Message from Alliance for Jewish Theatre member Wendy Kout – West Coast screenwriter, playwright and producer
Jewish humor. Where would we all (Jews and non-Jews) be without it? Would we even BE without it?
So, I have been tasked to help organize and be on the panel on Jewish humor at the next Alliance for Jewish Theatre Conference in Boston in October 22 – 25 2017. And I’m thinking maybe we hear, a little comedy from humorist/performers, a little context from a scholar, and a little experience from our fellow, funny Alliance members.
From its spirit-saving, age-old coping mechanism to its present-day political and social commentary… from its power to provide entertainment and escape, to its capacity to challenge and confront — humor and Jews doing humor has been a vital part of the Jewish collective and its individual identity.
And it has been an important part of theatre produced across the globe.
We will also have the respected scholar Rabbi Moshe Waldoks (author of The Big Book of Jewish Humor), and his rundown on both the history and serious aspects of humor.
Even as we speak new comedy mavens are joining our fold – with a shout out to David Misch, known around the country as a public speaker about comedy; and shouts to the Alliance’s long-time members who specialize in Jewish humor. We want YOU!
We’re also thinking diverse is better. Female, male, gender fluid, non-binary, gay, straight, carnivore, vegan, okay, I’m getting silly. So anyway send us your thoughts and we’ll see what we can incorporate and JOIN, JOIN, JOIN.
Let’s GET THIS PARTY started now.
Wendy Kout writes and produces theatre, film and television and is a proud member of Writers Guild of America, Dramatists Guild of America and Alliance for Jewish Theatre. We Are the Levinsons, Wendy’s latest play, will have its world premiere at the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, April 22 – May 14,2017, an Alliance for Jewish Theatre member. Wendy’s second play, Naked in Encino, was solo written. It had its official world premiere December 2014 at the JCC CenterStage Theater in Rochester, New York, also an Alliance for Jewish Theatre member.
Wendy’s first play, Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Helen Gahagan Douglas, co-written with Michele Willens, was a 2006 O’Neill Conference Finalist and had fundraising readings throughout the US, for Nation Magazine, People for the American Way and National Women’s Law Center. It was also nominated for the Weissberger Award and was a finalist in the 2013 Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Playwriting Contest. Casts starred Christine Lahti, Wendie Malick, James Naughton, Charles Shaughnessy, and Patrick Breen.
Wendy’s latest screenplay, Be My Baby, co-written with James R. Stein, has been optioned by Producer, Robert Rippberger, who is presently securing a director. Dorfman in Love, Wendy’s latest feature was produced by Leonard Hill Films and stars Elliott Gould, Sara Rue and Haaz Sleiman. Theatrical distribution and exclusive premiere run on DirecTV video-on-demand was launched March 22, 2013. The film won Best Feature at the Hollywood International Film Festival, the Marbella International Film Festival in Spain, Miami Jewish Film Festival and Best Comedy at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival. In television, Wendy created and was the Co-Executive Producer of the award winning ABC series, “Anything But Love”, staring Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis and wrote and developed projects for Paul Reiser, Jane Fonda, Robin Williams, ABC, CBS, NBC and Lifetime.
Wendy serves on the Board of Directors of the Skylight Theatre Company in Los Angeles and served on the Boards of The Liberty Hill Foundation of Los Angeles and Fund for Santa Barbara, where she served on the Social Justice Award panel for the Santa Barbara Film Festival. She has also co-produced fundraisers for The Nation, People for the American Way, National Women’s Law Center and ASTI… Acid Survivors Trust International.