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65th Season of Gallery Players: theatre lineup for 2013-2014

Home Forums Events Theatre Events 65th Season of Gallery Players: theatre lineup for 2013-2014

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    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans

    The Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus is proud to announce the 65th season of Gallery Players. One of the oldest and longest running theaters in central Ohio, Gallery Players continues a tradition that began in 1948 by delivering strong performances covering the gamut of the Jewish experience, from solemnity and sentiment to a bawdy romp navigating the heights of Jewish humor. In reverence of 100 years of Jewish community at the JCC, Gallery Players will stage four lively, engaging plays for another year of unforgettable intrigue that will challenge our notions of Jewish identity.

    Beginning with the play, Yentl, in the fall of 2013, Gallery Players will follow the tremendously successful, crowd-pleasing Fiddler on the Roof with another play that highlights the tension between Jewish tradition and modernity. Yentl, based on Isaac Bashevis Singer’s short story, “Yentl the Yeshiva Boy,” centers on a young girl who defies Jewish tradition by disguising her gender and studying the Talmud. The play explores Yentl’s resulting identity crisis and is not to be confused with the musical starring Barbra Streisand.

    This year’s lineup offers something for everyone, including a family play based on the popular children’s book, Elijah’s Angel, by JCC alum and longtime Berwick resident Michael J. Rosen. The play is the finale event of the JCC 100. In collaboration with Gallery Players, the play will be the capstone to a year full of thrilling events celebrating the JCC’s 100th year. Elijah’s Angel is based on Rosen’s own experiences and friendship with Elijah Pierce, an icon of the King-Lincoln District who was part prophet, part artist, and part barber for the residents of his community. This heartwarming holiday show for the whole family centers on the remarkable connection between the school-age Michael and the Christian minister Pierce. The theme of two faiths finding common ground becomes child-friendly through Rosen’s creative storytelling of his own consternation after Pierce presents him with the gift of a hand-carved, wooden angel.

    The spring brings lighter fare with the musical, The Producers. The smash Broadway hit from Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan tells the story of a down-on-his-luck Broadway producer and his mild-mannered accountant. Their scheme to produce the most notorious flop in history goes awry when “Springtime for Hitler” becomes—much to their dismay—a huge hit! The hilarious antics of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom give way to the musical’s touching, emotional core—the poignant journey of two very different men who become friends.

    The final show of the 2013-2014 season will push boundaries with its provocative portrayal of a family in conflict. Other Desert Cities, the critically acclaimed play by Jon Robin Baitz, draws on the intersections of memory, history, and secrets to portray the consequences of a family facing long-avoided truths. A truly thought-provoking, intriguing season is in store for audiences of all ages as we celebrate the start of the next 100 years of the JCC.

    The 65th Season Performance Schedule

    Yentl, our Fall Heritage Show – October-November

    Shows: October 17, 19, 20, 24, 26, 27, 31; November 2 and 3

    Elijah’s Angel, the JCC 100 Finale Play in Collaboration with Gallery Players – December

    Shows: December 6, 7, 8, 12, 14, 15

    The Producers, the Spring Musical – March

    Shows: March 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 13, 15, 16

    Other Desert Cities, the Contemporary Collaboration – May

    Shows: May 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 15, 17, and 18

    Please check our website at http://www.jccgalleryplayers.org for more information about these performances or to purchase tickets.

    The JCC of Greater Columbus, located at 1125 College Ave., Columbus

    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans

    Via release:

    Gallery Players Opens 65th Season with Yentl

    Gallery Players, central Ohio’s premiere theatre troupe featuring Jewish performances and plays with largely Jewish content and themes, is proud to announce its 65th season will open with the play, Yentl. Based on Isaac Bashevis Singer’s “Yentl the Yeshiva Boy,” set in 19th century Poland, Yentl tells the tale of a young girl who studies Jewish law but is not bound by it, finding her own way after her father dies and she continues her studies, gender disguised, at a yeshiva.

    Yentl will be presented in conjunction with the Fort Hayes Black Box Theatre Company. Veteran director Steve Black, who has spent the past 15 years instructing aspiring young actors at the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center, will bring what he calls a “fable done with joy” to life on the stage of the Roth/Resler Theater of the Jewish Community Center.

    The story will easily unfold before the audience through the use of a simple set, enhanced by intricate detailing, symbolic props, and the knowledge and insight of the play’s historian and dramaturg, community educator Eran Rosenberg. The simplicity is designed to showcase the strong performances of Addy Feibel, as Yentl, Daniel Shtivelberg as Yentl’s scholastic equal, Avigdor, and Rachel Gaunce as Avigdor’s love interest, Hadass. “The set truly represents the flow of Jewish culture in these joyous moments,” said Black.

    The joyous play, Black added, will focus on the innocence of youth and be told from the perspective of the younger characters, primarily the girl who defies tradition by discussing and debating Jewish law and theology, living secretly as a boy named Anshel. Questions of gender identity, equality, and tolerance arise as audiences are left to wonder what might become of Anshel when she chooses to remain living as a male the rest of her life.

    The collected works of Isaac Bashevis Singer are still among Black’s top five favorite literary works, and, even after 15 years directing in New York City, the JCC remains one of his favorite places to direct. “It’s just a beautiful community. The youth inspire me. I had to direct this. Addy as Yentl is wise beyond her years, and that’s who Yentl was,” Black explained. “The theme of a young woman coming of age was exciting for me. The story comes from Yentl’s heart and is about the ‘divine androgyny of the soul’—how our souls are equal no matter what—which is, for me, so enlightening and freeing. My job is to try and help tickle the audience with the innocence of this piece.”

    Delighting and enlightening audiences now for 65 years, Gallery Players chose Yentl as its first production for its 65th season because, as Jared Saltman, Gallery Players Managing and Artistic Director, explained, “We wanted to produce this play because it’s a great work. It’s something our community wants to and should see.”

    Addy Feibel, a student at Columbus School for Girls, hopes to bring meaning and a celebratory feel to her performance of the role of Yentl. “I have always interpreted Yentl’s message as extremely feminist. Yentl challenged stereotypes and defied limits in order to pursue her passion. Like Yentl, I have always loved to learn, but it has been something I have taken for granted. Yentl, and the real-life women like her who came before me, paved the way for girls like me to achieve more. Yentl is a special part for me to play as it celebrates the progress we have accomplished as a society in regards to women’s rights,” said Feibel.

    From its delicately feminist treatment of Jewish tradition and uplifting look at difference and acceptance to its uproariously funny ensemble cast of characters, Yentl is a multi-layered coming-of-age “dramedy” audiences won’t soon forget. “There are so many levels to the story of Yentl,” said Black. “It’s about not having to accept things as they are written — Judaism leaves room for debate and discussion; that’s why yeshivas exist. It’s okay to question in Singer’s world.”

    Saltman agreed, “The Jewish religion is there to question everything. We’re supposed to be doing that. This show does that. It’s about questioning. It’s about finding your place in the world. But even more than that, it’s about how a woman fashions a new role for herself and still manages to find acceptance.”

    Performances of the play, cowritten by Isaac Bashevis Singer & Leah Napolin, run October 19-November 3, 2013. General admission ticket prices are $20 for nonmember adults and $15 for JCC members; $18 for senior non-members, $13 for senior JCC members, and $10 for students. Season tickets are still available: $55/season pass for JCC Members; $70/season pass for the general public. Visit the Gallery Players website, jccgalleryplayers.org, or call 614-231-2731, to purchase tickets or find out more.

    Performance Schedule

    Yentl, by Isaac Bashevis Singer & Leah Napolin
    Show Times: 8 p.m., Saturday, October 19; 2:30 p.m., Sunday, October 20; 7:30 p.m., Thursday, October 24; 8 p.m., Saturday, October 26; 2:30 p.m., Sunday, October 27; 7:30 p.m., Thursday, October 31; 8 p.m., Saturday, November 2; 2:30 p.m., Sunday, November 3.

    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans

    Via release:

    Elijah’s Angel Auditions Begin Week of October 7

    Gallery Players will hold auditions for the world premiere of Elijah’s Angel, adapted by Michael J. Rosen from his National Jewish Book Award-winning book of the same name, on Monday October 7 and Tuesday October 8 at 7 pm at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus, 1125 College Ave. Those auditioning need only attend one of these dates. Callbacks will take place at on Wednesday

    The play is inspired by Rosen’s real-life friendship with Columbus’s treasured folk artist, Elijah Pierce.

    One year, on the first night of Chanukah that was also Christmas Eve, something wonderful happened in a barbershop filled with Bible heroes, fearsome beasts, and football players. Two very different people (young and old, white and black, Jewish and Christian, schoolboy and woodcarver) reconciled art, faith, and the universal need to create — all thanks to an angel with diamonds for eyes.

    Auditions will consist of readings from the play. Prepared monologues are preferred but not necessary to audition. If possible, please bring a theatrical resumé and headshot (or any picture of yourself).

    Rehearsals for the play will take place Sunday afternoons, and Monday through Thursday evenings.

    Five performances of Elijah’s Angel are scheduled to run December 7-December 15, 2013. For detailed dates and times, please visit http://www.jccgalleryplayers.org. For further information, please contact Gallery

    Players Managing and Artistic Director Jared Saltman at 614-559-6248, or [email protected].

    The following roles are to be cast:

    Mom (Michael’s mother) — a lively and determined, 30s/40s Jewish woman. The family’s sudden move to Ohio, coupled with her need to see her son succeed, has exposed her impatient side.

    Michael — a Jewish boy in fourth grade. His natural buoyancy has been deflated by a lack of confidence. For the present, he’s lost faith in himself; he feels like an outsider.

    Ms. Lewis / Angel 2 — an African-American woman in her 50s; fourth-grade teacher. Her nutty cheerfulness springs from sheer exhaustion. She feels patience is a virtue that wastes time.

    Mirabelle — the fourth grade’s princess. Just as what she wears comes from a “treasure chest,” her speech issues from a glitter pen. She thinks everything would be more fun if it sparkled like her.

    Cynthia — Smug and perfect, she feels her fourth-grade class—or anyone else in hearing distance, for that matter—should take her advice. “Besides, it’s free!” Secretly, she develops a crush on Michael.

    Kyle — the tall, fourth-grade goofball. Like his cats, he’s self-sufficient and amused by his own world.

    Tyler — Empty-headed and trapped behind a school desk, he thinks of fourth grade as a chance to play kickball—or, at least, to practice orbiting the ball around his waist.

    Dad (Michael’s father) / Angel 1 / Moses — a Jewish man in his 30s/40s. He’s a slightly out-of-touch putterer and a zealous sports fan who applies “team spirit” to his family.

    Elijah Pierce — Born on a Mississippi plantation, and with hands as large and weathered as his voice is deep and soft, Elijah is anstatuesque, African-American barber and preacher in his 80s whose faith permeates his every action.

    Mr. Schoenbaum / Angel 2 — Retired at last, he volunteer-teaches at the Sunday school, funneling his

    foregone acting ambitions into the curriculum. He soldiers on as if each lesson plan were a script: once

    Jerod — an overeager Sunday School student.

    Rachel — a less-than-eager Sunday School student.

    Neil — a very attentive Sunday School student.

    Claire — an inattentive Sunday School student.

    The ensemble will also play the parts of carolers, a “musical” radiator, and families singing.


    The JCC of Greater Columbus, located at 1125 College Ave., Columbus, is a human service organization offering a varied program that is largely Jewish in nature. It is committed to enhancing the quality of family life and promoting the physical, intellectual and spiritual wellness of the individual. It provides health-related activities and cultural and educational programs that reflect the Jewish heritage. Although primarily a membership JCC, the JCC of Greater Columbus also delivers services to the community at large, including populations at risk. Through its wide array of programs, the JCC pursues its mission of strengthening the individual, family and community. For general information, contact the front desk of the JCC at (614) 231-2731. The JCC is a beneficiary of The Columbus Jewish Federation, and a United Way Agency, affiliated with The JCC Association.

    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans

    via release:
    Show times for The Producers are as follows: 8 pm, Saturday, March 1; 2:30 pm, Sunday, March 2; 7:30 pm, Thursday,

    March 6; 8 pm, Saturday, March 8; 2:30 pm, Sunday, March 9; 7:30 pm, Thursday, March 13; and two shows, at 2:30 pm

    and 7:30 pm, on Sunday, March 16. All shows take place in the Roth/Resler Theater of the Jewish Community Center of

    Greater Columbus, 1125 College Avenue, Columbus, OH 43209.

    Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.jccgalleryplayers.org or by contacting the box office at (614) 231-2731. Tickets

    cost $25 for nonmembers and $20 for JCC members; $23 for senior nonmembers and $18 for senior members; $15 for

    children 17 years and under or for students with a valid ID; and $15 per ticket for groups of 20 or more.

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