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Jewish Family Theatre

As the only Jewish theatre in the Richmond area, the Weinstein JCC’s Jewish Family Theatre produces and presents plays that connect Jews to their own cultural community and build bridges to others. This talented group gives a voice to the amazing creativity present in our community, encouraging people to explore art in their own lives through affordable, high-quality theatrical experiences.

As a true community theatre, the JFT operates on an all-volunteer base. Friends of all ages and ethnicities, from beginners to experienced pros, are invited to learn, enjoy and participate in all aspects of our live theatre.

Kesem Inclusive Theatre Project

In Hebrew, the word "Kesem" means magic, and at the Weinstein JCC, we like to make magic! The Kesem Inclusive Theatre Project is a theatre education initiative from the Weinstein JCC for adults ages 22 and up. The Center is committed to offering inclusive programming within the community for people of all ages and abilities. Kesem will provide a comprehensive theatre education experience from process to performance. Recognizing the positive impact of arts education on the social, emotional and functional aspects of life for all individuals, the Weinstein JCC has compiled a qualified team of professionals to develop a program that will meet the needs of individuals with disabilities while providing a deep and meaningful experience for every participant.

The 2018 session of Kesem will run mid-May to late June, 2018 with a culminating performance in late June. 

If you are interested in learning more this exciting program, please contact Erin Mahone, Director of Cultural Arts and Jewish Engagement, at or (804) 545-8644. 

2017-18 Season

JFT Presents: Once Upon A Mattress

Once Upon a Mattress is a musical comedy reinterpretation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Princess and the Pea with music by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer, and book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer. If you thought you knew the story of The Princess and the Pea, you may be in for a walloping surprise! Carried on a wave of wonderful songs, by turns hilarious and raucous, romantic and melodic, this rollicking spin on the familiar classic of royal courtship and comeuppance provides for some side-splitting shenanigans. Chances are you’ll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again!

Once Upon a Mattress started out as an extended skit as a Jewish summer camp for adults. In the early to mid part of the 20th century, there were many summer recreational resorts where adults might do things like write and appear in a musical together. Many theatre professionals, from Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock (Fiddler on the Roof) to Moss Hart (You Can’t Take it With You), got their start at these camps. The play was later expanded for the Broadway stage, winning the Best Actress in a Musical Tony Award for young Carol Burnett in 1960 and the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical in 1997 with the Broadway revamp starring Sarah Jessica Parker!  

JFT Presents: Stars of David: Story to Song

You don’t have to be Jewish to relate to this funny and captivating musical review featuring original music by Broadway’s finest composers and lyricists. This new musical adaptation celebrates the Jewish identity of America’s most notable public figures. Stars of David: Story to Song is based on a book of stories collected by author Abigail Pogrebin from interviews with famous Jews, including Andy Cohen, Edgar Bronfman,Sr., Fran Drescher, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and others, about their Jewish experience. The collection includes songs by Michael Feinstein, Marvin Hamlisch, Sheldon Harnick and more!

Based on the Book by Abigail Pogrebin. Conceived by Aaron Harnick. Directed by Debra Clinton.

JFT Presents: Apples from the Desert

A poignant drama about love and reconciliation adapted by one of Israel’s most beloved authors from her own short story, this hit Israeli play follows the young Sephardic Rivka, a religious teenager, who falls for Dooby, a secular kibbutznik, at a dance class in Jerusalem. She arranges to follow him back to his kibbutz in the Negev Desert, but not before Rivka’s orthodox parents bar her from leaving, forcibly at first, only to chase after Rivka as she flees. A timeless and timely confrontation between tradition and modernity becomes a moving reckoning, as the sweetest of meals is offered and two generations learn to make peace.

By Sayvon Liebrecht. Translation by Shir Freibach. Directed by Debra Clinton. 

For more information about our Jewish Family Theatre, contact Cultural Arts & Jewish Education Director Erin Mahone at 545-8644 or