Jewish Journal


August 15, 2011

S.F. Jewish theater to close after 35 years


A 35-year-old Jewish theater in San Francisco will close this year at the end of its new season.

The Jewish Theatre San Francisco, also known as A Traveling Jewish Theatre, had financial problems that were exacerbated by the global financial crisis.

“We lost over 50 percent of our funding all at once,” Executive Director Sara Schwartz Geller told the San Francisco Chronicle. She added that the decision to close was influenced as well by the question of “whether there is still need for a specifically Jewish theater in the Bay Area.”

The theater was founded as a touring ensemble with a collective leadership in 1978, premiering with a staging of “Coming From a Great Distance,” followed by “The Last Yiddish Poet.” Transitioning in the 1990s to a more traditional format, and settling into its own theater building, its debt grew to $400,000 by 2008.

The final season will include premieres of “In the Maze of Our Own Lives,” by theater co-founder Corey Fischer; “Wrestling Jerusalem,” a solo show by the theater’s former artistic director, Aaron Davidman, about a progressive Bay Area Jew in Israel; and readings of a work about Grace Paley by co-founder Naomi Newman.

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