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National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene Names Dominick Balletta Executive Director

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National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene Names Dominick Balletta Executive Director

The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) today announced the appointment of Dominick Balletta as the renowned theatre company's new Executive Director effective November 1.

Currently serving as the Managing Director at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY, Balletta has more than three decades of experience in the world of theatre and film, including service as General Manager at Film Forum, the nation's leading nonprofit cinema, General Manager/Producer for Moisés Kaufman's Tectonic Theater Project, and Managing Director at Performance Space 122. He is also an Advisor and Associate Consultant for the DeVos Institute of Arts Management.

"I'm extremely thrilled to return to the theater world as Executive Director of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene," said Balletta. "To be at the head of such a leading-edge company, using Yiddish theater and culture to bring to the forefront the human issues facing our contemporary society, is both inspiring and humbling. And to do so in partnership with the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is a once in a lifetime gift. I thank the Board of Trustees and Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek for inviting me into the Folksbiene community and entrusting me with the dynamic and visionary programming we will present this season and for years to come."

He added, "For the past 11 years, my family and I have been a part of the Jacob Burns Film Center family. It has been an honor to live and work in Pleasantville, surrounded by the talented JBFC staff and dedicated Board of Directors, as well as a thriving community devoted to making this village a place that celebrates and supports culture in all its forms."

NYTF also announced that board members Carol Levin and Sandy Cahn have been tapped as the new co-chairs of the NYTF Board of Directors. The Board also thanked Board Chair Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, who will now serve as Chair Emeritus, for his many years of leadership at NYTF.

"The whole team is truly fortunate to welcome someone of Dominick Balletta's caliber into the Folksbiene family," said NYTF Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek. "He brings a wealth of experience, innovative ideas, and enthusiasm, and we are eager to begin work with Dominick as we continue this exciting and innovative Season of Spiritual Resistance."

Balletta joins NYTF on the heels of its spectacular, sold-out run of the Yiddish presentation of Fiddler on The Roof in Yiddish (which continues to run Off-Broadway uptown at Stage 42 after its six-month run downtown) and this summer's Hannah Senesh, and as the 2019-2020 season continues with signature programming this fall, winter, and spring. For the first time ever, NYTF is presenting four mainstage productions with a flexible season subscription. The productions, concerts and readings were curated to accompany the exhibit Auschwitz: Not long ago. Not far away on display at the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

The season features Di Kishefmakherin (The Sorceress), a fairytale-like story (in Yiddish) of a pure-hearted young woman who triumphs over her tormentors, a scheming stepmother and a wicked witch (in December); a collaboration with Theater of War Productions to present scenes from Peter Weiss' play The Investigation, a searing piece of theater adapted from the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials of 1963-1965 (in January 2020); and, the New York debut of the acclaimed musical Harmony by the legendary Barry Manilow and his longtime collaborator Bruce Sussman (in February 2020). The musical tells the true story of the Comedian Harmonists, an ensemble of six talented young men in 1920s Germany who took the world by storm with their signature blend of sophisticated close harmonies and uproarious stage antics, until their inclusion of Jewish singers put them on a collision course with history. Tickets and information are available at

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