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.

Be sure to join us at our next event, The Last Cyclist!

Written in Terezin during the Holocaust, The Last Cyclist is a daring absurdist comedy in which bicyclists are blamed for all of society’s ills. While nothing in the play talks about the Holocaust or Jews or Nazis, its anti-Nazi allegory was so overt that it was banned following its dress rehearsal and never performed. The script, nearly lost to time, was painstakingly reconstructed and reimagined by the writer and producer Naomi Patz, beginning in 1995 and eventually made its way to the stage.

Weinstein JCC’s Jewish Family Theatre is proud to bring its performance of The Last Cyclist to the Richmond community on Wednesday, April 27 at 7pm, thanks to the generous support from Rhona and Irving Blank as well as the Henry and Gertrude Kupfer Holocaust Education Fund of the Richmond Jewish Foundation. The play, in commemoration of Yom Hashoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day and directed by Debra Clinton with musical accompaniment by Natan Berenshteyn, allows audiences to bear witness, as if they, too, are attending that fateful dress rehearsal in the concentration camp. It brings to light the dangers of totalitarianism, herd-like behavior and the frightening extremes to which bullying can lead.

Additional performances of Jewish Family Theatre’s production of The Last Cyclist will take place at the Virginia Holocaust Museum on Thursday, April 28 and Congregation Beth Ahabah on Sunday, May 1. All performances will be in person. For those who are interested in viewing a livestream performance, please contact Lisa Looney at llooney@weinsteinjcc.org. For more information about the performance at the Weinstein JCC and to purchase tickets, click here.

About the Director

A theatre artist in the Richmond community for over 30 years, Debra Clinton has made a career performing, directing, writing, and teaching theatre. Directorial credits include work at Virginia Repertory Theatre, Firehouse Theatre, Richmond Triangle Players, Dogwood Dell and countless productions here at the JCC, including work on the inclusive theatre program, Kesem. Debra is a proud recipient of the 2013 Theresa Pollack award for excellence in theatre, as well as a recipient of a Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Award for her libretto and lyrics for the original musical, Croaker, along with composer Jason Marks.

By day, Debra moonlights as a theatre instructor in Hanover County, providing the opportunity to pass along her love and knowledge of theatre and spend her days doing what she loves. She is grateful to her supportive family who have always grounded her and to all those at the Weinstein JCC who support the arts and the work done by 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.

Be sure to join us at our next event, The Last Cyclist!

Written in Terezin during the Holocaust, The Last Cyclist is a daring absurdist comedy in which bicyclists are blamed for all of society’s ills. While nothing in the play talks about the Holocaust or Jews or Nazis, its anti-Nazi allegory was so overt that it was banned following its dress rehearsal and never performed. The script, nearly lost to time, was painstakingly reconstructed and reimagined by the writer and producer Naomi Patz, beginning in 1995 and eventually made its way to the stage.

Weinstein JCC’s Jewish Family Theatre is proud to bring its performance of The Last Cyclist to the Richmond community on Wednesday, April 27 at 7pm, thanks to the generous support from Rhona and Irving Blank as well as the Henry and Gertrude Kupfer Holocaust Education Fund of the Richmond Jewish Foundation. The play, in commemoration of Yom Hashoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day and directed by Debra Clinton with musical accompaniment by Natan Berenshteyn, allows audiences to bear witness, as if they, too, are attending that fateful dress rehearsal in the concentration camp. It brings to light the dangers of totalitarianism, herd-like behavior and the frightening extremes to which bullying can lead.

Additional performances of Jewish Family Theatre’s production of The Last Cyclist will take place at the Virginia Holocaust Museum on Thursday, April 28 and Congregation Beth Ahabah on Sunday, May 1. All performances will be in person. For those who are interested in viewing a livestream performance, please contact Lisa Looney at llooney@weinsteinjcc.org. For more information about the performance at the Weinstein JCC and to purchase tickets, click here.

About the Director

A theatre artist in the Richmond community for over 30 years, Debra Clinton has made a career performing, directing, writing, and teaching theatre. Directorial credits include work at Virginia Repertory Theatre, Firehouse Theatre, Richmond Triangle Players, Dogwood Dell and countless productions here at the JCC, including work on the inclusive theatre program, Kesem. Debra is a proud recipient of the 2013 Theresa Pollack award for excellence in theatre, as well as a recipient of a Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Award for her libretto and lyrics for the original musical, Croaker, along with composer Jason Marks.

By day, Debra moonlights as a theatre instructor in Hanover County, providing the opportunity to pass along her love and knowledge of theatre and spend her days doing what she loves. She is grateful to her supportive family who have always grounded her and to all those at the Weinstein JCC who support the arts and the work done by Jewish Family Theatre.