Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Aug 22nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Reason to Be

ae_jewishLocal Jewish Theatre company connects people with the Jewish experience

Every time they stage a new play, she’s remembered. Liliana Moraru, in many ways, was at the forefront of getting Santa Cruz’s Jewish Theatre launched, along with renowned local director/teacher Wilma Marcus Chandler and Claire Cameron. In 2009, Chandler gathered a group of actors and crewmembers, many connected with Temple Beth El in Aptos, and asked if they would be associated with putting together large-scale productions at the temple. However, the temple’s schedule wasn’t able to accommodate mounting major theater productions.

The next year, in 2010, the fledgling group morphed into a legitimate company with its first major production, “Crossing Delancey.” Moraru was supposed to be a part of the project, but sadly, she passed away before seeing the play. The company, now on its feet, knew its official name—The Liliana Moraru Santa Cruz Jewish Theatre. From there, the community theater group has been performing and producing steadily, with work that is either written by a Jewish person or has at the heart of the play a topic important to Jewish life.

 

Cameron became the artistic director and her husband, Fred Kuttner, is the managing director. They work with a group of hand-selected actors and this month the company is performing “Raison d’Etre—A Reason to Be,” written by Mollie Schwartz. It plays through Nov. 13 at the Live Oak Grange. According to the company’s website, the play is about, “A young man born in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, fights his way through the mob’s hold on boxing in the 1940s and into his dream of a different life.”

A “different life” is the key here—exploring what it means to be Jewish today. The company “is a window on the Jewish experience, all its sorrows, joys and perplexities,” says Kuttner. This might include literature, holidays, customs and culture. In part, the theater group exists as a tool “for Jewish people to stay in touch with their culture,” Kuttner adds. “Particularly in Santa Cruz, which has a fragmented Jewish community. A lot of people are not associated with the temple.”

For each person involved in the theater company, their history as a Jewish person is unique: For example, actor Ali Eppy grew up in a Christian home, but is now reconnecting to being Jewish. “Being involved with this company is a way of honoring my ancestors,” Eppy says. “It’s very much a cultural, ethnic experience.”

While the company focuses on Jewish playwrights or Jewish content, the team is fully open to non-Jews being a part of the crew or cast. They are an inclusive crowd.

“This play speaks to how anyone can change their life,” says Cameron. “If you have a dream and keep working toward it, you can have that dream happen and become a reality. … This is a wonderful avenue to present another aspect of diversity (with the company in Santa Cruz).”

 


The Liliana Moraru Jewish Theatre company will present “Raison d’Etre—A Reason to Be” until Nov. 13 at the Live Oak Grange, 1900 17th Ave., Santa Cruz. Show times are at 8 p.m. on Nov. 11 and 12 and 3 p.m. on Nov. 13. Tickets are $15/general; $12/students and seniors. For more information or to make a reservation, call 465-1411.

 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Trending Now

Whether you live by the Vogue bible or choose to go into your day wearing what you slept in, odds are you wear clothes.

 

The Thought Form of Solution

It’s our last week of Leo before the sun enters Virgo (next Friday/Saturday). The planets this week make complex patterns and relationships (vibrational cadences and rhythms) with the outer planets, mainly Neptune—the planet that veils, obscures, protects and finally refines us. Neptune offers us entrance into a deeply spiritual sense of comfort and solace. Neptune is the personality ruler of Pisces (saviors of the world) and soul ruler of Cancer (world mother). “The fish goddesses who leapt from earth (Virgo) to water (Pisces) unitedly give birth to the Fish God (Christ, the Soul) who introduces the waters of life  (Neptune & Aquarius) into the ocean of substance (matter, mother bringing light to the world. Thus does Neptune work.” (Esoteric Astrology).

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Cultures Collide

No surprises, but lots to savor in foodie film ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

 

Foodie File: Kauboi

Japanese-Western themed unites sushi with whiskey and beefgrill

 

How should Santa Cruz develop downtown around the San Lorenzo River?

Santa Cruz | Artist/Show Promoter

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Have Mercy!

Looking for a frisky summer wine at a reasonable price? Look no further than Mercy Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Richly textured “with an exotic flavor profile,” the wine reveals aromas of honeydew melon and honeysuckle, with anise appearing as a star attraction. Smidgeons of pineapple and honeycomb add a touch of sexiness to this well-balanced, easy-drinking wine, which pairs well with a variety of cuisine —especially ceviche, calamari and other not-too-heavy foods.