Episode #33: Both/And from True Colors!

“I emerged from the birth canal strangling on the umbilical cord.  I wonder if God was giving me a chance to change my mind: are you certain you want this adventure of life as a Cuban Catholic daughter of a Jewish mother?”

On this episode, hear the incredibly moving piece “Both/And,” one of the favorite stories from the hit show True Colors which returns to The Braid in Santa Monica for four performances September 19-22. Written by Maria Ramos-Chertok and performed by Heidi Mendez (bios below), “Both/And” is from the collection of pieces that makes up our wildly popular Salon show True Colors – full of humorous, revealing and inspiring stories from Jews of Color exploring identity, community and being a Jew in modern times.

TRUE COLORS CREDITS
Material Adapted, Curated, and Producedby Ronda Spinak
Producedby Eric Greene
Directed by Susan Morgenstern
Dramaturges Lisa Rosenbaum & Susan Baskin
Literary Manager Suzanna Kaplan
South Bay Producer Liz Altman
San Francisco/Bay Area Producer Carol Kirsh
Assistant Producer Barbara Koletsky
Associate Producers Rose Ziff & Susie Yuré
Artistic Associate Daphna Shull
Assistant Artistic Director Andrew Fromer

Starring: Brie Eley, Kimberly Green, Heidi Mendez, Joshua Silverstein and Katherine Washington

Written By: Ruth Behar, Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl, David Chiu, Marcos Cohen, Courtenay Edelhart, Marra B. Gad, Marissa Tiamfook Gee, M.A. Hosein, Maria Ramos-Chertok, Larry M. Sanders, and Joshua Silverstein

Featured on this episode:
Both/And
Written by Maria Ramos-Chertok. Performed by Heidi Mendez.

MARIA RAMOS-CHERTOK (Writer) is a writer, workshop leader, and coach who facilitates the Butterfly Series, a writing and creative arts workshop for women who want to explore what’s next. Her book, The Butterfly Series: Fifty-two Weeks of Inquiries for Transformation, was published in August 2018. She is finalizing her debut novel, Rosie’s Blues, inspired by the experience of her mother opening their family home in Hackensack, New Jersey, as a shelter for battered women and children. Maria’s manuscript won the 2018 Adult Fiction Mentorship prize from the Word for Diversity. She is a contributor to All the Women in My Family Sing: Essays on Equality, Justice, and Freedom (Feb. 2018), edited by Deborah Santana, and She’s Got This! Essays on Standing Strong and Moving On (Feb. 2019), a Write-on Mamas project. Since 2014, she’s cohosted women’s salons showcasing women-of-color artists. For more info, visit: www. mariaramoschertok.com.

HEIDI MENDEZ (Actor) is a bilingual actor/director/educator who has worked professionally in Madrid, Mexico City, Utah, Texas, and now California. Her favorite roles include Lady Bracknell, Prospero, and most recently Amanda in The Glass Menagerie. Some favorite shows as director/choreographer include Cats, Working, Fiddler, and The Diary of Anne Frank. She is known as the Rapping Grandma to kids in juvie where she volunteered for two years which led her to be founder/director of ACT RISK NO MORE, a nonprofit whose mission is to rescue troubled teens through theater. Heidi is married to Nick (a Mormon bishop) and is the mother of three boys, resulting in her being afraid nothing. For fun, Heidi takes hip-hop classes and plays dress- up with her granddaughter. Education: BA in acting from BYU and MA in directing from Texas State, plus two Utah teaching certificates for theater and Spanish.

For more info on True Colors, click here.

Episode #33: Both/And from True Colors!2019-10-17T16:26:19-07:00

Episode #30: True Colors with Joshua Silverstein and David Chiu

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Our latest Salon, True Colors, features humorous, revealing and inspiring stories from Jews of Color exploring identity, community and being a Jew in modern times. On this episode, Lisa and Maureen chat with two of the many creative minds contributing to this incredible show! Joshua Silverstein is an actor in the show, wrote a piece commissioned by JWT and the Jewish Journal named him “one of the five best Jewish beatboxers in the world.” Lisa and Maureen will also talk with brilliant screenwriter David Chiu on his experiences and challenges rising through the ranks of Hollywood and his passion for activism. Listen in for Royal secrets, Judaism in ancient China and more!

*Join us for True Colors in JUNE, extended by four shows June 25, 26, 29 at 7:30 pm and June 30th at 2:00 pm!*

JOSHUA SILVERSTEIN (Writer/Actor) is an award-winning actor, comic, writer, beatboxer, and educator whose performances and productions throughout the country have prompted admiration from creative greats ranging from Norman Lear to Prince. For more than 20 years, Joshua has provided and facilitated theater, improvisation, and spoken-word workshops and in-school residencies designed to create a safe and open space for students of all ages to experience the freedom of creative expression. Joshua brings passion, play, and persuasion to make words, thinking, and expression infectiously fun. During the school year, Joshua serves as the cohost and co-producer of Emmy Award–winning Downbeat 720, a high school open-mic that has been a staple of Santa Monica for the last 16 years. Joshua also performs for The Late-Late Show with James Corden on the segment “Drop the Mic” and on the weekly stand-alone half-hour TNT series, Drop the Mic.

DAVID CHIU (Writer) is a screenwriter living in Los Angeles. He and writing partner Patrick Wall wrote an episode for the Amazon Prime series LORE and recently sold a VR project to Dreamscape Immersive for development with Sam Raimi and Walter Parkes. Together, David and Patrick are represented by Authentic Talent & Literary Management. David is a member of Temple Isaiah, whose board of trustees he was nominated to this year. Through his work with the Temple Isaiah Green Team, he has personally advocated for environmental policy at City Hall and in Sacramento. A weekly attendee at his shul’s Torah study minyan as well as Shabbat services, he was honored to receive Temple Isaiah’s 2019 Emerging Leaders Award. Also a member of the Los Angeles Jews of Color group, David is thrilled to help celebrate the Jewish community’s diversity.

Episode #30: True Colors with Joshua Silverstein and David Chiu2019-05-29T21:34:43-07:00

Episode #12: United Colors of Jews

Yes, Jewish people come in all different colors! Back in January NEXT @ The Braid, our emerging artist fellowship, partnered with Jews of Color to produce a night of stories highlighting Jewish diversity. Attendees were encouraged to bring family photos and introduce the audience to their “multicultural mishpacha” through a great story, and the night did not dissapoint! In this episode, we bring you three of those stories told on stage that night, hosted by the award-winning performer Joshua Silverstein (see bio below). We hear from Emily Bowen Cohen about her Native American heritage, Benny Lumpkins Jr.’s life-changing experiences growing up in Detroit, and Courtenay Edelhart’s generously donated Hannukah shopping spree in Bakersfield. Have a listen and join us for this incredibly eye-opening episode!

JOSHUA REUBEN SILVERSTEIN is an award-winning actor, comic, writer, beatboxer, and educator. His various performances and productions throughout the country have received admiration from such creative geniuses ranging from Norman Lear to Prince.

He is an original member of Norman Lear’s DECLARE YOURSELF ROAD TRIP SHOW, a 3-year spoken-word/musical performance tour encouraging the American people to register to vote.

Beatboxing since the age of 5, Joshua has become the West Coast’s most sought-after beatboxer, named by the Jewish News Service as “one of the best beatboxers in the world.” His various collaborations with artists such as Slash from Guns and Roses, poetic icon Ursula Rucker and Improv legend Wayne Brady have earned him the title of “the hardest-working performer in L.A.”

His solo show, “The Joshua Silverstein Show,” has been receiving rave reviews since its preview at the Greenway Court Theater in Los Angeles in 2014. An early version of the show, titled “Tell Me I’m Pretty” (directed by Diana Wyenn), was presented at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles in 2016.  Backed by a three-piece band, Joshua playfully weaves through personal narratives pertaining to race and gender constructs in America. Using devices including pantomime, beatboxing, rapping, and spoken word, Joshua has created a show that continues to inspire, challenge, provoke and motivate. For more info, please visit Joshua’s website.

Episode #12: United Colors of Jews2018-05-23T12:31:13-07:00
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