KALEIDOSCOPE - Boldly Diverse - Distinctly JewishDate: Sun April 23, 2017Time: 4:00 pm
A monologue showcase featuring personal stories from 6 Jews
of diverse and ethnic backgrounds, followed by a Q&A
Produced/Directed by Vanessa Hidary
$25 per person - General Admission
$36 per person - Patron
Kendell Pinkney (Associate Producer/Cast Member) is a Texas-born, Brooklyn-based theatre writer and Jewish educator. A proud graduate of Oberlin College and New York University’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, Kendell is a 2015 LABA Fellow, and his collaborative works and songs have been performed and/or developed at venues such as 54 Below, Two Rivers Theatre Company, Goodspeed Opera House, Musical Theatre Factory, The 52nd Street Project, and Joe’s Pub, to name a few. Additionally, he was commissioned by Pursuit Productions to pen a new play based on the Lilith myth, which will premiere in Chicago in late 2016/early 2017. More recently, his broader interests in identity, race, and Jewishness led him to team up with renowned spoken-word artist Vanessa Hidary (aka, the Hebrew Mamita) to produce Kaleidoscope, a narrative-arts initiative and monologue showcase highlighting Jews of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
Beyond writing for the stage, Kendell teaches 4th grade Torah Interpretation and 6th grade Hebrew at Congregation Kolot Chayeinu in Park Slope. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he also serves as the coordinator for Kolot's B'nai Mitzvah Program. When not bustling about Brooklyn, Kendell can often be found at a local cafe buried in the footnotes of a new book on Hebrew Bible or Second Temple/Chazal Literature. He hopes to apply for rabbinical school in 2017.
Avi Amon is a composer for theater, film, and dance. He's held residencies and has had works featured at The O'Neill Theater Center, Yale Rep, The Director's Guild of America, Lincoln Center, BRIC, 14th St Y, La Mama, The Skirball Center, Dixon Place, and 54 Below, among others. Featured artist with the United Nations Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Campaign. He is also an active volunteer with the 52nd St Project in Hell's Kitchen.
Candice Edwards-Marchrones hails from Manchester, United Kingdom. Candice is of mixed heritage, Jamaican, White and Jewish. Candice came to The states to fulfill her passion, and go to acting school. Having just completed her 2 year acting conservatory she is looking forward to going out into the real world and becoming a working actress.
MaNishtana (is an Orthodox Jewish blogger, public speaker, and author of "Thoughts From A Unicorn: 100% Black. 100% Jewish. 0% Safe". When not addressing heady issues of race and religion in American Judaism he can be found pursuing other lofty goals, mostly to the end of avoiding having to take out the garbage, much to his wife's chagrin.
Leemore Malka is an actress who has been seen onstage at the Flea Theater in The Mysteries and onscreen in the hit series, High Maintenance. Thanks a million to Vanessa, Kendell + of course my fam. www.leemoremalka.com
Yoshi Silverstein is a landscape designer, writer, and educator who specializes in Jewish outdoor, food, farming and environmental education (aka JOFEE). Yoshi is Director of Hazon's JOFEE Fellowship and is founder of Mitsui Design, which strengthens Jewish connections to nature through landscape design and community engagement. He is a proud alumnus of the Dorot Fellowship, the Selah leadership program (Cohort 14 – Jewish Leaders of Color), and the PresenTense NYC Fellowship for Jewish social entrepreneurs. Yoshi really likes Fellowships. Originally from Spokane, WA, he has resided in roughly thirteen different places since his eighteenth birthday – including the Olympic Mountains, central and northern Idaho Rockies, Berkshire Mountains, and the Arava Valley – and now lives in the Bushwick Plains of Northern Brooklyn with his wife, Abby, and their pup, Norman Jellybean.
Throughout my many years as a performing artist, I have witnessed time and time again just how powerful the spoken word can be. Personal monologues drawn from deeply vulnerable and personal experiences open our hearts and ears, as well as entertain and educate us on what it means to be human. This “edutainment” – the act of learning through entertainment – lies at the heart of Kaleidoscope.
By presenting powerful stories on Jewish identity, my hope is that this project will inspire Jewish and non Jewish communities to engage in much needed conversations about the racial and ethnic diversity that already exists within their ranks. Kaleidoscope was developed through a series of group writing workshops, rehearsals, and one-on-one coaching with myself and my amazing associate producer Kendell Pinkney. I’m so proud of this cast and their commitment to this extensive process.
As our families, youth organizations, JCC’s, and synagogues grow to reflect a more diverse world, we cannot afford to avoid conversations surrounding race and ethnicity any longer. This talented, bold, courageous cast is proof of that. Thank you for helping us begin that conversation tonight. For booking opportunities, grant opportunities and more information on Kaleidoscope please visit us at www.kaleidoscopejews.org
Thank you and enjoy! Vanessa Hidary
Internationally acclaimed Spoken Word Artist/ Author/ Director Vanessa Hidary, grew up on Manhattan's culturally diverse Upper West Side. Her experiences as a Sephardic Jew with close friends from different ethnic and religious backgrounds inspired her to write "Culture Bandit," the nationally toured solo show that chronicles Vanessa's coming of age during the golden age of Hip-Hop. She has aired three times on “Russell Simmons Presents ‘Def Poetry Jam’ on HBO, and is featured in the award winning film "The Tribe," <http://tribethefilm.com/about-the-film/> which was selected for the Sundance Film Festival, The Tribeca Film Festival, and The Jewish Motifs International Film Festival in Warsaw, Poland. Vanessa was chosen as one of 50 speakers to appear at the “2010 IdeaCity- Canada's Premiere Meeting of the Minds'”.
She has appeared at numerous LIMMUD conferences including South Africa and the UK, andhas performed at the Lion Of Judah conference at the Jewish Federation’s General Assembly convention. Her popular poem, "The Hebrew Mamita," went viral garnering over half a million YouTube hits, igniting widespread discussion among Jews and non Jews alike regarding the subject of identity. She has conducted poetry and racism workshops with youth groups such as BBYO, The Yeshiva of Flatbush High school, Congregation B'nai Tikvah Of New Jersey, Harlem School Of The Arts, among others.
Vanessa developed and directed in conjunction with Birthright Israel NEXT, the show "MONOLOGUES" : An evening of solo performances by 15 young adults, exploring their Jewish Identity, inspired by a 10-day trip through Israel. Over a two-year period, the show traveled around the United States, engaging thousands along the way. Currently, Vanessa can be found at High Schools, Universities, Poetry Lounges, Synagogues, JCC’s and Federations performing and speaking about Jewish Identity and dissecting the complicated question of “What does Jewish look like to you? “ Vanessa received an M.F.A. in Acting from Trinity Rep Theatre Conservatory and currently lives in Manhattan. Her first collection of poems and stories is titled “The Last Kaiser Roll in the Bodega.”