Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) will celebrate "The Festival of Lights" with the return of Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Shari Aronson, based on the book by Eric A. Kimmel. Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins received its professional premiere in December 2008 at MJTC, and the goblin puppets garnered an Ivey Award for Chris Griffith at the ceremony on September 21, 2009 for his design and creation of the puppets.

The story follows Hershel of Ostropol who has been walking long and hard with growing anticipation for the Hanukkah holiday. Tired and hungry, he imagines the smell of latkes and the bright lights of the menorah. But when Hershel arrives in Helmsbergville, the village is silent. Goblins have been preventing Hanukkah in Helmsbergville for years. Can this visitor help bring Hanukkah back? Enlisted by the townspeople, Hershel agrees to spend eight nights in the old synagogue to try to defeat the goblins.

Kurt Schweickhardt returns to MJTC to direct this interactive play for the second time. Schweickhardt is a freelance actor and director as well as a full time teacher at Normandale Community College (NCC) where he also directs regularly. Schweickhardt has a long history with MJTC, directing The 75th in the inaugural season, followed by The Value of Names (1996) and Old Wicked Songs (1997 and 1998). Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins will feature Wendy Freshman (Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, 2008, The Magic Dreidels, The 75th, The God of Isaac), Elena Giannetti (Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, 2008, The Triangle Factory Fire Project), Joshua Larson (Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, 2008), Tamara Philbrick Ripley, and M. Scott Taulman (The Triangle Factory Fire Project).

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins opens December 5, 2009 and plays through December 22, 2009 with performances Saturdays at 7pm, Sundays at 2pm, and Tuesday through Friday mornings. Ticket prices are $16. Group discounts are available for school groups. All performances are held at MJTC's theater home, Hillcrest Center Theater, 1978 Ford Parkway, Saint Paul: A house of scale that says "Welcome!" For ticket reservations, call 651-647-4315 Monday through Friday 9 am - 5:30 pm, or email info@mnjewishtheatre.org.

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company is a non-profit organization now in its 15th year of presenting professional productions rooted in the Jewish experience and illuminating The Common humanity among us all. The audience for MJTC is almost equally divided between Jews and non-Jews. For further information about MJTC, call 651-647-4315 or visit our website at www.mnjewishtheatre.org. Join our Facebook family at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Saint-Paul-MN/Minnesota-Jewish-Theatre Company/44432069548.

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