Unknown Stories of Biblical Proportions

May 18-June 3, 2014

Any preconceptions are sure to be upended with this hilarious and provocative evening of stories, song and surprising moments that use bible stories and sacred texts to reveal truths about our lives today.

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
Barbara Koletsky, JWT Producer
Liz Altman, JWT Producer

Where You Go
Music and lyrics by Kimberly Haynes.  Performed by Kimberly Haynes; accompanied by Marla (Miriam) Leigh Goldstein

Almost a Sacrifice
Written by Liz Altman. Performed by Amy Greenspan

The Urge to Decorate
Written by Rabbi Deborah Silver. Performed by Lisa Robins

The Legacy
Written by Lisa Rosenbaum.  Performed by Lauren Aboulafia, Lisa Robins, Amy Greenspan, and Robert Trebor.

Betrayal in the Beit Midrash
Written and performed by Andrea Hodos.

Abby Waits for David at the Beverly Hills Hotel
Written by Eve Brandstein. Performed by Lauren Aboulafia

Oscar De La Renta and Mom
Written by Esther Amini. Performed by Amy Greenspan, Lisa Robins, and Robert Trebor

Pyramids to Goldmines
Written by Janice Kamenir-Reznik. Performed by Lisa Robins and Robert Trebor

A Jew by Choice
Written by Jill Solloway.  Performed by Lauren Aboulafia

Not That Jewish
A Commission of JWT written and performed by Monica Piper or Shelly Goldstein.

ARTIST BIOS

LAUREN ABOULAFIA (Actor) is thrilled to be a part of the Jewish Women’s Theatre, as her two loves are theatre and Jews. Lauren graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in theatre. She also studied at the British Drama Academy in London where she played Rosalind in As you Like It, one of her favorite roles. Lauren has performed onstage at Interlochen and the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and has participated in comedy troupes at the Groundlings and UCB. She recently appeared on Mixology on ABC, and was one of the leads in the indie comedy $50K and a Call Girl: A Love Story. She is currently working on a solo show. Lauren recently married Seth R. Grossman, who is her rock of encouragement, her besheret. L’Chayim!
LIZ ALTMAN (Writer) started writing song lyrics for collegiate activities while attending the University of Michigan. She re-introduced, co-directed, co-wrote and performed in the annual SMU law school follies. After graduating law school, she continued to write lyrics for the Dallas Bar Follies. Liz captains a tennis team, is a board member and produces the South Bay Salon for JWT. She works as a vice president at a real estate management and development company, and is licensed to practice law in Texas. Liz is married and has two adult children. Special thanks to her muse, Louis.
ESTHER AMINI (Writer) is an author and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Her writings have appeared in Elle Magazine, Tablet Magazine, The Jewish Week, Barnard Magazine, and Inscape Literary Magazine. Two of her stories, Barnard College and Saffron Rice and Cranberry Sauce, were recently performed by the Jewish Women’s Theatre in their show entitled Saffron & Rosewater, which was performed at The 92nd Street -Y in Manhattan. Ms. Amini lives in Manhattan and is on the faculty of The New York School for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Presently she is working on a memoir about growing up as a first generation American in a Persian/Jewish home in Queens. For more information, follow Esther Amini on Facebook.
EVE BRANDSTEIN (Writer) has made contributions to nearly every facet of the entertainment industry. She has been a major studio executive, a producer, a director, writer/creator, talent manager and author. Eve has a very notable career as a casting director with hundreds of credits for major television and film projects. Some of her credits for casting over three decades include the feature This is Spinal Tap, and among her many television credits, Diff’rent Strokes, One Day At A Time, Facts of Life and Who’s The Boss, The Ponderosa, Little Men, and Beastmaster, to name a few. She has also produced and written series including E/R the comedy series and produced several features. She is currently producing Poetry In Motion in LA at Beyond Baroque and in New York at the Cutting Room. She is presently directing Shut Up, Sit Down & Eat and recently directed the premiere of Revisiting Wildfire and Ronnie Spector’s Beyond The Beehive. Eve is also the director of the Jewish Women’s Theater, Stories From the Fringe.
MARLA (MIRIAM) LEIGH GOLDSTEIN (Musician) is an internationally recognized musician, composer and educator. Marla is one of three Jewish specialists in the world in the “Tof Miriam” (frame -drum), the drum that Miriam the Prophetess played during Biblical Times. She offers Tof Miriam drumming for shabbaton programs, concerts and workshops at synagogues worldwide, and is currently working on her debut Album, “Rhythms in Ahava”, to be recorded in Israel. www.marlaleigh.com
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.
AMY GREENSPAN (Actor) was born and raised in the Los Angeles Jewish community. She went on to study acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and Boston University, where she received her BFA. Amy can be seen in the films Herpes Boy, Miss Dial, Eagle Falls and Monday Morning. Some of her favorite stage credits include Puppy in The Tall Girls (La Jolla Playhouse), Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theatricum Botanicum), Mary Pickford in Land of Dreams (LA, US Tour) and Cindy in Stuck In Neutral (The Secret Rose Theater). www.amygreenspanonline.com
KIMBERLY HAYNES (Musician) is native to Los Angeles and has been performing in the musical arts since the tender of age 8. Her career has taken her from jazz clubs around the world to the bima at Ahavat Torah, where she is currently the co-cantorial soloist with Rabbi Miriam Hamrell. Kim is also working in the field of sound healing and music therapy, using her experience with plant medicine work and her deep love of the mystical aspects of Judaism.
ANDREA HODOS (Writer/Actor) is the creator of Moving Torah – a method for interpreting Jewish texts using writing, movement and theater. During a residency at HUC-JIR, Andrea brought together professional performers and rabbinic students to create a piece called On Dry Ground: Faith, Fear and Transformation at the Edge of the Sea. She has performed with DC-based Liz Lerman Dance Exchange as an Emerging Choreographer, where her work was presented at the National Building Museum. Andrea performs a piece called Cutting My Hair in Jerusalem about her experience reengaging the Jewish tradition as a feminist. Betrayal in the Beit Midrash is an excerpt from this piece, and she is honored to share it here! Andrea’s newest project, Sinai and Sunna: Women Covering, Uncovering and Recovering will bring Jewish and Muslim women together to share stories about religious and cultural identity. Learn about this project or her synagogue residencies here: www.movingtorah.com
JANICE KAMENIR-REZNIK (Writer) is the Co-founder and President of Jewish World Watch, co-founded with Rabbi Harold Schulweis to mobilize American Jewry to fight genocides and mass atrocities, and to provide relief to survivors. Janice practiced law for 25 years, retiring as a partner of Jeffer, Mangels, Butler and Marmaro to start JWW. She received her BA and JD from UCLA, a MSW from USC and a MA in Jewish Non-Profit Management from Hebrew Union College. Janice served as President, California Women Lawyers and California Women’s Law Center, as Trustee of the LA County Bar and the California State Bar’s Trust Fund. For JWW, Janice travels extensively to Darfuri refugee camps and to Eastern Congo to bear witness and to establish and fund various recovery and economic development projects.
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.