Latest to announce its coming production season: the Sarasota Jewish Theater, now in its second year as a project of the Jewish Federation of Sarasota/Manatee.
SJT is designed to present contemporary and classic plays with Jewish themes, new works by Jewish playwrights, and to offer workshops, classes and speakers. The 2022 winter/spring season will commence in February.
The one-woman show Rose, starring longtime Sarasota actress Carolyn Michel, leads off, Feb. 2-6. (Each play will have one preview and four performances in all, and separate Zoom discussions with the cast and directors.) Rose tells the story of a woman’s survival from the devastation of Nazi-ruled Europe to living the American dream in Miami Beach. It will be directed by former Asolo Rep producing artistic director Howard Millman.
Next up, actress Geraldine Librandi recreates her performance as Bracha Weissman, a Holocaust survivor, in The Interview. Bracha reluctantly agrees to be interviewed for the Shoah Project, and in a turn of events, what begins as a simple oral history becomes a story of mothers and daughters, of forgiveness and being forgiven. Directed by SJT artistic director Carole Kleinberg, The Interview runs March 2-6 and also features Katherine Michelle Tanner.
Finishing off the three-play season will be the stage adaptation of Mitch Albom’s popular memoir, Tuesdays with Morrie. It’s the true story of journalist Albom’s regular visits with his former university professor, Morrie Schwartz, as Schwartz battles ALS. The emotional drama will star Don Walker and runs April 6-10.
Artistic director Kleinberg says, “In a community that supports a thriving black theater, it seems to me that there is a place for a strong, professional Jewish theater. We theater people are storytellers, and especially in this political climate, I think it is important to tell Jewish stories, to celebrate Jewish authors, and to offer programs and plays which open a dialogue in the most positive way possible.”
SJT will be performing live onstage at the new interim theater at the Players Centre in the Crossings of Siesta Key on Tamiami Trail and Siesta Drive. The company also hopes to stream the plays for a week following the live performances, but awaits clearance from the Actors Equity union for that.
For live productions, vaccines and masks will be required. Tickets range from $18 to $36 and are available at jfedsrq.org/events. You can also find more information at sarasotajewishtheatre.org or by emailing [email protected].