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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 21 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 2nd Annual Kesem production was a staged reading of the Tales of Sholem Aleichem. Sholem Aleichem was a great Jewish humorist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The legendary musical film and play Fiddler on the Roof was based on the Aleichem story, Tevye’s Daughters. The stories center on Tevye the dairyman, one of the most delightful and amusing characters in all of fiction, and his struggles to maintain his cultural traditions in the face of changing times. Stories of family, love, loss, and humor are set in a small village in Russia over 100 years ago – and yet these universal themes resonate with audiences of all backgrounds, even today.

If you are interested in participating or learning more about Kesem Inclusive Theatre Project, please contact Erin Mahone, Director of Cultural Arts and Jewish Engagement, at emahone@weinsteinjcc.org or (804) 545-8644. People of all faiths and backgrounds are invited to participate!

2017-18 Season

JFT Presents: Annie Get Your Gun


Rough-and-tumble Annie Oakley is the best shot around. A backwoods gal, Annie uses her skill to support her family by selling the game she hunts. When she’s discovered by Buffalo Bill and persuaded to join his Wild West Show, Annie is plucked from obscurity and becomes the toast of Europe. Annie meets her match in Frank Butler, Buffalo Bill’s leading man and star marksman. She falls head over heels for Frank, but soon eclipses him as the main attraction in the show. Her success with a gun makes trouble for Annie’s chance at romance. Annie Get Your Gun follows the journey of Annie and Frank, revealing their competitive natures as they vie for best shot - and each other’s hearts. This fictionalized version of the life of real-life sharpshooter Annie Oakley and her romance with Frank Butler boasts a score of Irving Berlin gems including There’s No Business Like Show Business, I Got Lost in His Arms, I Got the Sun in the Mornin’, Anything You Can Do, and They Say It’s Wonderful.

Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin. Book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields. Directed by Debra Clinton.

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. Directed by Debra Clinton.

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