Indiana's only Jewish Theatre
Abby Lee and Tess Cunningham in Church and State
The Jewish Theatre of Bloomington is deeply committed to both Judaism and theatre. It is our intent to produce works that arise from or reflect the Jewish experience, but that also focus on universal issues of the human condition that are accessible to a diverse audience. Our aim is to bring together an audience of Jews and non-Jews to explore aspects of Jewish life in a modern world.
Why did we start the theatre?
The genre of Jewish theatre is a vibrant performing arts experience with a rich and long standing international history. "For me, it is an extension or outgrowth of what I had been doing informally for several years in the Jewish community," says Audrey Heller, Producing Artistic Director.
With a deep commitment to both Judaism and the theatre, the formation of a Jewish theatre company seemed a natural thing to do. So in 2005, the Jewish Theatre of Bloomington (JTB) proudly took its place as the only one of its kind located in Indiana.
Sarah Leaffer and Devin May in The Last Night of Ballyhoo
The Jewish Theatre of Bloomington was founded by Audrey Heller and Bakol Ruben Gellar. Both women had been actively involved in theatre for many years and when they met in 2003, their mutual love of theatre along with their commitment to Judaism led to the idea of forming a Jewish theatre company.
Audrey received her Master's Degree in Speech Pathology from the Pennsylvania State University. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor Emerita in The IU Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. Audrey then studied theatre at Columbia University and took directing courses at Cal State Long Beach and IU. She has directed for Diversity Theatre and the Jewish Theatre of Bloomington. She has been a puppeteer with Puck Players Puppet Theatre. She was Producing Artistic Director for Diversity Theatre and co-coordinator for MOSAIC, an annual diversity film festival.
Though Bakol was one of the founders of The Jewish Theatre of Bloomington, she left the company in the late 2000's and moved to Israel. At this point, Darrell Stone joined Audrey as co-artistic director for three seasons. Darrell now serves informally as Artistic Advisor.
Managing Director: Cassie Hakken
Iris Kiesling ~ President
Anne Steigerwald ~ Secretary
Deb Allmayer ~ Treasurer