Uncuffed

March 15-31, 2015

This perfect for Passover show explores how we break the ties that bind.  This is a show about freedom.

THE PROGRAM

Curated & Produced by Ronda Spinak
Directed by Susan Morgenstern
Dramaturge Lisa Rosenbaum
Associate Producer Barbara Koletsky
South Bay Producer Liz Altman
San Francisco Producer Carol Kirsh

Associate Producers: Susie Yure´ and Rose Ziff

My Story of David
Written by E. Ancui. Performed by Kate Zentall, Annie Korzen, and Robert Trebor.

Indigo: Remembering Iran – First appeared in The Jewish Journal, Oct. 10, 2012.
Written by Gina Nahai. Performed by Lisa Cirincione.

The Road Ahead
Written and performed by Kate Zentall. Also performed by Robert Trebor.

Slavery to Freedom
Written by Deborah Silver. Performed by Annie Korzen.

A Free Jew in the Reich
Written by Anna Forward. Performed by Lisa Cirincione and Robert Trebor.

Ron Chaffin’s Almost
Written by Arla Sorkin Manson. Performed by Kate Zentall.

The Gift
Written by Betty Goldstein. Performed by Annie Korzen and Robert Trebor.

Pussy Writes a Letter
Written by Cindy Chupack, from her comic memoir: The Longest Date: Life as a Wife
(now available in paperback from Penguin). Performed by Lisa Cirincione.

Moving Day
Written by Michele Brourman. Performed by Kate Zentall and Robert Trebor.

Fat, Black, and Jewish – A Commission of JWT
Written and performed by Annie Korzen.

Maggid
Written by Marge Piercy. Copyright © 1988, 1999 by Marge Piercy. Included in Available Light (Alfred A. Knopf, 1988) and The Art of Blessing the Day (Alfred A. Knopf, 1999).
Used by permission of the Wallace Literary Agency, Inc. Performed by the ensemble.

ARTIST BIOS

ELLEN ANCUI (Writer), a native New Yorker, landed in Los Angeles 17 years ago to write for the TV sitcom Malcolm & Eddie. She received several TV writing awards and won second place at the Austin Film Festival twice. Ellen’s one-woman shows were presented at the Public Theater, the Edinburgh Theater Festival, HBO Workspace, and numerous spaces in NY and LA. She is the recipient of the Joyce-Mertz Gilmore Foundation Award as well as grants from the Massachusetts State Council of the Arts and the Princeton Arts Council. Her ensemble play, Glory Pie, had a sold-out run at the Coronet Theater and her magazine articles have appeared in MAXIM, American Theater, xoJane, and others. Ellen is working on a Passover play (in four parts) and has been chipping away at her memoir, Traumadies. Her greatest inspiration is her 10-year-old daughter, Jemma.
MICHELE BROURMAN (Writer) is a Johnny Mercer Songwriter Award winner whose songs have been recorded by Reba McIntyre, Olivia Newton-John, Donny Osmond, 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 have created the songs for seventeen 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 is particularly proud that her songs have been included in several recent productions by the Jewish Women’s Theater. A gifted musical director, she’s worked with exceptional artists like Dixie Carter, Tovah Feldshuh and Bernadette Peters, and played piano in Bob Dylan’s band. Michele’s CD, Fools and Little Children, is available online.
CINDY CHUPACK (Writer) is best known as an Emmy-winning TV writer/producer whose credits include Modern Family, Sex and the City, and Everybody Loves Raymond. Author of New York Times bestseller The Between Boyfriends Book: A Collection of Cautiously Hopeful Essays, her piece “Pussy Writes a Letter” is excerpted from her new comic memoir about marriage, The Longest Date: Life as a Wife. Cindy has been a storyteller on The Moth Radio Hour and a guest panelist on NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! She has a four-year-old daughter and is currently preparing to direct her first feature. www.cindychupack.com
LISA CIRINCIONE (Actor) is an actress and singer whose stage and screen credits include work in the United States, United Kingdom, and Italy. This January, Lisa starred in the indie drama Porcupine alongside Mr. W. Earl Brown and she made her producing debut with this gripping film due out this May. In 2014 Lisa was honored with the LA WEEKLY and LA Drama Critic’s Circle nominations for her role as Catherine in Arthur Miller‘s A View from the Bridge. She can be seen in national commercials that include a comedy spot for Sky Italia with Sandra Oh. Lisa received her BFA in acting from USC, speaks Italian and Spanish, and would like to thank her incredible Sicilian-Jewish family for all their love and support.
ANNA FORWARD (Writer) a native Californian, is a kindergarten teacher by day and an artist, wedding photographer, and writer the rest of the time. Anna has written and performed work for the Marsh Theater in San Francisco. She has also been lucky enough to have written “A Jewish Pastry” a few seasons ago for JWT‘s show God Plans and Woman Laughs. After such a fantastic experience, Anna was compelled to write another story. She would like to thank her family and friends for their incredible support, and especially her mama for being such an inspiration to her.
BETTY GOLDSTEIN (Writer) Ten years ago Betty Goldstein wanted to escape the drudgery of endless housework so she enrolled in her first creative writing class. Since then, she has performed in many spoken word shows in Los Angeles and New York. Betty has won The Moth and other story slams. She performs her original ghost stories each year at KCRW’s Masquerade Ball. Her essays can be read on The Huffington Post. She was a contributing author to What Was I Thinking? 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories (St. Martin’s Press, 2009). Betty lives in the San Fernando Valley with her son Jesse, plus their two Chihuahuas and eight parrots.
BARBARA KOLETSKY (Stage Manager/Associate Producer) has most recently worked on the production side of Jewish Women’s Theatre. Prior to that, for three seasons she was responsible for catering. Now Barbara is thrilled to be moving into stage management for JWT at The Braid. Barbara is also the owner of RSVP Party Planning, where as an experienced party planner she has produced many events, specializing in charitable organizations but with many corporate and private clients as well. Barbara was born in New York and moved to California for a career in marketing and promotions for Polygram Records and Elektra Atlantic Corp. She regularly volunteers at the Grossman Burn Center with her service dog, Rodney.
ANNIE KORZEN (Writer/Performer) is proud to be a Moth Mainstage storyteller, and she offers classes in storytelling. She was the recurring Doris Klompus on Seinfeld and has performed her solo shows Yenta Unplugged and The Yenta Cometh on three continents. Annie performs a full evening of her stories called Tales from the Mouth: Comedies of Errors, and she is currently developing a solo show with Ronda Spinak for JWT. She is the author of Bargain Junkie: Living the Good Life on the Cheap and has done humorous essays for NPR’s Morning Edition, The New York Times, LA Times, and many more. For more info and videos, go to www.AnnieKorzen.com.
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.
ARLA SORKIN MANSON (Writer) has written numerous television pilots, including Destiny and Me (ABC), Far from Where (ABC), The Shack (ABC), In the Mood (CBS), Loveland (CBS), and Bethany Gibbs (NBC), and has also written for the television series Against the Law (FOX) and Saved (TNT). Her TV-movie credits include The Wedding Dress (CBS) as executive producer, Mind Games (ABC) as writer/executive producer, and Acts of Contrition (CBS) as supervising producer. Arla’s contributions to Broadway theater include being co-producer on Beth Henley’s The Wake of Jamey Foster and production executive on Christopher Durang’s Beyond Therapy, Tom Dulack’s Solomon’s Child, and the Craig Carnelia musical Is There Life After High School? Arla has served on the board of directors and is currently on the selection committee of the Ojai Playwrights Conference. She dedicates this reading to her husband, David Manson, and her daughter, Lainie Sorkin Becky.
SUSAN MORGENSTERN (Director, JWT Artist-in-Residence) 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 UC 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, for Theatre West, Susan directed selections from David Ives’ All in the Timing, the musicals Just Too Cool and Saturday Night at Grossinger’s, as well as 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. Susan directed Happy Days, a New Musical, book by Garry Marshall, music/lyrics by Paul Williams, at Cabrillo Music Theatre. For the Skylight Theatre, she directed an INKubator series staged reading of Ghost-s, a Musical About a Musical, as well as an extended-run production of Meryl Cohn’s comedy Reasons to Live. In 2014, Susan began working as a consultant show director at Disneyland, Parks and Resorts, Anaheim. She has directed several JWT salon shows, including The Moment You Knew; Sex, Lies, and Virtual Relationships; and Untold Stories of Biblical Proportions.
GINA NAHAI (Writer) is a best-selling author, columnist, and professor of creative writing at USC. Her novels, translated into eighteen languages, have been finalists for the Orange Award, the IMPAC Award, and the Harold J. Ribalow Award. She is the winner of the Los Angeles Arts Council Award, the Persian Heritage Foundation’s Award, the Simon Rockower Award, and the Phi Kappa Phi Award, and her writings have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Huffingtonpost.com, and Truthdig.com. Nahai writes a monthly column for the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles and is a three-time finalist for an LA Press Club award. She holds a BA and a Masters degree in international relations from UCLA and a master of professional writing from USC. Her new novel, The Luminous Heart of Jonah S., was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Council’s Award.
MARGE PIERCY (Writer) is the author of seventeen novels including The New York Times Bestseller Gone To Soldiers; the National Bestsellers Braided Lives and The Longings of Women and the classic Woman on the Edge of Time; eighteen volumes of poetry, and a critically acclaimed memoir Sleeping with Cats. Born in center city Detroit, educated at the University of Michigan, the recipient of four honorary doctorates, she has been a key player in many of the major progressive political battles of our time. Her first collection of short stories The Cost of Lunch, Etc. was published in summer, 2014, and her nineteenth volume of poetry, Made in Detroit, is forthcoming from Knopf in April, 2015. She has been a featured writer on Bill Moyers’ PBS Specials, Prairie Home Companion, Fresh Air, the Today Show, and many radio programs nationwide including Air America and Oprah & Friends.
RABBI DEBORAH SILVER (Writer) is the assistant rabbi at Adat Ari El, Valley Village. She was ordained in 2010 by the Ziegler School, AJU, Los Angeles. Born in London, she worked there as a translator and editor, then as a litigator with Mishcon de Reya and as an assistant professor at BPP Law School, prior to crossing the pond. This is her third piece for JWT.
RONDA SPINAK (Producer) created and produces JWT’s At-Homes Salon Theatre Series, now in its seventh season. She has curated more than 20 original Jewish-themed salon shows for JWT, as well as adapted many of the pieces performed. She graduated from Stanford University, and holds degrees from UCLA (MBA) and USC (Masters in professional writing). Ronda’s plays include Stories from the Fringe and festival-winner Oscar Wilde’s Wife, a favorite at the Ashland New Play Festival and Dayton’s FuturFest. She has written for the Emmy Award-winning children’s show Rugrats and authored the critically acclaimed nonfiction book ProBodX: Proper Body Exercise (HarperCollins, publisher). Ronda is on the board of the Association for Jewish Theatres and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. She feels blessed to be working with the many talented and inspiring women who give so generously to Jewish Women’s Theatre.
ROBERT TREBOR (Actor) had critically acclaimed major roles in John Frankenheimer’s 52 Pick-Up, Oliver Stone’s Talk Radio, Roland Emmerich’s Universal Soldier, and Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects. He just finished working on the new Coen Brothers film Hail, Caesar! He is best remembered for playing The Son of Sam opposite Martin Sheen in Out of the Darkness, and Salmoneus on the Hercules and Xena TV series. He began his theatre career in 1973 (with Robin Williams) and more recently won awards for his work in the world premieres of Ravensridge, La Ronde de Lunch, and his one-man show The Return of Brother Theodore. Bob is the author of Dear Salmoneus: The World ‘s First Guide to Love and Money, and And They Pay You for That?? An Actor’s Unreliable Memoir. This latter tome is looking for a publisher. Bob is a recent recipient of bone marrow from an unrelated donor. If you can, please join the National Bone Marrow Registry; it truly is a mitzvah and a lifesaver. Bob is proud to be an artist-in-residence with JWT.
SUSIE YURE´ (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 over 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 (Actor) is proud to be an artist-in-residence at 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, and modern dramas, 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, LA Law, and many more. In recent years she has been a writer and editor for magazines, books, the internet, and JWT. Kate, who considers herself a recovering actress who’s increasingly lax about falling off the wagon, believes she may be the only LA writer not currently working on a screenplay. Right now she is particularly proud of her daughter, Anna Forward, whose Uncuffed piece, written about her grandfather, is featured in this current JWT production.
ROSE ZIFF (Associate Producer) is new to performing arts. She came 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 women’s non-profit religious organization and spiritual community. Her hobbies include gardening, dog training and hosting a monthly book club.

GALLERY

Susie Yuré and Gail Israel at check in.

Our famous JWT buffet, offered on a lovely rooftop overlooking the ocean.

Patrons enjoying pre-show buffet.

Director Susan Morgenstern gives final notes before show to actor Lisa Cirincione.

Actor Annie Korzen takes a moment pre-show.

Patrons review program prior to show.

The cast: Annie Korzen, Robert Trebor, Lisa Cirincione, Kate Zentall

Annie Korzen is cleaning for Passover in “Slavery to Freedom” by Rabbi Deborah Silver

Robert Trebor is a German official in Anna Forward’s “A Free Jew in the Reich.”

Kate Zentall reminisces about her non-Jewish boyfriend in “Ron Chaffin’s Almost,” written by Arla Sorkin Manson.

Kate Zentall’s ex-husband, Robert Trebor, expresses doubts about his upcoming marriage in It’s “Moving Day” by Michele Brourman.

Lisa Cirincione in Cindy Chupak’s humorous piece, “Pussy Writes a Letter.”

The ensemble performs Marge Piercy’s “Maggid.”

Artistic Director Ronda Spinak distributes gifts to patrons who provide baked goodies for tonight’s buffet.