook), Happy Is Not hard to Be, and Vampire Clan (Netflix it!). Indie Shorts include: the multiple award winning short film Chekhov’s Gun directed by Matt Nix (Burn Notice) and Victor Fanucchi, Goodnight Vagina (with Cheryl Hines), and the trailer for Amreeka. LA stage credits include Ensemble Studio Theatre LA, Ghost Road Company, Overtone, Orphean Circus, Evidence Room and others. NYC credits include The Workhouse Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Naked Angels, and the Long Wharf in New Haven.
ABBY FREEMAN (Associate Producer) is a classically-trained actress who studied at the Tisch School of Arts at New York University. She is a Co-founder of AiRealistic, an aerial theatre company, and was a Captain and Performer for the hit show “De La Guarda.” She has choreographed and performed in New York and Los Angeles, as well as many international cities. She created original work for clients including The LA Philharmonic, Toyota, Johnson & Johnson, General Motors, and Red Bull. Most recently, she performed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2009 LA Philharmonic Gala. She has completed the first year of her MBA at the Anderson School of Management. She plans on continuing to work in Arts Management.
ILENE GRAFF (Singer) Grammy nominated for her CD, Baby’s Broadway Lullabies, is best known as the mom on the TV comedy, Mr. Belvedere. She has starred in three musicals on Broadway and co-stars with Glenn Close in the Walt Disney Company film version of South Pacific. She is a Life Member of Hadassah and her late mother Judy was a long-serving President of her local chapter. Find out more about her at
LYNNE HIMELSTEIN (Writer/DearMetropolitan Diary—as seen in New York Times on January 17, 2010) has dedicated herself to the Jewish community, assuming leadership positions on the national boards of both United Jewish Communities and America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In great demand as a speaker on Jewish philanthropy, she has traveled around both the United States and Israel, inspiring people to give to Jewish organizations. Lynne was born and raised in Los Angeles, but for the past 18 years, she and her husband have lived in Indianapolis where they raised their two children.
DEBORAH LAVINE (Guest Resident Director) has directed over 300 professional theater productions across the country including San Jose Repertory Theater, Bristol Riverside Theater, Alaska Repertory, and Alliance Stage in Atlanta. Deborah received 14 Drama-Logue awards for outstanding direction, an Ovation award for Best Director of NAPOLI MILLIONARIA at the Road Theater Company, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle award and a NAACP citation for her direction of DISTANT FIRES at Long Beach International City Theatre – along with many other honors. Deborah also serves as Co-Program Chair of the Film Directing Program at California Institute of the Arts (CALARTS) helping develop one of the fastest growing graduate level (MFA) narrative film directing programs in Southern California.
JENNIFER MAISEL (Author/Fissshhh) Is an award-winning playwright, television and film writer whose plays include The Last Seder, There or Here, Goody Fucking Two Shoes, Eden, birds, Mallbaby, Mad Love and …And the Two Romeos. Productions and workshops include Actors Theatre of Louisville, Theatre of NOTE, South Coast Repertory, San Francisco’s The Magic Theatre, New York’s Epic Theatre and Hypothetical Theatre, and Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center, Theatre J and Rorschach Theatre. Her film Prodigal Son is being produced by Tule River Films and she is currently working on projects for ABC Family, Lifetime, M-films and Practical Pictures.
DEENA NOVAK (Associate Producer) is a consultant and has managed theatre operations. Her imagination and suggestion sparked the reinvention of the former Jewish Women’s Theatre Project, and helped turn it into the current vision of a working theatre.
MONICA PIPER (Writer & Performer/Six Pints Haagen Dazs) is an Emmy Award-winning comedy writer, stand up comedian and motivational speaker. She was nominated for an American Comedy Award as one of the top five female comedians in the country and starred in her own Showtime Network special, No, Monica, Just You. She has written for Roseanne, Mad About You and Veronica’s Closet and was the head writer of the beloved children’s animated series Rugrats, as well as writing shows for Disney and Cartoon Network. She is presently bringing her laugh-out-loud advice to corporate America, showing audiences everywhere how to Find the Funny in their lives. Check her out on
KATE RYLIE (Liz, Fissshhhh) Kate recently had the pleasure of playing Judith in Bill Cain’s Equivocation at the Geffen Playhouse. Theatre credits include the world premiere of Goldfish by John Kolvenbach at South Coast Repertory, The B.F.G at South Coast Repertory, The Catskill Sonata (dir. Paul Mazursky) at the Hayworth Theater, Taking Steps (dir. Allan Miller) at the Odyssey Theater, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (dir. Nicholas Martin) at Williamstown Theater Festival. She will play Babe in Crimes of the Heart at South Coast Repertory, opening in May. Ms. Rylie is a proud member of Actor’s Equity.
CAROL SCHLANGER (Writer/Performer/I’m in Love with Chekov) is an award-winning playwright, actress and performer. She is an Obie (Off- Broadway) and Humanitas (Television) nominee, a recipient of Los Angeles Dramalogue Critics’ award for both performance and writing (Theatre) and placed 1st in 2007 Alliance of Los Angles Play-wrights’ monologue slam. She is currently at work on Far Out a creative non-fiction work chronicling her years on an Oregon commune. Learn more at
DONI SILVER SIMONS (Artist) is a painter who integrates installation and performance. She received a Bachelor of Studio Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Drawing from Wayne State University. She has taught and lecturered at universities and museums, including California State University, Northridge; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the University of California, Irvine. Over the last thirty-five years, she has had numerous solo and group shows, most recently her solo shows include Center Justified; …lines… (Sherry Frumkin Gallery, Santa Monica, 2007 and 2009 respectively); and Marked (exhibition and performance, Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles, 2009). A recipient of numerous grants and commissions, Silver Simons’ work is in many private collections and public collections. Find her at
RONDA SPINAK (Producer) holds a MBA from UCLA, Masters in Professional Writing from USC and two degrees from Stanford. She has penned plays, notably Oscar Wilde’s Wife (Ashland New Play Festival, Odyssey Theatre, Dayton’s FutureFest) written for the Emmy-award winning show, Rugrats, authored a book (ProBodX: The Path to True Fitness, HarperCollins Publisher) as well as written poems, short stories, and screenplays. She is currently working on a documentary on LA women rabbis with two other JWT board members entitled, On the Fringe.
ROBERT TREBOR (Marcus/Fissshhhh) recently finished an extended run of Peter Lefcourt’s “La Ronde de Lunch” at The Skylight Theatre and was nominated for an LA Weekly Award for his one-man show The Return of Brother Theodore, also at The Skylight. He is perhaps best known for portraying The Son of Sam opposite Martin Sheen in the telefilm Out Of The Darkness and Salmoneus the salesman in the Hercules and Xena TV series. He is currently writing his first novel with the working title “Menschdevil Chases The Bitchgoddess”. It’s about show business.
ANDREA WAGNER (Director, Hands–Blessing) holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Theatre Arts. She has taught theatre on both the high school and college level and directed and designed for community theatres.


Producing Artistic Director Ronda Spinak introduces the evening

Homeowner and Hostess Lynn Wagmeister

Performance & Fine Artist Doni Silver Simons

Actress Patty Cornell reading a poem

Ilene Graff performing songs by Jewish Women songwriters

Artist-in-Residence Carol Schlanger performing “I’m in Love With Chekov”

Comedian Monica Piper in the World Premiere of “Six Pints Haagen Dazs”

Patty Cornell & Robert Trebor in “Fisshhhhh” by Jennifer Maisel

Actresses Kate Rylie and Brynn Chamblee