November 2022 Newsletter

Scroll down for: A note of gratitude from our Executive Director, Theatremacher Updates Galore, Lila Rose Kaplan on Theatre Schmooze, and more!
A Note of Gratitude
From AJT Executive Director,
Willow Jade Norton


Thank you.

Thank you, Members!

Thank you, artists, culture leaders, innovators, and instigators for sharing, questioning, and celebrating creativity and culture at this year’s AJT conference. 

We got to explore what it meant to REVIVE & RENEW.
We met the moment with our whole self.

We breathed in this intention- to step into our Jewish identity-and the world — with greater empathy and awareness. The community found each other at the intersection of theatre and Jewish culture and shared offerings to thrive.

Let us continue this work and have empathy and awareness as we move through the world. We can model the behavior we want to see and create a culture of belonging.

With Gratitude,

Willow Jade Norton
Executive Director, AJT
Macher Lab Showing
Theatremacher Works in Progress

Macher Lab Showing – of Theatremacher Works in Progress
The Macher Lab has been meeting since June for monthly sessions led by Macher Lab Program Director Illana Stein and
Macher Lab Literary Director Alix Rosenfeld.
Join us for this virtual event to hear the excerpts of eight new projects that were all workshopped during the 2022 Macher Lab.  
Monday, November 7, 8-9:30 PM ET/ 5-6:30 PM PT

Click here to RSVP for the event by Mon November 7 at 7PM ET!
This event is free for all to attend.
Registration closes 1 hour before the event.

Macher Lab Artists (from left to right)
Top row: Catherine Weingarten, Elyssa Nicole Trust, Shara Feit, Lisa Kenner Grissom
Bottom row: Molly Rose Heller, Tyler Herman, Makena Metz, Evalena Friendman

Welcome to our first-year Theatremachers!

Izzy Salant
Matthew Basen

Alex Marcus
Stav Meishar
A.R. Cohen/Corwin
Michal Birnbaum
Noah Schoenberg
Mia Ruth Cohen
Noam Shapiro
Yair Ben-Dor

A note from Theatremacher Program Director
Illana Stein

Since 2020, I have been AJT’s Theatremacher Program Director, and soon, we will welcome our newest cohort of emerging artists. We have an active community, spanning eight states across the US, and internationally representing Canada, UK, Hungary, and New Zealand. The program has expanded to offer year-round programming. We meet for skill-building workshops such as devising theater, clowning, and puppetry. We connect to artistic leaders through Menschs & Mentors, and we gather to speak about artistic representation, share our Jewish rituals, learn how to advocate for each other, and hear from our international participants about their Jewish experiences around the world. Out of this group, the first Jewish theater company has been started in New Zealand and a new Jewish theater company is forming in LA! Our Theatremacher community is thriving and growing.  

We brought back the Macher Lab. Since June, we’ve been meeting monthly to explore the projects of eight Theatremacher artists. You can hear their new work at the upcoming Macher Lab Showing on Monday, November 7, 8-9:30 PM ET/ 5-6:30 PM PT. Above, you can sign up for the event!

As a busy theater artist, I’m grateful for the Jewish holidays that have just passed. A forced reset, to reflect and think about new intentions. It’s also time for AJT’s annual conference. I always sign up thinking it will be about networking but leave with an invested, personal connection to the greater Jewish community. After a reviving day of the conference, I was inundated by images on Instagram of hate-filled messages plastered above LA’s 405, along with the salutes. But here is where I don’t lose hope. Our community. If you haven’t found that within AJT, perhaps tap into your renewed sense of purpose to put yourself out there more or create your own. As I tell the Theatremachers, you get out of the program, what you put in.

It is now time to make our AJT community heard.  At the polls. Make a voting a plan. There are too many personal liberties at stake. I’m taking a step forward into the new year with a renewed sense of purpose. I’ll see you at the Theatremacher Showing on the 7th and at the polls on the 8th! 

Join me.

Illana Stein
AJT Theatremacher Program Director
Theatre Schmooze
Season 3 Episode 1 with Lila Rose Kaplan

Theatre Schmooze is a monthly podcast from Alliance for Jewish Theatre where we chat with Jewish theatre makers from around the world about their art, Judaism, and vision for theatre’s future.

"Finding a Fairytale" (Season 3, Episode 1) dropped on Monday, October 10 with our seventeenth guest: Lila Rose Kaplan, a playwright and writer based in Somerville, Massachusetts. Tune in as Lila Rose and Danielle discuss how Lila's plays have developed and changed with every performance, what creating work during the pandemic felt like, and her upcoming project: Leah & Her Dybbuk, part of Theater J’s Yiddish Theatre Project.

Theatre Schmooze is a monthly podcast from Alliance for Jewish Theatre where we chat with Jewish theatre makers from around the world about their art, Judaism, and vision for theater’s future.

Hosted by Danielle Levsky (AJT Board Member, clown, writer, instructor, producer, and theatre journalist), Theatre Schmooze will feature one-on-one conversations with artists that will illuminate the heart, soul, and diversity of contemporary Jewish theatre.

Theatre Schmooze is an Alliance for Jewish Theatre program, produced by Danny Debner and Danielle Levsky. Our theme music is by Ilya Levinson and Alex Koffman, and our logo was created by Michelle Shapiro.

Listen on your favorite podcast app — Apple PodcastsSoundCloudSpotify, Google PodcastsBreaker, and PocketCasts!

Listen to "Finding a Fairytale" (S3 E1) with Lila Rose Kaplan
November 2022
Member Bulletin Board!
AJT Members: Submit Content to our Bulletin Board Here!

AJT's November 2022 Bulletin Board

Check out events and news from AJT's theatres & members!

Emma Goldman-Sherman's (AJT Memebr in New York, NY) FUKT is an oddly uplifting tale of traumatic memory, murder & private parts! With zombies, a striptease and song, this immersive journey to bare all is a healing balm for anyone with a secret.

Emma tries to perform a one-woman show, only Barbara and Bobbie demand to be included. Bobbie carries the memories. Barbara forgot and doesn't want to remember. FUKT is about how three fragmented aspects of a traumatized person come together to heal.

For more on FUKT, click here!

Jewish Plays Project Leaders David Winitsky (Artistic Director, AJT Member in Brooklyn, NY), Heather Helinsky (Dramaturg) and Illana Stein (Artistic Producer, AJT Theatremacher Prog. Dir. in New York, NY) are proud to announce the Festival of New Jewish Plays, featuring the winners of the 2020, 2021, and 2022 National Jewish Playwriting Contests, in partnership with the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan and The Workshop, North America’s first arts fellowship centering the work of JOCISM (Jews of Color, Jewish-Indigenous, Sephardi & Mizrahi) artists & culture-makers. 

The three plays are:

  • Wed 11/30 @ 7 PM — OKLAHOMA SAMOVAR by Alice Eve Cohen, directed by Eric Nightengale
  • Thurs 12/1 @ 1 PM — MADELEINES by Bess Welden, directed by Annette Jolles 
  • Thurs 12/1 @ 7 PM — A MOVING PICTURE by Jennie Berman Eng, directed by Rebecca S’Manga Frank

The Festival is presented for public and industry audiences, with a goal of finding World Premiere productions for these plays. The JPP is proud that OKLAHOMA SAMOVAR will also be featured at AJT member Jewish Theater of Oklahoma on 11/12 & 11/13. All three readings are Pay What You Wish. Reservations are required.

For more information and tickets, visit

Alice Eve Cohen's (AJT Member in New York, NY) play OKLAHOMA SAMOVAR, winner of the 2021 National Jewish Playwriting Contest, will be presented by Jewish Plays Project at the JCC Manhattan, in a rehearsed reading directed by Eric Nightengale. Synopsis: In 1887, two Latvian teenagers flee the Russian army and become the only Jews in the Oklahoma Land Run. A century later, their daughter reinvents their story, aided by ghosts, blintzes, and strong Russian tea. Based on real events in the playwright's family history.

More about this presentation here!

Members — Would you like to be more involved in shaping the content and structure of your AJT? There are working committees on all things from programming to DEI to fundraising.
Email with your interest.
Part-time Administrative Associate.
Look for the official job positing in the coming weeks!
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