Tel:
Email: jeremy@alljewishtheatre.org

Theatremacher Events

2021 – Theatremacher Events

In 2014, AJT introduced the Theatremachers, a fellowship for young theatre makers ages 18-36. Seven attended and actively participated in the 2014 conference, expecting to continue to be active contributors to the Alliance longer after everyone flies home.

Applications for the 2022 Conference will be released around August 2022 and will be due in October 2022. To see 2021 application information click here.

AJT Theatremacher Clown Workshop led by Danielle Levsky

AJT’s 2021-2022 Theatremacher Skill-Building Clown Workshop led by Danielle Levsky will be on Sunday, November 21 at 3pm – 4:30pm Eastern Time (12pm – 1:30pm Pacific, 1pm – 2:30pm Mountain Time, 2pm – 3:30pm Central Time, 8am – 9:30am New Zealand, 8pm – 9:30pm London Time, 9pm – 10:30pm Budapest)

Baba Yana (Danielle Levsky) will lead a hands-on, participatory, and all-levels Clown Workshop where we will journey together to find our inner Clown. Bond with other Theatremachers as we joyously fail together, learn together, get into and out of our heads, and examine our current worlds with a sense of wonder. Danielle will be adapting techniques and games she has learned from the Clown School, Advaitic yogic philosophy, Jacques Lecoq technique, Commedia dell’arte, Jewish clown history, and silent film comedians for our virtual Zoom room. Come play with us as we go on a journey of discovery, mischief, and delight!

Danielle Levsky (she/her) is a Post-Soviet, Jewish, queer, and feminist clown, writer, and producer. During quarantine, she explored the possibilities of live-streamed art by writing, performing, devising, teaching, and producing literary work and physical theatre.

From May through September, she produced and hosted two monthly events in Chicago: Corona dell’arte with Silent Theatre Company, a vaudeville-style variety show hosted by clowns, and Moon on Fire, a full moon ritual, salon, and open mic evening for artists and by artists. Currently, Danielle is working on building a physical theatre community in Southern California, writing a full length clown show, writing on-demand typewriter poetry, and wiggling in and out of headstands in yoga class.

Danielle is a certified teacher of clown through the Clown School and is currently receiving formal training to be a certified hybrid (in person and virtual) yoga teacher through The Yoga Lab Chicago. She has also trained with teachers of various clown traditions, including Stefan Haves (Humble Clown Summit/Cirque de Soleil), Eric Davis (Red Bastard), Misha Usov (Cirque de Soleil), Shannan Calcutt (Cirque de Soleil), David Bridel (The Clown School), Jeremy Aluma (The Clown School), Marc Frost (Theater Unspeakable), Leah Urzendowski (Neo-Futurists), Aretha Sills (Viola Spolin workshops), Antonia Fava (Commedia dell’arte master), and Dan Berkeley (Ringling Brothers). Learn more about her upcoming classes and shows at instagram.com/ellatheclown


Past Events:

AJT's 2020-2021 Macher Lab Showcase

AJT’s 2020-2021 Macher Lab Showcase

AJT’s Macher Lab Showcase Details:

When: Thursday, October 7, 7:30pm – 9pm EDT (4:30pm – 6pm PDT, 5:30pm – 7pm MDT, 6:30pm – 8pm CDT)

Come join AJT’s Macher Lab Showcase on Thursday, October 7, 7pm – 9pm EDT (4pm – 6pm PDT, 5pm – 7pm MDT, 6pm – 8pm CDT). We are looking for actors to participate in the readings of 8-minute excerpts of new plays that were explored during the last several months of the Macher Lab. There is no rehearsal but the readings will be precast. If you agree to be a volunteer actor, you are signing up for 2 hours of participation on the day of the reading; 30 minutes, light “tech” beforehand to make sure the showcase goes smoothly and the 90 minute showcase. If you are interested in being a reader for the Macher Lab Showcase, please RSVP by Wednesday, September 29 to jeremy@alljewishtheatre.org

Who:
Theatremacher Program Director: Illana Stein 
(Freelance Theatre Director & Dramaturg; Sunnyside, NY)

Playwrights:

Mindy Escobar-Leanse — The Art
Shara Feit — High School Dybbuk
Josh Hershfield — Rise: A Jewish Resistance Rock Musical
Ariel Martz-Oberlander — on behalf
Mindy Pfeffer — How to Live
Alix Rosenfeld — What We Inherit
Rory Michelle Sullivan — Rising in Love

_____________

The AJT Macher Lab is an exploratory lab designed to champion Theatremacher playwrights and their new work!

AJT's September 2021 Macher Lab

Alliance for Jewish Theatre’s September 2021 Macher Lab 

What: AJT’s September 2021 Macher Lab

The Theatremacher cohort is a group of AJT theatre makers between the ages of 18-36. The Macher Lab is the newest feature of their programming. Each month the lab will focus on two projects where each playwright will be given 50-55 minutes to workshop their piece. The series runs from June to September, 2021. For more information about the Theatremacher Program, please contact AJT’s Theatremacher Program Director, Illana Stein at illanasteinb@gmail.com

WHEN: Sunday, September 26,  4-6 PM EDT (1-3 PM PDT, 2-4 MDT, 3-5 PM CDT).

We will be exploring projects of Lab Playwrights Mindy Escobar-Leanse and Shara Feit. Please read below about the specific projects being shared in the September Macher Lab and how you can be involved.  

Playwright: Mindy Escobar- Leanse

The Art

Paper puppet animation created with images from Terezin and Tornillo 

The Art is an exploration of visual artwork from two camps in history using common themes and the creation and breaking of images to see how that affects an audience.

Mindy is early on in her process but is eager to hear from Lab participants as they respond to her imagery and to see if this non-traditional story-telling inspires them to take action for those children who are still in camps.

Mindy’s play will not be read but we will be experiencing it as she guides us through the imagery and music that she has collected.

Playwright: Shara Feit 

The [Redacted] Yeshiva Day School for Girls Drama Society Presents S. Ansky’s The Dybbuk, a haunting

Adaption of The Dybbuk with high school students

Drama is underway as [Redacted] Yeshiva Day School for Girls prepare for their upcoming winter production of S. Ansky’s The Dybbuk, but as rehearsals progress stuff starts getting … haunted. So now everyone is wondering, is Leah just, like, weird, or actually possessed? A play about Modern Orthodox day school theatre, best friendship, grief, and doing Polish nobility / frum Jew drag as a sixteen-year-old girl.

Shara is in the beginning stages of her writing but is interested in hearing from a Jewish audience how they respond to her adaptation of The Dybbuk, such a well known Jewish story. 

6 Women 

AJT's August 2021 Macher Lab

Alliance for Jewish Theatre’s August 2021 Macher Lab 

What: AJT’s August 2021 Macher Lab

The Theatremacher cohort is a group of AJT theatre makers between the ages of 18-36. The Macher Lab is the newest feature of their programming. Each month the lab will focus on two projects where each playwright will be given 50-55 minutes to workshop their piece. The series runs from June to September, 2021. For more information about the Theatremacher Program, please contact AJT’s Theatremacher Program Director, Illana Stein at illanasteinb@gmail.com

When: Monday, August 30, 6pm – 8pm EDT (3pm – 5pm PDT, 4pm – 6pm MDT, 5pm – 7pm CDT) 

I hope you will join us to explore the projects of Lab Playwrights Ariel-Martz Oberlander and Mindy Pfeffer.  Please read below about the specific projects being shared in the August Macher Lab and how you can be involved.  

Playwright: Ariel-Martz Oberlander

on behalf  

2-hander, concept-driven drama 

on behalf  is a play about a conversation between a young woman and an ancient goddess through the lens of sensory rituals such as hand washing, candle lighting, and challah braiding. The show explores living in a body that holds personal and inherited trauma and weaves together the intersectionality of sexual violence, diaspora, and separation from the self and the land.  Using laughter and movement to question our ideas of survival, this piece weaves across lifetimes and generations. 

Ariel is looking forward to hearing feedback from a Jewish audience of all experiences to see how they respond to the culturally specific rituals and stories in the play. Ariel thrives on collaboration and is eager to hear from an audience any additional Jewish songs, stories, or material that the play evokes for them.

2 actors to read for female characters

Content warning: This play mentions sexual violence.

 

Playwright: Mindy Pfeffer

A Suitcase of Memories

Drama with several interweaving timelines

A Suitcase of Memories  (working title) will be two separate but related stories – one starting during World War II with the story of a Polish Jewish woman named Maria Pfeffer (see her story here – https://tinyurl.com/4bkzaea8).  It will end with another story, set in the United States, sometime in the early 21st century, with issues/characters that relate to and amplify the first story.  It examines xenophobia, repressed memories, and the struggle to heal, ultimately setting the power of healing in the arts and in our connection to each other. Maria Peffer was a real person – born 1930, died 2009 – who became one of Poland’s leading family therapists in the late 20th century after a traumatic childhood experience during World War II.  Her father did not speak for a year, only reading Shakespeare, to heal the psychic wounds he received after a beating at the hands of the Nazis. A Suitcase of Memories starts with a fictionalized account of Ms. Pfeffer’s journey to become a therapist and her struggle to remember the past. It will end with another story – still undetermined – echoing/mirroring/relating to the themes and issues of the first part.

Mindy would love to brainstorm ideas about a contemporary historical counterpart to add into her piece as well as ideas on other themes that resonate for an audience other than labeling her project as solely a “Holocaust play.”  This would be an excellent Lab for dramaturgs to attend who like sharing insight about bringing clarity to complex interweaving timelines.

5 Females, 2 Males

AJT's August 2021 Menschs & Mentors Q & A with Barbara Brooks, Debórah Eliezer, and Ari Weinberg

AJT’s August  2021 Menschs & Mentors Q&A — with 3 Artistic Directors

What: AJT’s August 2021 Menschs & Mentors Q&A with Barbara Brooks, Debórah Eliezer, and Ari Weinberg

This month, AJT is excited to bring together three Alliance for Jewish Theatre Artistic Directors: Ari Weinberg (Artistic Director & Managing Director at Winnipeg Jewish Theatre), Barbara Brooks (Founder and Producing Artistic Director, Six Points Theater, formerly Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company) and Debórah Eliezer (Artistic Director of foolsFURY Theater) in discussion about theaters re-opening. This conversation will be moderated by Theatremacher Program Director, Illana Stein. We are thrilled to hear from some of the leading artistic voices at AJT member theatres as they navigate this time with their theater companies. What does it mean for each of these artistic leaders as they move forward with their theater seasons and transition back into live, in-person performances?

When: Friday, August 27 at 1pm – 2:30pm EDT (10am – 11:30am PDT, 11am – 12:30pm MDT, 12pm – 1:30pm CDT)

Who: AJT Member Theatre Artistic Directors: Ari Weinberg, Barbara Brooks, and Debórah Eliezer
Host: Illana Stein, AJT Theatremacher Program Director, NYC-based Theater Director

Tickets: Free for AJT Members, $18 for Non-Members

How: via Zoom, email jeremy@alljewishtheatre.org for the link or more info.

We plan to leave time at the end for Theatremachers to ask questions. Anyone is welcome to submit questions ahead of time by emailing illanasteinb@gmail.com and we will do our best to include them in the discussion. AJT’s Menschs & Mentors is a program for our Theatremachers, 18-36-year-old emerging theater artists. We are excited to join AJT Members and our Theatremachers together for this opportunity.

Ari Weinberg is the Artistic & Managing Director at Winnipeg Jewish Theatre in Canada.  His directing credits include After JerusalemTribesThe Whipping ManAnother Way HomeShiksaStars of David (WJT), Frankenstein (University of Winnipeg), Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Knavish Hedgehogs at Winnipeg Fringe), Hugh and I (Toronto Fringe), and Godspell (Theatre Sheridan). Assistant Directing: The Wild Party (The Musical Stage Co,) Salt-Water Moon (Thousand Islands Playhouse), and Sweeney Todd (Theatre Sheridan). Ari has appeared in numerous productions as an actor, including Falsettos (WJT/Dry Cold Productions), A Charlie Brown Double Bill (MTYP), South Pacific (Rainbow Stage/WSO), Romeo and Juliet (RMTC), Peter Pan (Stratford Festival), Hana’s Suitcase (Magnus Theatre), The Merry Wives of Windsor and Man of La Mancha (Theatre by the Bay). Ari is a proud graduate of Sheridan College’s Music Theatre-Performance Program and serves as the program’s internship advisor. Ari serves on the board of the Alliance for Jewish Theatre.

Barbara Brooks founder and producing artistic director, Six Points Theater, formerly Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company.  SPT is an award-winning professional theater currently in its 27th season, and the longest-running independent ‘Jewish theater’ in the United States. She’s been responsible for all artistic and management work at the theater to-date, including all organizational development projects and production work that has garnered 5 Ivey Awards and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Arts Achievement Award. Barbara serves on the board of the Alliance for Jewish Theatre.

Debórah Eliezer (she/her), is a mixed identity theater maker and cultural activist. She is the Artistic Director of foolsFURY Theater, and an Associate Artist with Golden Thread. Passionate about the power of human transformation, her work focuses on disrupting assumptions about art, human values and society.  She has created and performed in numerous world premieres, working with playwrights Katie Pearl, Yussef el Guindi, Denmo Ibrahim, Torange Yeghiazarian Kate Tarker, Fabrice Melquiot, Angela Santillo, Sheila Callaghan, Doug Dorst,  and Ben Yalom. With foolsFURY, Eliezer wrote (dis)Place[d], which features in Michael Malek Najjar’s book, Middle Eastern American Theatre: Communities, Cultures and Artists. She holds a BA Cum Laude from SFSU and a certificate from CIIS. Eliezer is an artEquity arts facilitator alumna, serves on the committee for MENA Alliance of Theatre Makers (MENATMA) and the board of the Alliance for Jewish Theatre.

AJT's July 2021 Macher Lab

Alliance for Jewish Theatre’s July 2021 Macher Lab 

What: AJT’s July 2021 Macher Lab

The Theatremacher cohort is a group of AJT theatre makers between the ages of 18-36. The Macher Lab is the newest feature of their programming. Each month the lab will focus on two projects where each playwright will be given 50-55 minutes to workshop their piece. The series runs from June to September, 2021. For more information about the Theatremacher Program, please contact AJT’s Theatremacher Program Director, Illana Stein at illanasteinb@gmail.com

When: Thursday, July 29, 5pm – 7pm, Eastern (2pm – 4pm Pacific, 3pm – 5pm Mountain, 4pm – 6pm Central)

Who:
AJT Theatremacher Program Director: Illana Stein
Playwrights – Alix Rosenfeld and Josh Hershfield

We are thrilled to hear the projects from presenting playwrights Alix Rosenfeld and Josh Hershfield. Our July playwrights are eager to hear feedback about their projects from the Theatremacher community. We are not pre-casting the readings but we are looking for Theatremachers to volunteer their time to read while also offering space to those who want to listen and share feedback. 

How:  We are looking for AJT members who want to be part of a volunteer actor pool for our AJT Macher Lab.  We invite you to join this community where we will nurture and support our emerging playwrights through their writing process as their plays continue to evolve.

Email jeremy@alljewishtheatre.org if you would like to be added into our volunteer actor pool for the AJT’s 2021 Macher Lab.

July Macher Lab Details:

Playwright: Alix Rosenfeld
What We Inherit
Solo Performance Play

What We Inherit is a solo performance piece (served with homemade cheesecake) that considers what it means to both love and fear what our families pass down through the generations and the hidden terrain of genetic legacy. In examining what we choose to inherit and what is out of our control, What We Inherit asks: Can we find acceptance and joy in what remains unknown? 

We will not be reading Alix’s piece but exploring her play through a brainstorming session.  Alix is looking for thought partners to brainstorm new dramatic elements, approaches, a new structure for the play…sky’s the limit. Folks who are interested in using principles of game-making to create theatre and are curious about finding a balance between drama and joy are especially encouraged to attend.

The play is performed with 1 female-bodied person (in this current iteration)

Playwright: Josh Hershfield
The Courier
a rock musical

The Courier is a rock musical that tells the story of a young Jewish woman during the Holocaust who becomes a courier for the Jewish resistance, joining a group of women fighters smuggling food, messages, and weapons into the ghettos as plans unfold for an uprising against the Nazi regime. The Courier recently won the Bela Zarhi prize from the Ghetto Fighters’ House.

Josh is looking to hear some book scenes of his musical read out loud to get dramaturgical feedback on the stakes of the scene and how it resonates with the rest of the musical. Josh would love to hear from anyone with musical theatre knowledge especially working with the rock musical format.  

The current excerpt being read calls for 2 Leading Women, 1 Man

AJT's June 2021 Macher Lab


Alliance for Jewish Theatre’s June 2021 Macher Lab 

What: AJT’s June 2021 Macher Lab

The Theatremacher cohort is a group of AJT theatre makers between the ages of 18-36. The Macher Lab is the newest feature of their programming. Each month the lab will focus on two projects where each playwright will be given 50-55 minutes to workshop their piece. The series runs from June to September, 2021. For more information about the Theatremacher Program, please contact AJT’s Theatremacher Program Director, Illana Stein at illanasteinb@gmail.com

When: Wednesday, June 30, 2pm – 4:30pm, Eastern (11am – 1:30pm Pacific, 12pm – 2:30pm Mountain, 1pm – 3:30pm Central)

Who:
AJT Theatremacher Program Director: Illana Stein
Playwrights – Audrey Lang and Rory Michelle Sullivan

We are thrilled to hear the projects from presenting playwrights, Audrey Lang and Rory Michelle Sullivan.  Our June playwrights are eager to hear feedback about their projects from the Theatremacher community.  We are not pre-casting the readings but we are looking for Theatremachers to volunteer their time to read while also offering space to those who want to listen and share feedback. 

How:  We are looking for AJT members who want to be part of a volunteer actor pool for our AJT Macher Lab.  We invite you to join this community where we will nurture and support our emerging playwrights through their writing process as their plays continue to evolve.

Email jeremy@alljewishtheatre.org if you would like to be added into our volunteer actor pool for the AJT’s 2021 Macher Lab.

Macher Lab Details:

The June Lab will be 2 ½ hours while the rest of the Macher Labs will normally be 2 hours. The first half-hour will be introductions by our Lab playwrights and a presentation by our special guest, Heather Helinsky, who will be speaking about upcoming playwriting and script reading opportunities. Many of you have worked with Heather before but for those who don’t know her, she is a freelance dramaturg based in Philadelphia and the current Literary Manager for Playwrights Foundation/Bay Area Playwrights Festival, as well as the Contest Dramaturg/Literary Manager for the 10th Annual Jewish Plays Project and will be for the upcoming season.  I will be sharing more about Heather Helinsky in the next email, but she is an excellent resource for our community, and I highly encourage you to get to know her.

June 2021 Macher Lab Projects Details:

Please read below about the specific projects being presented in the June Macher Lab and how you can be involved.

Playwright: Audrey Lang
The Shushan Middle School Student Council

(a contemporary adaptation of the Purim story)

The Purim story, but set in a middle school: complete with Student Council President and queen bee Rosh, her best friend and Vice President Tee, Secretary Esther, and Treasurer Cai. Plus the sixth grade class representatives everyone mostly ignores. But what happens when Tee is ousted from her position and a new Student Council member makes an appearance?

Audrey is in the early stages of writing but is hoping to discuss how the story and characters function in her contemporary interpretation of the Jewish Purim story.  Her play is intended to be performed by middle school-aged actors and she would love to hear feedback from educators on how the material resonates for them. 

7 Characters (6 Female characters, 1 Nonbinary character)

Playwright: Rory Michelle Sullivan

Rising in Love is a new Jewish musical that you’ll be falling for.  Interracial Millennial Jewish couple, Rosie and Scott, turn to family and friends to learn what it takes to rise in love. If you combine Cole Porter and couple’s therapy, you get this new sing-able musical that touches on relationships, compromise, and what it means to grow up and find love.

Rory Michelle is excited to hear perspectives from all makers of Jewish theater (actors, dramaturgs, directors, etc) as they respond to the protagonist and her fiancé as they navigate conflicts related to their upcoming inter-racial, millennial, Jewish marriage.

6 Characters (any gender)

For those who want to hear Rory Michelle’s work in its entirety, she is presenting a staged reading of it for the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, Thursday, June 17th at 8pm EST.  For Tickets: https://cincyfringe.com/rising-in-love/

The AJT Macher Lab is an exploratory lab designed to champion Theatremacher playwrights and their new work!

AJT’s June 2021 Menschs & Mentors Q&A with Melia Bensussen

AJT’s June 2021 Menschs & Mentors Q&A with Melia Bensussen

What: AJT’s June 2021 Menschs & Mentors Q&A with Melia Bensussen

This month, AJT is excited to bring Melia Bensussen, Artistic Director of Hartford Stage to a Q&A. We plan to cover advice for emerging theater artists, her leadership role in a large regional theater, approach to season planning during the pandemic and now as theaters return to live-performances, experiences growing up Jewish in Mexico City and how that has shaped her artistry throughout her career. We will open up the last part of the Q&A for Theatremachers to ask questions.

When: Thursday, June 10, 4:30PM – 5:45PM Eastern (1:30pm – 2:45pm Pacific)

Who: Melia Bensussen is a Jewish and Mexican award-winning director and the newly appointed Artistic Director of Hartford Stage.
Host: Illana Stein, AJT’s Theatremacher Coordinator, NYC based Director

Melia Bensussen is an award-winning director and the newly appointed Artistic Director of Hartford Stage.  She has directed extensively all over the country and at major regional institutions including Huntington Theatre Company, Shakespeare & Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Primary Stages, Long Wharf Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, People’s Light, Bay Street Theatre, and Playwrights Horizons, among others.  She currently serves as the Chair of the Arts Advisory Board for the Princess Grace Foundation and is on the executive board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).

Tickets: Free for AJT Members, $18 for Non-Members

How: via Zoom, email jeremy@alljewishtheatre.org for the link or more info

AJT’s May 2021 Theatremacher Clown Workshop led by Danielle Levsky

AJT’s Theatremacher Clown Workshop led by Danielle Levsky

What: AJT’s Theatremacher May 2021 Clown Workshop led by Danielle Levsky

Baba Yana (Danielle Levsky) will lead the group in a hands-on, participatory, and introductory level Clown Workshop where we will journey together to find our inner Clown. Bond with other Theatremachers as we joyously fail together, learn together, get into and out of our heads, and examine our current worlds with a sense of wonder. Danielle will be adapting techniques and games she has learned from the Clown School, Jacques Lecoq, Commedia dell’arte, Neo-Commedia, indigenous clown rituals, and silent film comedians for our virtual ZOOM setting. Come play with us as we go on a journey of discovery, mischief, and delight!

When: Sunday May 2 at 6:00 – 7:30 PM Eastern (3:00 – 4:30 PM Pacific)

Who: Danielle Levsky, AJT Board Member and Certified Clown Teacher

Danielle Levsky (she/her) is a Post-Soviet, Jewish, queer, and feminist clown, writer, and producer. During quarantine, she explored the possibilities of live-streamed art by writing, performing, devising, teaching, and producing literary work and physical theatre.

From May through September, she produced and hosted two monthly events in Chicago: Corona dell’arte with Silent Theatre Company, a vaudeville-style variety show hosted by clowns, and Moon on Fire, a full moon ritual, salon, and open mic evening for artists and by artists. Currently, Danielle is working on building a physical theatre community in Southern California, writing a full length clown show, writing on-demand typewriter poetry, and wiggling in and out of headstands in yoga class.

Danielle is a certified teacher of clown through the Clown School and is currently receiving formal training to be a certified hybrid (in person and virtual) yoga teacher through The Yoga Lab Chicago. She has also trained with teachers of various clown traditions, including Stefan Haves (Humble Clown Summit/Cirque de Soleil), Eric Davis (Red Bastard), Misha Usov (Cirque de Soleil), Shannan Calcutt (Cirque de Soleil), David Bridel (The Clown School), Jeremy Aluma (The Clown School), Marc Frost (Theater Unspeakable), Leah Urzendowski (Neo-Futurists), Aretha Sills (Viola Spolin workshops), Antonia Fava (Commedia dell’arte master), and Dan Berkeley (Ringling Brothers). Learn more about her upcoming classes and shows at instagram.com/ellatheclown. 

How: via Zoom, only open to AJT 2020-2021 Theatremachers

AJT’s April 2021 Machers & Makers Q&A with Theater in Quarantine Artists Joshua William Gelb and Katie Rose McLaughlin

What: AJT’s April 2021 Machers & Makers Q&A with Theater in Quarantine Artists Joshua William Gelb and Katie Rose McLaughlin

We will join Founder and Co-Creative Director of Theater in Quarantine (TiQ) Joshua William Gelb and Co-Creative Director Katie Rose McLaughlin in conversation where we will discuss the inspiration behind their work, collaborating together, how Theater in Quarantine has evolved, how they go about choosing the text they are going to explore, how their own background in Clown and physical theater has shaped their work as artists, and the process behind building a TiQ show. There will also be a live presentation where we will unpack how the (kosher) sausage gets made, secrets behind The Gas Heart, and the magic-making behind TiQ! The last part is for Theatremachers to ask questions.

When: Tuesday, April 13th, 8-9:30PM Eastern (5:00-6:30 Pacific) 

Who: Theater in Quarantine Artists Joshua William Gelb and Katie Rose McLaughlin

Joshua William Gelb (Founder / Co-Creative Director) is an East Village-based director, performer, and librettist currently building digital theater out of his converted closet christened the Theater in Quarantine. On its YouTube channel, Theater in Quarantine has presented nearly 20 different evenings of live digital performance with institutional supporters LaMama, CultureHub, Theater Mitu, New Georges, and The Invisible Dog, as well as “a New York rogue’s gallery of experimental makers and designers” (Helen Shaw, Vulture). Prior to the pandemic, Gelb created both Jazz Singer and The Black Crook in residence at Abrons Arts Center, while his Drama Desk-nominated adaptation of A Hunger Artist, created with Sinking Ship, continues to tour. Gelb participated in the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, is an associate artist with Sinking Ship, teaches Theater Collaboration at Cooper Union, and is a 2021 artist in residence at LaMama and CultureHub’s Experiments in Digital Storytelling program. http://www.joshuawilliamgelb.com/

Katie Rose McLaughlin (Co-Creative Director) is an NYC-based choreographer and director originally from Minneapolis, MN. Katie Rose is the Associate Choreographer of the Tony award-winning Broadway show Hadestown directed by Rachel Chavkin and choreographed by David Neumann. Recently she has been creating work as the co-Creative Director for Theater in Quarantine which has produced over 20 different evenings of work. Notable theater credits include Orlando (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Indecent (Weston Playhouse), Bear Slayer (Ars Nova), Triplight (Joes Pub), SEAGULLMACHINE (La Mama ETC), and The Black Crook (Abrons Arts Center).  She was an artist-in-residence at LMCC’s Process Space, Dance Lab New York, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, the Barn Arts Collective, and LMCC’s SPARC program and is a 2021 artist-in-residence at La Mama and CultureHub’s Experiments in Digital Storytelling program. In 2013, she co-founded and became the Artistic Director of Designated Movement Co., a dance/theater company interested in blurring the lines between forms. Katierosemclaughlin.com 

​​About Theater in Quarantine

Shortly after the coronavirus pandemic closed all theaters, Joshua William Gelb transformed a 2’ x 4’ x 8’ closet inside his East Village apartment into a white-box theater. Starting on March 30, Gelb and his collaborators began releasing pre-recorded studies in movement, clown, camera orientation, and perspective, building towards more complex theatrical experiences. On April 23, they premiered Theater in Quarantine’s first live-stream performance: an adaptation of Kafka’s The Neighbor which was followed by an unauthorized edit of Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape and collaborations with artists like Scott R. Sheppard (Underground Railroad Game), Nehemiah Luckett (Jazz Singer), and Ellen Winter (36 Questions).

Theater in Quarantine’s productions of The 7th Voyage of Egon Tichy and Footnote for the End of Time were met with critical acclaim. Jesse Green in his New York Times critic’s pick review declared that Theater in Quarantine has produced “some of the new medium’s most imaginative work from some of its simplest materials.” Helen Shaw in Vulture wrote that Theater in Quarantine “makes confinement a virtue, a prompt to imagination.” Maya Phillips in The New York Times noted, “These small-scale, digitally savvy productions have matched the texts in their idiosyncratic approaches.”

Theater in Quarantine’s first musical, I Am Sending You the Sacred Face, by Obie award-winner Heather Cristian was one of Vulture‘s Best Theater Moments of 2020. Helen Shaw found it “as beautiful a cause for meditation as anything in the Book of Psalms — and as worthy an object for devotion.” Jesse Green in his New York Times critic’s pick review noted, “Theater in Quarantine turns the constraints of its odd conditions into a marvelous style.”

Additional works include Mute Swan by Pulitzer-prize finalist Madeleine George and Blood Meal by and Obie award-winner Scott R. Sheppard.

The complete archive of original works by Theater in Quarantine is available for free at www.youtube.com/theaterinquarantine. Please visit www.theaterinquarantine.com for more information.

Theater in Quarantine’s work is generously supported by a Creative Residency with La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, as participants in LaMaMa and CultureHub’s Experiments in Digital Storytelling program, the Mental Insight Foundation, and by their many individual donors.

Host: Illana Stein, AJT’s Theatremacher Program Director, NYC based Director

How: via Zoom, only open to 2020-2021 AJT Theatremachers

AJT’s April 2021 Machers & Makers Live Watch Party of Tristan Tzara’s The Gas Heart presented by Theater in Quarantine

What: AJT’s April 2021 Machers & Makers Live Watch Party of Tristan Tzara’s The Gas Heart presented by Theater in Quarantine

We are excited to watch Joshua Gelb’s adaptation of Tristan Tzara’s The Gas Heart. In the original play, Tzara wanted to break theatrical tradition and convention by eschewing the three-act play and focusing on the subversive and satirical nature of performance. The original play is a strange dialogue between human body parts; they never evolve into true characters but simply take on different metaphors, proverbs, and idioms. The distance ultimately created between the play’s contents and the audience could not be better timed for this piece’s centennial celebration this year. Stick around after the screening to discuss what we experienced together as we witness six characters captured in real time by one performer.

When: Thursday, April 8 at 9:00-10:30 PM Eastern (6:00-7:30 Pacific) 

Host: Danielle Levsky

How: via Zoom, open to 2020-2021 AJT Theatremachers

AJT’s March 2021 Theatremacher Community Conversation on Appropriation & Representation

AJT’s Theatremacher Community Conversation on Appropriation & Representation 

led by Alix Rosenfeld

What: AJT’s March 2021 Theatremacher Community Conversation on Appropriation & Representation

This conversation on Appropriation & Representation will be facilitated by Theatremacher Alix Rosenfeld.  What does it mean to make inclusive theatre authentically? How do we navigate the tension between intention and impact? Using a case study of People’s Light’s 2018 production of The Diary of Anne Frank as a launch pad for our discussion, this talking circle will include a conversation about these questions and more.

When: Monday, March 15 at 8:00-9:30 PM Eastern  (5:00-6:30 Pacific) 

Host: Alix Rosenfeld

Alix Rosenfeld is a theatre artist and writer with a multi-disciplinary practice in dramaturgy, playwriting, and performance. She is based in Philadelphia and has worked regionally and internationally at such companies as the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. Recent dramaturgy credits include: Shakespeare In Love (People’s Light) and Box Clever, (Inis Nua Theatre Company), and The Merchant of Venice (Delaware Shakespeare). She is a contributing writer to American Theatre, Huffpost, HowlRound, and Broad Street Review, is the Philadelphia Metro VP for LMDA, and is a proud staff member of the Wilma Theater.  Training: B.A. in Drama from Vassar College, M.A. in Theatre from Villanova University.

How: via Zoom, only open to 2020-2021 AJT Theatremachers

AJT’s February 2021 Menschs & Mentors Q&A with Adam Immerwahr

AJT’s Menschs & Mentors Q&A with Adam Immerwahr

What: AJT’s February 2021 Menschs & Mentors Q&A with Adam Immerwahr

We are thrilled to kick-off our first Menschs & Mentors event with Adam Immerwahr.  For those who don’t know Adam, he is the Treasurer on the Executive Board of Alliance for Jewish Theatre and the Artistic Director of one of the most prominent Jewish theaters in the US, Theater J, in Washington D.C. Adam will be joining us in a moderated Q&A, where we plan to cover his role working in a major regional theater, maintaining relationships with other artists, what makes a good collaborator, season planning, the process of developing new plays, and advice for emerging artists especially as theaters ease back into live productions.  We plan to open up the last part of the Q&A for Theatremachers to ask questions.

When: Wednesday, February 24 at 4:45 PM – 6:00 PM Eastern (1:45-3:00 PM Pacific)

Who: Adam Immerwahr, AJT Board Member and Artistic Director of Theater J in Washington D.C.

Adam Immerwahr is the fourth Artistic Director in Theater J’s history. He was most recently the Associate Artistic Director at McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, NJ. NYC directing credits include productions at The Public, Theater Row (both for Summer Play Festival), Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Wild Project, and NYU’s Studio Tisch. Internationally, he Directed the African premiere of The Convert in Zimbabwe (nominated for the National Arts Medal Award, Zimbabwe’s highest arts award). He has Directed and developed work for McCarter Theatre, Luna Stage, Hangar Theatre, Bristol Riverside, Premiere Stages, Playwrights Theatre of NJ, PlayPenn, the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia Artists’ Collective, Princeton Summer Theater, Westminster Choir College, Theatre Masters, and Passage Theatre Company in Trenton, where he serves as Resident Director. Adam is the recipient of a 2008 Drama League Directing Fellowship and the 2010 NJ Theatre Alliance “Applause Award.” Adam was the winner of the 2014 Emerging Nonprofit Leader Award presented by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Center for Excellence and the Center for Non-Profits. 

Host: Illana Stein, AJT’s Theatremacher Program Director, NYC based Director

How: via Zoom, only open to Theatremachers

AJT’s January 2021 Theatremacher Machers & Makers Q&A with Russian Troll Farm Artists

What: AJT’s Theatremacher Machers & Makers January 2021 Q&A with Russian Troll Farm Artists

We will be bringing together Russian Troll Farm artists: playwright Sarah Gancher and co-director Jared Mezzochi for a Q&A and lively discussion about their collaboration, inspiration, and how they were able to push the boundaries of technology by learning what is possible in Zoom theater making.

When:Tuesday, January 26, 2021 6:00 – 7:30 PM Eastern (3:00 – 4:30 PM Pacific)

Who: Russian Troll Farm Artists, Playwright Sarah Gancher and Co-Director Jared Mezzochi

Sarah Gancher’s plays have been produced or developed at London’s National Theatre,  Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, The Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, The  Atlantic, Berkeley Rep, Steppenwolf, New York Stage and Film, Ars Nova, WP Theatre,  The Flea, La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Rep, Hartford Stage, RoundHouse, Mosaic (DC),  P73, NYC Summerstage, and Telluride Theatre, among others. She has been a Time  Warner Fellow at the Women’s Project Playwrights Lab, a member of P73’s writer’s  group Interstate 73, a Writing Fellow with The Playwrights’ Realm, and a member of the  Ars Nova Play Group. She is a resident at New Dramatists. She had commissions and  residencies from the Hermitage, Jewish Plays Project, Tofte Lakes, SPACE at Ryder  Farm, and has been a playwright-in-residence at Budapest’s Quarter6Quarter7 Festival.  She has written two musicals with rock band The Bengsons: The Lucky Ones, a  commission for Ars Nova, and Hundred Days, which had its New York premiere at the  2017 Under the Radar festival at the Public and went on to rave reviews at New York  Theatre Workshop. Both The Lucky Ones and Hundred Days garnered a number of 2018  Lortel, Drama League, and Drama Desk nominations and wins. Sarah was the  collaborating playwright on Mission Drift, a musical about capitalism and the myth of the  frontier written with director Rachel Chavkin. Sarah has written for Blue Man Group,  Cirque du Soleil, and Madison Square Garden, and worked behind the scenes at The  Colbert Report, The Metropolitan Opera Guild, The Big Apple Circus, and Norway’s  Stellapolaris, among others. She currently teaches playwriting at NYU Tisch’s  Department of Dramatic Writing and The New School’s MFA Playwriting program.  MFA: NYU. 

Jared Mezzochi is a director and an Obie Award Winning Multimedia Artist based out of  Washington D.C. He is a resident artist at Woolly Mammoth Theater Company and has  directed and designed at theaters across the U.S. including Milwaukee Rep, Portland  Centerstage. Cleveland Playhouse, Arena Stage, South Coast Rep, National Geographic,  National Gallery of Art, and Centerstage Baltimore, In NYC, he has worked with Big  Art Group, The Builders Association, Rob Roth, 3-Legged Dog, New Georges, and  HERE Arts Center. In 2016, Mezzochi designed projections for Vietgone at Manhattan Theatre Club, written by Qui Nguyen and directed by May Adrales, and received a Lucille Lortel Award, an Obie Award, and a Henry Hewes Award for his work. As a  playwright, Mezzocchi was a 2017 Fellow to the Macdowell Colony, as well as wrote  and directed an adaptation of Oliver Jeffers’ book How to Catch a Star at the John F.  Kennedy Performing Arts Center, which received a Helen Hates nomination for best new  adaptation in 2018. Beyond the Kennedy Center, Mezzochi has directed notable works at  Roundhouse Theater, and The National Players. He is also a recipient of a 2012 Princess  Grace Award for his work at HERE Arts Center (You Are Dead. You Are Here by  Christine Evans.) He received his BA in Theater and New Media: Film at Fairfield  University and then went on to receive an MFA in Performance and Interactive Media  Arts at Brooklyn College. He currently is an Associate Professor at University of  Maryland, College Park, where he built the projection design curriculum in the MFA  Design Program. This past fall, while on sabbatical from UMD, he is finishing his book  A Multimedia Designer’s Method to Theatrical Storytelling, which will be published  through routledge in Spring 2021.

Host: Illana Stein, AJT’s Theatremacher Program Director, NYC based Director

How: via Zoom, only open to 2020-2021 Theatremachers

AJT’s January 2021 Theatremacher Machers & Makers Live Watch Party of Russian Troll Farm

What: AJT’s Theatremacher Machers & Makers January 2021 Live Watch Party of Russian Troll Farm

When: Tuesday, January 12th at 8 PM Eastern (5 PM Pacific) 

Host: Danielle Levsky 

Danielle Levsky will host a watch party of Russian Troll Farm, open to all Theatremachers! Stick around afterwards for a discussion on the play, format, and plot.

AJT’s December 2020 Theatremacher Community Conversation on Privilege and Oppression

AJT’s Theatremacher Community Conversation on Privilege and Oppression

What: AJT’s December 2020 Theatremacher Community Conversation on Privilege and Oppression

Where have Jews historically had privilege in the US and English theatre? Where have we faced oppression in theatre? What can be done to share our privilege when needed? What can be done to help mitigate oppression? 

Host: Jeremy Aluma, Danielle Levsky, and Illana Stein

When: Wednesday, December 16 at 4:00 – 5:30 PM Eastern (1:00 – 2:30 PM Pacific)

How: via Zoom, only open to 2020-2021 AJT Theatremachers

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