Arts Leaders Invite Community To Submit Stories And Explore 'For Goodness' Sake' For New Show In Los Angeles
Jewish Women's Theatre (JWT) is proud to announce that this year's new class of NEXT @ The Braid, a unique fellowship training program for emerging arts leaders, will produce For Goodness' Sake an original show to premier in Los Angeles exploring the good we seek, the good we never expected, and the good gone bad!
Writers and community members are invited to submit personal stories, poems, or songs of journeys that touch on the unexpected places a moral compass can lead individuals to ethical dilemmas and intriguing resolutions. To send thought-provoking, hilarious and gut-wrenching stories that explore how guilt, legacy, love and intention affect how good we are or how bad we can be, head to jewishwomenstheatre.org/next. NEXT fellows will review all submissions, curate select works, cast, direct, and debut their production under the guidance of JWT.
NEXT Fellow Chaz Volk shares why the theme For Goodness' Sake was selected, "Currently, it's very easy for our generation to get confused by the many messages, misleading facts, and biased agendas behind media we rely on. Here, we focus on For Goodness' Sake to question, justify, and reinforce truths behind 'good' and 'bad' deeds." Izzy Salant, another fellow, adds "A show showcasing how people can do good, or a show relating people who don't think they're doing good enough, is truly what we need right now."
With seed support from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles and continued support from Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles Department of Arts and Culture, Santa Monica Arts Commission, Erwin Rautenberg Foundation, and Y&S Nazarian NuRoots Partnership Initiative of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the NEXT program creates a unique opportunity to train and engage the next generation of diverse arts leaders and theatre professionals to stage the truths that connect us all while creating new relevant Jewish arts and culture from a young adult perspective.
David Chiu, a NEXT Fellow explains, "It's common to hear the phrase 'Jewish values' as if those are self-explanatory, but it feels like we're living in a time more divided than ever about the most basic of moral values, divisions that tear apart both the Jewish community and the wider world at large. We stare at each other, bewildered, wondering how we could disagree on the most seemingly clear-cut definitions of good and evil. For Goodness' Sake is our expression of shock. And yet, that phrase is also our roadmap back to wholeness, a reminder that Jewish tradition teaches every single one of us to constantly examine our actions, judging if they are truly done for the sake of goodness."
The opportunity to build community and find an artistic home is also what draws many young artists to the NEXT program. Izzy Salant, a theatre and journalism graduate who recently moved to the West Coast says, "Since I just moved here, one thing I was searching for immediately was the sense of community that usually exists in both Judaism and theatre. NEXT combines both. How could this not appeal to me?" David Chiu adds, "I'm blown away how each person combines their own confident artistic vision with a generous spirit of eager collaboration. And until now, I didn't know how much I craved being in community with young, creative artists."
NEXT also trains young professionals with new skills to shape their careers and contribute to our local arts and culture landscape. "NEXT provides an amazing foundational springboard that helps us to reach greater heights in our artistic careers through a careful mix of well thought out training and the freedom to explore our artistic voices," reflects Andrew Fromer, an alumni of the program who now serves as JWT's Assistant Artistic Director. Amanda Horowitz, a new college graduate adds, "I have thought about running my own theater company dedicated to producing new works with emerging artists. NEXT provides me with a means of seeing first-hand how a dedicated team can create and run a sustainable theater organization."
NEXT is thriving in its fourth year, with several original successful productions under its belt, including Guilty Parties and The Way Home, while training 20 fellows, engaging nearly 550 young adult "creatives" to showcase their talent and delighting over 2,600 audience members.
This year's NEXT fellows are: Leenie Baker, David Chiu, Amanda Horowitz, Charles Volk, Rachel Minkoff, Isaac "Izzy" Salant, Sara True Rosenthal, and Sophie Stern Greenbaum. Andrew Fromer and Daphna Shull are NEXT program alumni now part of JWT's professional staff, leading NEXT as Assistant Artistic Director and Literary Manager respectively with help from former NEXT Fellow Ora Yashar as Literary Consultant. To learn more about this talented cohort, visit: www.jewishwomenstheatre.org/next
JWT, which has been voted one of the "Best Live Theatres on the Westside" three years in a row by The Argonaut, stages and displays contemporary works and programming that provide a platform to share untold Jewish and celebrate the truths that connect all people. Now celebrating its 12th anniversary, JWT's original salon theatre displays a diverse and eclectic community of writers, artists and creators who celebrate Jewish life, one story at a time. Learn more about JWT at: www.jewishwomenstheatre.org.