Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Ben Platt, Joel Grey, and More Join San Diego Rep's 28th Annual Jewish Arts Festival

Also featuring appearances from Hershey Felder, Tovah Feldshuh and more!

Ben Platt, Joel Grey, and More Join San Diego Rep's 28th Annual Jewish Arts Festival

San Diego Repertory Theatre is announced today the lineup for the 28th Annual Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival, presenting another fantastic year of Jewish music, theatre and art.

This year's festival includes plenty of virtuosic music from Tony Award-winner Ben Platt and his brothers Jonah and Henry in Ahavat Olam, four-time Tony Nominee Tovah Feldshuh singing favorites in Virtually With You, Soulfarm celebrating the music of The Grateful Dead live and in person at The Hive at Leichtag Commons, Perla Batalla returning with Songs of Love & Protest, and of course the return of the festival favorite, the Klezmer Summit: Sweet Home Anatevka.

This year also celebrates the 12th Annual Women of Valor with music, stories and images of four women who have made a significant impact in San Diego.

"This is our most accomplished and most accessible Festival," shared Festival Artistic Director Todd Salovey. "I'm so proud and excited by the nationally acclaimed artists in our diverse line-up. With most shows 'suggested donation only' we invite everyone to enjoy our shows."

The 28th annual presentation of the festival will feature a brand new festival of new Jewish plays, called The Whole Megillah. On Memorial Day Weekend, JFEST inaugurates a celebration of new voices in Jewish theatre, The Whole Megillah. This two-day new play festival highlights unproduced and unapologetically Jewish work for the American Theatre. Each powerhouse playwright explores Judaism and contemporary issues with a unique point of view. The Whole Megillah features Zoom readings of 4 diverse plays, and three expert panels of artists and scholars. Join to discover Jewish stories brimming with humor, drama and original voices expressing Jewish ideas from many perspectives: The Whole Megillah.

"This year, we are so proud to inaugurate The Whole Megillah, a new Jewish play festival that celebrates diverse and vibrant new Jewish voices in the American Theater," said Festival Associate Artistic Director Ali Viterbi. "As a Jewish playwright whose work has been cultivated at JFEST, I'm so thrilled to be a part of developing the next generation of great Jewish plays."

The festival will feature plenty more live theatre. A special highlight is director Joel Grey and star Steven Skybell with their collaborators in a live Zoom conversation on May 23rd about the making of the acclaimed off-Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, and May 16th will see a live performance directly from Florence, Italy of the world premiere of Hershey Felder as Sergei Rachmaninoff in Anna & Sergei. On May 20th, the celebrated and boundary-pushing Theatre Dybbuk will perform In Defense of Women. Nephesh Theatre, Canada's first professional Jewish theatre and now based in Tel Aviv, will present The Rain & the Wind, an original musical celebrating the life and music of Bob Dylan, taking place May 24th.

This year's JFEST will also see the return engagement of two festival favorite plays from recent years, both of which have been developed and perfected even further, with the hope that they'll appear in The REP's season in the future. First, on June 9th, San Diego REP Playwright-in-Residence and JFEST Honorary Jew Herbert Siguenza's intergalactic comedy Isaac Asimov Grand Master Funk is back, directed by Thomas W. Jones II. Then on June 13th, Festival Associate Artistic Director Ali Viterbi's inter-generational comic drama In Every Generation returns for an online reading.

The festival is offering a special event for Festival Donors of $180 and above: an evening of stand up featuring comedian Elon Gold! Gold's comedy has had festival audiences in stitches many times, and this year he returns as a thank you for JFEST donors of $180 and up with his special, I DO Mean o Complain.

This year's festival will last from May 13 - June 23, 2021, and features a slate of 15 virtual and live performances celebrating San Diego's diverse performing arts community. All events are available for reservations at sdrep.org/jfest with suggested donations (ticket purchase required for some events).


Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More
Branded Broadway Merch

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You