Jtgr We Banner Copy 2021 Webbanner1 Webbanner2

Welcome to Jewish Theatre

Founded in 1992, Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids is dedicated to presenting quality theatrical productions with Jewish themes that are universal in appeal. In doing so, we hope to enrich the Jewish experience in West Michigan, and inform, educate, and engage both the Jewish and non-Jewish community. You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy Jewish Theatre! It's live theatre to learn, love and laugh with!

************************************************************************

jtgr-kunstler-header.jpg#asset:1973

SPECIAL LIVE PERFORMANCE - ONE NIGHT ONLY

K U N S T L E R

a full-length play by Jeffrey Sweet featuring GR actors Gary Mitchell and Brooke Bruce; directed by Mary Beth Quillin.

PERFORMANCE, VIEWING & TICKETING DETAILS:

Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. The play will be performed live at Wealthy Theatre where a small studio audience will watch as the play is video streamed and recorded.
Purchase a $25 ticket with the button below to watch the real-time live performance from your home using YouTube.com. Viewing links and credentials will be provided after purchase. 

Thursday, Dec. 17, Saturday, Dec. 19, and Sunday, Dec. 20 A recorded version of the performance will be available on-demand on YouTube any time during the day on these 3 dates.
Purchase a $10 Flexpass with the button below to watch the recorded on-demand performance. Viewing links and credentials will be provided after purchase.

The Story behind the Play:

Kunstler follows a day in the life of the late American-Jewish radical lawyer and civil rights activist William Kunstler as he arrives at a college campus to give a seminar. Well known for his politically unpopular clients, and famous for defending the Chicago Seven, Attica prison rioters, and American Indian Movement, Kunstler's notorious career is met with an unwelcoming crowd. African-American law student Kerry Nicholas is assigned to introduce him despite being the member of the school’s speaker program who strongly objected to his appearance. Kunstler energetically recounts his controversial cases as Kerry struggles with the urge to challenge him publicly.

pov-w-kunstler_t800.jpg#asset:1974:fiveHundred

Above: Kunstler (right) at a New York City rally to protest the deaths of 40 inmates at Attica State Prison, 1971. Holding the speaker horn is Charles Kenyatta, former bodyguard of Malcolm X.

SHOW REVIEWS:

“Along with being admirable theater, a stirring history lesson, and a vivid character portrait, Kunstler, Jeffrey Sweet’s galvanizing play is sure to inspire budding lawyers.” – The Journal News
"KUNSTLER excels at every level, bringing alive not only a famous character, but the era in which he lived and the controversies in which he played so lively a part." - Front Row Center
“…wise and revealing…[a] skillful script…KUNSTLER is an eye-opening history lesson.” —NYTimes.
…a compelling portrayal of the high profile trial lawyer…This fascinating [play] provides a unique insight into Kunstler’s life and times…Regardless of your opinion of William Kunstler, you will find KUNSTLER to be a captivating and entertaining show.” — BroadwayWorld.com.
“A well-crafted and smartly organized script that’s infused with generous dollops of humor…Sweet’s vivid integration of so many…historic events is remarkable—especially the vivid recollections of the infamous Attica prison riots…” — CurtainUp.com.
“KUNSTLER excels at every level, bringing alive not only a famous character, but the era in which he lived and the controversies in which he played so lively a part…It is a fitting compliment to KUNSTLER to say that Kunstler, the theatrical iconoclast, would approve. So will you.” — TheFrontRowCenter.com.
“…Sweet offers up a clever script exposing a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of what really went down during [Kunstler’s] high profile cases…This is a captivating and powerful theatrical event that will leave you cheering.” — StageBuddy.com.


************************************************************************

lenrobinson.jpg#asset:447:seventyFiveWide

It is with great sadness that we report the recent passing of Len Robinson, former President and Artistic Director of Jewish Theatre. He was a wonderful human and will be so badly missed by us all. Use this link if you would like to make a DONATION to JTGR in his memory.

JTGR's reflections on recent events:

“You cannot stand idly by while your neighbor is bleeding.”

Those words, a reference to Torah, were what our past president Len Robinson, may he rest in peace, wanted to share with you.

Our country and the world have faced so much tragedy and loss this year. The global pandemic challenged our physical health, our economic stability, and separated us from our loved ones. Life changed in ways most of us have never before experienced.

On top of the grief and fear we were already feeling, the disproportionate loss of life among people of color during the pandemic; punctuated by the high-profile killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, have raised awareness of the injustices and inequities in our system that must be addressed.

There is a long history of Jews standing up for oppressed groups and fighting side by side with African Americans for civil rights, justice, and equality. We at Jewish Theatre stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of color in working towards raising awareness and creating a more just society.

Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids is dedicated to presenting quality theatrical productions with Jewish themes that are universal in appeal. Some of these themes represent Jewish values and resonate stronger than ever today, such as welcoming the stranger, honoring all of humanity, and Tikkun Olam (to repair the world).

Our main vehicle, the stage, is currently dark due to the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped thinking about how we strive to entertain, engage, and enrich people of all faiths. We like to say you don’t have to be Jewish to love Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids, and today we add you don’t have to be Jewish to join us in honoring human dignity, loving peace, striving for social justice and equality, and working at Tikkun Olam. Let us all unite to stop our neighbor’s bleeding, now and forever.

Learn More

Special Live Performance - 1 Night Only

Kunstler Web

Livestream on Sun., December 13 at 8 p.m.
Watch the real-time live performance from your home by purchasing a $25 ticket.

Recorded performance available Dec. 17, 19, and 20
Watch the recorded on-demand performance by purchasing a $10 Flexpass.

Full Show Information and details are near the top of our Home Page.

Season Information

Three Great Shows in 2021!

Full Season Info

Support JTGR

DONATE to JTGR


Shop through AmazonSmile using the link below and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchase to JTGR. It's simple and easy, looks and feels the same normal Amazon shopping, and there is no cost to you. We appreciate your support!

Shop AmazonSmile

Ticket/Show Information

1Productions are held at Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain St. NE on the campus of Grand Rapids Community College.

2Most JTGR productions run on Thursdays and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Due to the smaller venue of the Black Box Theatre at Spectrum Theatre, the first production has 2 additional performances at 8 p.m. on the Wednesdays during the run.

Ticktets Prices
General admission: $28
Senior Citizens (62+): $25
Student: $10 with ID
Final Dress Rehearsal (Call for Details): $5
Group Rates available (10 or more people, advance tickets only)

Read More

Audition Info

All auditions are held at Spectrum Theatre, 160 Fountain St. NE on the campus of Grand Rapids Community College; Sunday audition at 2 p.m., Monday night at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Be sure to check the Auditions page for exact times and locations.

More Details



Facebook Logo
Follow JTGR on Facebook
"Like" Us to get the latest updates!

History

Past Productions

See a list of our Past Productions

Click Here

Photo Galleries

Browse Photos from previous productions.

Photos

Get Involved

1We welcome volunteers. Each production requires many hands to become reality. If you would like to join our Mishpacha (family), use the Volunteer page to let us know! Whether it is ushering, helping with refreshments, distributing publicity or assisting backstage, every volunteer counts!

2If you would like to be added to our mailing list to receive information about our productions, use the contact page to provide us with your mailing information.

Testimonials

  • "Local theater at its best. Truly Grand Rapids' hidden gem"

    -- Amber Brandt    April 10, 2016
  • "We saw "For This Moment Alone" last night. What an outstanding production; very thoughtful with richly dimensional characters fully portrayed. Freddie's eyes are a story unto themselves. Special kudos to Christian Poquette whose set design is almost a replica of my Bubbie's home from when I was a kid growing up in Toronto in the early '50s."

    -- Dave Kagan    April 2016
  • "I found "For This Moment Alone" very poignant with tension-relieving humor and a thoughtful ending."

    -- Celeste Gerke    April 2016
  • "Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids presents a variety of quality productions with enduring messages, excellent staging, acting and directing. (Seldom is there a miss in the years I have attended.) Certainly at least on a par with the best in town, even some with better budgets and bigger hype. The "The Whipping Man" was one of the most emotionally charged plays I've ever seen. Thankfully there were talkbacks after the performances to vent some of the strong feelings the play brought to the surface. Jewish Theatre is the only ethnic theatre addressing universal themes in a Jewish context. See for yourself soon."

    -- Bruce Roller    January 2, 1014
  • ""A Happy End" - It was a good performance last night! Very timely. We always enjoy JTGR performances. You bring some thought-provoking performances to town."

    -- Eric Soya    September 2017

Latest News

  • In Memorian

    Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids is sad to announce the recent passing of two giants of Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids: JTGR founder Donald Herman in 2019 and former Board President and Artistic Director, Len Robinson in 2020. May their memory be for a blessing. Use our donation page if you would like to make a donation in their memory.

    Updated: 10.12.2020
  • 2018 Grand Awards Announced

    Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids is thrilled to announce FIVE Grand Award WINS for 2018! Mazel Tov to:

    • Michelle Urbane, won for Outstanding Direction of a Play for "Torch Song Trilogy," by Harvey Fierstein.
    • "Torch Song Trilogy," by Harvey Fierstein for Outsanding Play.
    • Shane German as Arnold Beckoff in "Torch Song Trilogy," by Harvey Fierstein, won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play.
    • Isaac Thorenson as David in "Torch Song Trilogy," by Harvey Fierstein, won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play.
    • Bernice Houseward as Mrs. Beckoff in "Torch Song Trilogy," by Harvey Fierstein, won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play.
    Congratulations also to "Olive and the Bitter Herbs" cast members Lori Jacobs as Olive and Shavonne T. Coleman as Wendy for their Outstanding Lead Actress and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a play nominations.

    Updated: 10.22.2018