Saturday, January 16 at 7:30 PM EST

Sunday, January 17 at 2:00 PM EST

Online via Zoom

You are invited to the Jewish Theatre of Bloomington's latest virtual production! Join us via Zoom for "Blessings from the Pandemic," a poetry cycle written for performance by Rich Orloff. This reading is directed by Darrell Ann Stone.

What: Blessings from the Pandemic
When: Saturday, January 16 at 7:30pm AND Sunday, January 17 at 2:00pm (EST)

Where: Online via Zoom. To receive the Zoom link, you must RSVP. On the day of the show, you will receive an email with the link and pre-show details. 
Suggested Donation: $25, but pay what you can.

Talkbacks: Directly following each performance, JTB will host a virtual Talkback featuring the cast, director, and special guests.

After submitting the RSVP form, "Pay what you can" to help us offset losses from the cancellation of three live onstage shows due to the pandemic. To make a tax-deductible donation online via Paypal or for more information on how to donate via mail, click the button below.

 

Suggested donation: $25, but pay what you can.

Questions? Email jewishtheatrebtown@gmail.com

Show Overview & Talkbacks

Author Rich Orloff describes Blessings from the Pandemic as "a chronicle of life and feelings during the pandemic, ranging from the light-hearted and mundane to the reflective and spiritual. As I'm a playwright more than a poet, I've written them to be performed as well as read."

 

Directly following each performance, join us for a virtual Talkback with the cast and creative team! Author Rich Orloff will be a member of the panel for our Saturday Talkback. On Sunday, Bloomington psychotherapist Rich Balaban will be joining the panel. 

Author

Rich Orloff is the author of eighteen full-length plays, mostly comedies and mostly award-winning.  The New York Times called his play BIG BOYS "rip-roaringly funny" and named FUNNY AS A CRUTCH a Critic's Pick.  His comedy ROMANTIC FOOLS has had over 100 productions in the USA, Africa, Asia and Europe, including two productions in Madrid, where apparently they're no better at romance than we are.  The play was just produced in American Sign Language by New York Deaf Theatre.

His comedy OY! premiered Off-Broadway at Melting Pot Theatre Company and has since been produced at Theatre Ariel in Philadelphia, Jewish Ensemble Theatre in Detroit, Chicago Jewish Theatre, Sarasota Jewish Theatre, and at over two dozen other theaters in the United States (and one in Bulgaria).  His full-length plays have won, among other awards, the Festival of Emerging American Theatre Prize, the Playwrights First Award, the Goody Fellowship, and the Pickering Award for Playwriting Excellence.

His short plays have had over 2000 productions on six continents -  and a staged reading in Antarctica.  Seven of his short plays have been included in the annual Best American Short Plays anthology, more than any other contemporary playwright. His newest theater piece, BLESSINGS FROM THE PANDEMIC, “a poetry cycle in five movements”, has had Zoom performances created by theaters in Detroit, Dayton, and New York City.  Poems from the collection have been performed at theaters, synagogues and churches around the country.

 

You can learn more about Rich and his plays at www.richorloff.com.

Cast

Adrianne D. Embry is a senior pursuing her B.A. in Theatre. Adrianne is an alumna from Warren Central High School and a founder/president of IU’s Black, Brown, and Beige Theatre Troupe. Her previous works include IU mainstage productions: Haus of Mirth (Edie) and Barbecue (Adlean). She is also an award winning slam poet. Adrianne left the far eastside of Indianapolis to attend Western Kentucky University then returned to attend IUPUI before she found her home here at IU.

Paula Gordon is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Law. After retiring as Director of Student Legal Services at IU, she returned to her first love, the theatre. She has played Ruth Steiner in Collected Stories and Zhanna Arshanskaya Dawson in Hiding in the Spotlight for JTB, was a long-time puppeteer with Puck Puppet Theatre and performs with Audrey Heller as the Chicken Soup Players. Favorite roles include Maria in Twelfth Night, Raina in Arms and the Man, Ann in Man and Superman, and Beline in The Imaginary Invalid. She is indebted to Zoom for visits with her children and grandchildren.

Ray Hedin: Until he retired two years ago, Ray Hedin taught American literature at IU, with a particular interest in storytelling in fiction, film, and drama. For the last twenty-five years he has conducted workshops on the power of stories and how to tell a good story. In 1995 he published Married to the Church, a study of the men with whom he attended a Catholic seminary for eight years. Nine years ago, he returned to acting after a forty-five-year hiatus, beginning with the role of the mayor in the IU Summer Theatre production of The Music Man, his favorite musical. He has been hooked ever since, with roles in Bloomington and Indianapolis in You Can’t Take It with You, The Taming of the Shrew, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Outside Mullingar, Endgame, and other plays. He has performed in three short films and has hosted a podcast series of short stories, A Walk in the Dark. He is also happy to serve on the board of directors for Jewish Theatre of Bloomington and Bloomington Playwrights Project.

Dion D. Kimbrough is an actor that began his career in the Emergent Theatre group while being a student at Indiana University. In the Theatre group, Darrell Stone was one of the first directors that Dion worked with and he credits a lot of his success to her mentorship. Since graduating from Indiana University he has been in apart of several short films and looks to take his career to Atlanta, GA in the near future. 

Richard Perez works nationally as an actor, director and educator with an emphasis on new play development. He is the former Artistic Director of The Bloomington Playwrights Project, Associate Artistic Director of Chicago Dramatists and Co-Artistic Director of Exit Left Theatre in Michigan. Directing credits include: All My Sons, True West, Hurly Burly, The Mercy Swing (New York Fringe Festival) and Nocturnal (Kennedy Center's New Visions/New Voices Festival). On television he has appeared as Councilman Ortiz on Boss, with Kelsey Grammer, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med and Electric Dreams. He proudly serves on the faculty of the Hope College Theatre Department.

Shana Ritter’s poetry and short stories have appeared in various journals and magazines including Lilith, Fifth Wednesday and Georgetown Review. Her chapbook, Stairs of Separation was published by Finishing Line Press. In the Time of Leaving, a novel of exile and resilience, is set in late 15th century Spain and was published in 2019. Shana has been awarded the Indiana Individual Artist Grant on multiple occasions. https://www.shana-ritter.com

Francesca Sobrer: Actor, writer, story-teller, Francesca is busy in the Bloomington theatre scene including most recently Cardinal Stage’s fabulous Walkabout Radio Plays. Prior productions have included The Glass Menagerie, Love, Loss, and What I Wore, and The Merchant of Venice. BPP productions include Home, Three Views of the Same Object and Sans Merci. Chicago credits: John Gabriel Borkman, Masterclass, Everybody, and Women Laughing Alone with Salad. She is also very much involved in the Chicago storytelling scene, a recent MothStory SLAM winner, she has also presented stories for First Person Live, Story Lab, Do Not Submit, and This Much is True.

Creative Team

Darrell Ann Stone (Director) is the Artistic Advisor, talk back facilitator and former Co-Artistic Director for Jewish Theatre of Bloomington (JTB).  Ms. Stone is originally from Boston and has an undergraduate degree in Theatre and Drama from Northeastern University, as well as a Master of Social Work from Indiana University. She works full time as the Director of the Student Advocates Office in the Division of Student Affairs at Indiana University, and is adjunct faculty in the School of Social Work. Darrell is also a free-lance actor and director who has worked in productions at BPP, Cardinal Stage and JTB.  Ms. Stone’s foundation of JTB productions include The GrandkidCollected Stories, Hiding in the Spotlight, The Bespoke Overcoat, The Yichud RoomSonia Flew and Chaim’s Love Song.  

Corey Hollinger (Technical Assistant/Stage Manager) is the Production Manager at Cardinal Stage and a local Stage Manager. Recently, he was the Stage Manager of JTB's productions of Talley's Folly, The Grandkid, and Cherry Docs

Artistic Director:                   Audrey Heller

Managing Director:              Cassie Hakken