Sex, Lies & Virtual Relationships

March 16-23, 2014

This startling, funny, thought-provoking show examines the connect and disconnect of relationships in the age of the Internet.

PRESS

DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE HERE

THE PROGRAM

Produced by Ronda Spinak
Directed by Susan Morgenstern
Dramaturge Lisa Rosenbaum

Associate Producers: Susie Yure´ and Rose Ziff

Welcome ~ Ronda Spinak, JWT Artistic Director
Janis Nelson, JWT Board Chair

Connections
Written and performed by Shelly Goldstein.

I Love Facebook
Written by E. E. King. Performed by Kate Zentall.

Technobabble
Written by Jean Katz. Performed by Monica Piper or Shelly Goldstein, Graham Sibley & Abbe Meryl Feder.

Lost and Found
Written and performed by Kate Zentall.

Status Update
Written by Jamie Pachino. Performed by Abbe Meryl Feder & Graham Sibley.

Facebook Confession
Written by Julie Bram. Performed by Kate Zentall.

Navi Girl
Written for Jewish Women’s Theatre. Music & lyrics by Michele Brourman. Performed by Shelly Goldstein & Kate Zentall.

The Sky’s the Limit
Written by Elisa Wayne. Performed by Abbe Meryl Feder.

Cyber Obit
Written by Ellen Switkes. Performed by Kate Zentall & Ensemble.

Old Friends
Written by Suzanna Kaplan. Performed by Shelly Goldstein & Graham Sibley.

My Almost Night with the Mick
A Commission of JWT Written and performed by Monica Piper or Kate Zentall.

Hey, We’re Connected
A film by Ronda Spinak.

ARTIST BIOS

JULIE BRAM (Writer) is a full-time community volunteer and activist. As a founding partner of the Jewish Venture Philanthropy Fund, she has been blessed to work with many remarkable non-profit organizations. Her passion lies in using education and communication to effect positive change in the world. She recently chaired the Jewish World Watch 2013 Los Angeles Walk to End Genocide. Julie currently serves on several advisory committees for a wide variety of charitable causes, including the Hand In Hand schools in Israel that educate Israeli Arab and Jewish children together and Hebrew Union College – School of Non Profit Management, where she serves as chair of its mentor program. Julie is married to Steve Bram, and they have two adult children, Ben and Alanna.
MICHELE BROURMAN (Songwriter) is a Johnny Mercer Songwriter Award winner whose songs have been recorded by Olivia Newton-John, Donny Osmond, Sheena Easton, and more. Her best-known song, “My Favorite Year,” recorded by Michael Feinstein, Cleo Laine, and Margaret Whiting, has become a cabaret standard. Broadway World recently wrote: “Brourman is an unquestionably amazing talent whose music should be heard by the whole world.” She composed the score for Dangerous Beauty, produced at the Pasadena Playhouse, with lyricist Amanda McBroom. She and McBroom created the songs for sixteen animated features for Universal Studios, including the beloved Land Before Time series. Her musical I Married Wyatt Earp, with lyrics by Sheilah Rae, was produced Off-Broadway, and her songs have been featured in television and film. Michele’s CD, Fools and Little Children, is available online.
ABBE MERYL FEDER (Actor) has been called “the greatest actress of her generation” by her grandmother. Hailing from the fabulous city of New York, her television credits include Ed, Eve, CSI:NY, Pushing Daisies, and Las Vegas, as well as the recent films The Internet Date and Brahmin Bulls. When not pursuing her craft, Abbe is director of operations at IKAR. Thank you, family, friends, and especially Fitz. More information available at www.facebook.com/abbemerylactress.
SHELLY GOLDSTEIN (Writer/Performer) has written for every genre of TV, film, and stage. Her one-woman shows have played to sell-out crowds throughout the US and UK. She co-starred with Sir Derek Jacoby and Vanessa Redgrave in the British film The Riddle and with Vinnie Jones in the Irish film Assault of Darkness. She has written or punched up sitcoms, dramas, films, lyrics, documentaries, animation, award shows, jokes, and special material for such artists as Steve Martin, Barbra Streisand, Sharon Stone, Justin Timberlake, Anne Hathaway, LL Cool J, Jane Fonda, Garry Marshall, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Yoko Ono. She wrote the book for the disco musical Last Dance, which work shopped on Broadway, and directed the critically acclaimed hit comedy The Vic & Paul Show in L.A. and Chicago.
SUZANNA KAPLAN (Writer) was born in Mexico City to an American mother and Mexican father. She performed on some of Mexico’s famous vaudeville stages, and acted in commercials, films, and on stage. Kaplan moved to the US where she started a translation service and language school. In Israel she married and had a baby. She also worked for a production company, writing and producing film scripts and museum guides used for fundraising worldwide. Back in the US, Kaplan read scripts for her husband, a producer of TV and feature films, and worked in freelance in Hispanic advertising. Kaplan’s writing credits include a novel, five feature-length scripts, several television treatments, a produced one-hour drama for Hispanic TV (Telemundo), and a segment for a TV show on Fox network.
JEAN KATZ (Writer) is the author of two books of poetry, Chaos and Dancing Stars (2003) and Losing Norm (2012), two chapters in Future Search in School District Change: Connection, Community, and Results, and eight chapbooks. Her poetry and essays have been published in ONTHEBUS, Spillway, Rattle, Writing for Your Life, The American Rabbi, the Journal of Learning Disabilities, The Journal of Career Educators, Inflections, and FutureSearching. The Wisconsin Library Association selected her as one of the Ten Outstanding Wisconsin Authors of 2003. In 1979-80 she co-founded the Los Angeles Very Special Arts Festival at the Music Center, showcasing the performing and visual arts abilities of students with disabilities in LAUSD and Los Angeles County school districts.
E.E. KING (Writer) is a performer, writer, biologist, and painter. Ray Bradbury calls her stories “marvelously inventive, wildly funny, and deeply thought provoking. I cannot recommend them highly enough.” Her books are Dirk Quigby’s Guide to the Afterlife, Real Conversations with Imaginary Friends, and Another Happy Ending. She has won numerous awards and been published widely. She has worked with children in Bosnia, crocodiles in Mexico, frogs in Puerto Rico, egrets in Bali, mushrooms in Montana, archaeologists in Spain, and butterflies in South Central Los Angeles.
BARBARA KOLETSKY (Assistant Producer) has produced many events, specializing in charitable organizations as well as the corporate and private sectors. She is a fundraiser for UCLA Food Closet for Children and Children of the Night. As a co-owner of Crown Car Wash Los Angeles and owner of RSVP Party Planning, she was responsible for all aspects of the businesses. Barbara was born in New York and moved to California in the late sixties. Additionally, she has worked in marketing for Polygram Records in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
JAMIE LEVINSON (Technical Director) graduated from Santa Monica High School in 2010. At Allegheny College he acted in two productions, The Cherry Orchard, where he played Yepikhodov, and Servant of Two Masters, where he played Florindo. During his primary education, he appeared in numerous talent shows.
SUSAN MORGENSTERN (Director) has been an actress since the age of five. Susan crossed over into directing when she began staging musical theatre concert readings while co-teaching American Musical Comedy with Tom Lehrer at U.C. Santa Cruz. She went on to teach and direct at the renowned Stage Door Manor, a performing arts camp in upstate New York. In Los Angeles, her direction of David Vowell’s The Ascension of Lili at the Two Roads Theatre received critical acclaim. At Theatre West, Susan directed selections from David Ives’ All in the Timing (TW’s inaugural Youth Theatre musical), Just Too Cool, and the musical Saturday Night at Grossinger’s. In 2010 at TW, she directed Barbara Nell Beery’s The Socialization of Ruthie Shapiro. At the Falcon Theatre she directed Leap, Surviving Sex, and Sam Bobrick’s hit comedy, The Psychic. In 2011 Susan directed Happy Days, a New Musical, book by Garry Marshall, music/lyrics by Paul Williams, at Cabrillo Music Theatre’s 1,800-seat auditorium. In 2012, she directed a stage reading of Ghost-s, a Musical About a Musical at KTC’s INKubator series with the creative team of Kincaid Jones (book), Noelle Donfeld (lyrics), and Brian Woodbury (composer/lyrics). Susan directed JWT’s popular The Moment You Knew in the 4th Season.
JAMIE PACHINO (Writer) is an award-winning playwright and screen and TV writer whose plays have been commissioned, developed, and produced by such companies as Steppenwolf, ACT, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf, Northlight, San Jose Rep, Pasadena Playhouse, Geva, Florida Stage, and many others. Jamie has written film features for DreamWorks, Disney, Vanguard Films and Walden Media, teleplays for the Hallmark Hall of Fame, Lifetime Television, and UP Network, and TV series for TNT and USA. She is currently executive story editor for Halt and Catch Fire, a new series that will premiere on AMC in June.
MONICA PIPER (Writer/Performer) is an Emmy Award-winning comedy writer and stand-up comic. She has written for the sit-coms Roseanne, Mad About You, and Veronica’s Closet and was head writer of the #1 children’s animated series Rugrats. She starred in her own Showtime Network comedy 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 performs for Jewish organizations around the country and is proud to be an artist-in-residence with the acclaimed Jewish Women’s Theatre in Los Angeles.
LISA ROSENBAUM (Dramaturge) is the author of the novel A Day of Small Beginnings (Little, Brown & Co. 2006). When not engaged with All Things JWT she works on her new novel about the destruction of ancient Indian mounds at Cahokia, Illinois, the Blacklist, America’s interstate highways, and oh yes, love. Lisa lives in Pacific Palisades with her husband, Walt Lipsman. They have two daughters, Ariana and Maya.

GRAHAM SIBLEY (Actor) is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA and a founding member of IAMA Theatre Company. At EST/LA: Crack Whore Galore – LIVE, House of Gold, Bright Boy. At IAMA: World Premiere productions of Leslye Headland’s Cinephilia and Assistance, Neil LaBute’s Call Back, and Christian Durso’s Shiner in New York and Los Angeles. Other LA Theatre: Different Words for the Same Thing (*ws) with Center Theatre Group, Eurydice at A Noise Within, Belfry at Malibu Playhouse. Film/TV: Grey’s Anatomy, The OC, Strong Medicine, Hello My Name Is Frank, Midnight Sex Run, Saving Lincoln, Nanking, Robotropolis, Zombie Honeymoon. Graham has also penned a number of screenplays, plays, and short stories, including Dog Lovers, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and his first graphic novel, Cirrus: The Red Storm.

RONDA SPINAK co-founded JWT in 2008 and assumed the role of artistic director shortly thereafter. The popular At-Homes Salon Theatre Series, which Spinak created and produces, is now in its sixth season and has originated eighteen original-themed shows. Before JWT, Spinak wrote for the Emmy Award-winning children’s show Rugrats, authored the critically acclaimed book ProBodX: Proper Body Exercise (HarperCollins, publisher), and written many plays, including festival-winner Oscar Wilde’s Wife, a favorite at the Ashland New Play Festival and Dayton’s FuturFest. Educated at Stanford University, she also holds masters degrees from UCLA and USC. Spinak has taught creative writing, served as a grant reviewer for the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and speaks to Jewish groups about Jewish women and their salons. She currently serves on the Board of the Association of Jewish Theatres. Spinak is producing a documentary film about women in the rabbinate entitled On the Fringe. Last year, Spinak was given the Albert R. Rodriguez Civic Legacy Honor Award for her service. Spinak feels blessed to be working with so many talented and inspiring women who give generously to Jewish Women’s Theatre.
ELLEN SWITKES (Writer) was founder/producer of Cornucopia, a personal storytelling show that ran for three years at Actors Workout Studio in North Hollywood, and is a board member of LA Story Works. For the past five years she has volunteered with Koreh LA, the reading tutorial program of the Jewish Federation, working with children in LAUSD. Prior to entering the storytelling world, she worked on Entertainment Tonight and The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers.
ELISA WAYNE (Writer) is a senior attorney with the Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, and is an active member of the Califor­nia State Bar. Elisa served as president of the Women’s Conference of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and is an alumna member of the National Young Leadership Cabinet. As a writer and comedienne, Elisa appears at numerous comedy venues in the Los Angeles area. She is an ardent supporter of theatre and dance, and a longtime subscriber to the Ahmanson Theater, the Geffen Playhouse, the Holly­wood Bowl, and Disney Hall.
SUSIE YURÉ (Associate Producer) has volunteered for 30 years 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 and has been intensely involved in the world of theatre for more than 20 years. She holds a BA and MA in elementary education from USC, along with her California lifetime teaching credential. Her favorite role is as mom to her two talented (grown) children, who are both professional (and working) musicians.
KATE ZENTALL (Writer/Actor) is proud to be an artist-in-residence at the JWT. She has performed in NYC venues including the Public Theater, Guggenheim Museum, and Carnegie Hall. In LA, there’s been lots of Shakespeare, Irish plays, English comedies, modern dramas, and dinner theater at the Taper and other companies around town – as well as movies and commercials, plus a good deal of network TV, from series regular on Studio 5B to a recurring role on Hunter to guest spots on Cheers, Lou Grant, It’s a Living, Becker, and many more. In recent years she has been a writer and editor for magazines, books, and the internet. Kate considers herself a recovering actress who’s become increasingly lax about falling off the wagon. She believes she may be the only writer in LA not currently working on a screenplay.
ROSE ZIFF (Associate Producer), the most recent member of the JWT team, is new to performing arts. She has come out of retirement 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 woman’s non-profit religious organization and spiritual community. She is looking forward to opening this new chapter in her life and thanks Susie Yure´and Ronda Spinak for this opportunity.

GALLERY

Susie Yure´and Ann Ballard at check in

Homeowner Gina Nahai

Ronda greets patron Honey Amado

As always, a bountiful dessert buffet

Abbe Meryl Feder and Kate Zentall relax pre-performance

Abbe Meryl Feder adjusts Shelly Goldstein before show

Don’t forget the cheese!

JWT offers gifts to patrons who provide goodies for salon show

Shelly Goldstein describes her internet relationship with husband in her own “Connections”

Monica Piper is a newcomer to technology in “Technobabble,” written by Jean Katz

Graham Sibley and Abbe Meryl Feder in a relationship that takes an unexpected turn in “Status Update,” written by Jamie Pachino

Appreciative audience

Shelly Goldstein and Kate Zentall in Michelle Brourman’s “Navi-Girl”