We All Fall Down
by Lila Rose Kaplan
A seder might be all about order, but you wouldn’t know it when the Stein family gets together for Passover. Maybe the chaos stems from no one knowing why they’ve suddenly been summoned home for the holiday. Or maybe it’s because no one in the house has done anything even remotely religious for decades. In between group yoga, phone calls with the Ellen show, and plague finger puppets, the Stein family will have to decide if they can come together as a family – or if this age-old tradition will finally tear them apart.
Oct 22nd and 23rd at: Har Zion Temple, 1500 Hagys Ford Road in Penn Valley
Oct 29th and 30th at: Kaiserman JCC, 45 Haverford Rd, Wynnewood
WE ALL FALL DOWN
by Lila Rose Kaplan
Directed by Jesse Bernstein
Presented in partnership with
Har Zion Temple, Seth M. Haaz, Senior Rabbi
The Kaiserman JCC, Alan Scher, Executive Director
Assistant Director/Stage Manager: Nora Gair
Linda - Janis Dardaris
Saul - David Ingram
Nan - Marcia Saunders
Bev - Susan Riley Stevens
Sammi - Melanie Bernier
Ariel - Kaitlyn Zion
Ester - Sonseray Reed
Lila Rose Kaplan (PLAYWRIGHT): Lila Rose Kaplan’s plays shine light on the stories we don’t tell about women. Her heroines live in heartfelt zany comedies, bittersweet comic dramas, and imaginative musicals for young audiences. Her full length plays include: The Villains’ Supper Club , We All Fall Down, The Magician’s Daughter, Home of the Brave, 1 2 3 - a play about abandonment and ballroom dancing, 100 Planes, Wildflower, Entangled, Bureau of Missing Persons, and Biography of a Constellation. Her musicals for young audiences include: The Light Princess, The Pirate Princess, and The Magic Fish. Productions include: American Repertory Theatre, Second Stage Theatre, South Coast Repertory Theatre, New Victory Theatre, The Old Vic, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, Neighborhood Productions, Know Theatre, Perishable Theatre, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, Theatre Prometheus, and Wayward Sisters Theatre Ensemble. Development includes: Huntington Theatre Company, Trinity Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Kennedy Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Theatreworks, Local Theatre Company, PlayPenn, and The Lark New Play Development Center. Awards include: National Science Award in Playwriting, The International Women's Playwriting Award, and the I.J. Kapstein Award in Playwriting. Fellowships include: Huntington Playwriting Fellowship, Playwrights’ Realm Writing Fellow, Old Vic/New Voices Exchange, and the Shank Fellowship. Residencies include: The Orchard Project, Space on Ryder Farm, New Repertory Theatre Next Voices, Labworks at the New Victory Theatre, Writers Retreat at Theatreworks, Harvard Business School Playwright –In-Residence, and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics Playwriting-In-Residence. BA with Honors in Playwriting: Brown University. MFA in Playwriting: UC San Diego. Lila Rose lives in Somerville, MA with her marine biologist and her curious daughter. www.lilarose.org
Jesse Bernstein (DIRECTOR): Jesse Bernstein is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Speech and has over 30 years’ experience working in film, TV and theatre. He has performed at the New York Shakespeare Festival (alongside actors such as Mandy Patinkin and Denzel Washington), the Berkshire Theatre Festival, the Arden Theatre Company, Ventura Theatre Company and the Walnut Street Theatre Company. In 1999, he originated the role of Reuven in Aaron Posner and Chaim Potok’s stage adaptation of The Chosen. His TV credits include appearances on Law & Order, Veronica Mars and Days of Our Lives. Directing credits include Shipwrecked!, It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play, Gifts of the Magi, and several children’s musicals for the Walnut Street Theatre; The Complete History of Comedy (Abridged) (Cardinal Stage); Heathers: The Musical (Penn Players), Member of the Wedding (Rutgers-Camden) and more. Writing credits include several outreach plays and the solo shows Ethics of the Fathers (aka The Gangster and Grandpa) and The Scribe. Jesse wrote and directed the short film Allergy (official selection, Audience Awards and LA Comedy Shorts Fest) and wrote, produced, and starred in the short alongside Alison Brie and Liza Weil in the short film Us One Night (official selection: Williamstown Film Festival, NewFilmmakers LA). He has taught for theatres and organizations in Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia as well as at Northwestern University College, the Cherub program, and University of the Arts. Jesse is a member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA and serves on the board of the Alliance for Jewish Theatres.
Nora Gair (ASSSISTANT DIRECTOR / STAGE MANAGER): Nora Gair (she/her) is a theatre director committed to threading classic themes with radically new and inclusive life for audiences today. Her theatrical voice is rooted in the woods and mountains of New England, but her work has been seen all over including Actors Theatre of Louisville, City Theatre, Project Y Theatre, and the Philadelphia Dramatists Center.
Recent credits include Mr. Digger's Spooky (Christmas) Radio Special, and virtual productions of Trojan Woman and The Darkness Between Dreams. Upcoming projects include directing Constellations for Philly Fringe, and intimacy choreography for both the pigeon. with The Strides Collective and Carrie with Penn Singers Light Opera Company.
Nora is an alumna of the John Wells Directing Program @ Carnegie Mellon University, the NYC Tepper Semester in Directing @ Syracuse University, and the Apprentice Class of 2022 @ the Walnut Street Theatre.
Janis Dardaris (LINDA): InterAct: The How and The Why, Whores. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Theatre Company; Sideman, Nickel and Dimed, As Is. People’s Light; Walnut Street Theatre; PlayPenn; Mother Courage, Mourning Becomes Electra, The Seagull, The Importance of Being Earnest (Quintessence Theatre); Leaving, Road, Quartet, Escape from Happiness, Orpheus Descending, Spin, The Magic Fire, Scorched, Becky Shaw (Wilma Theater); Rabbit Hole (Arden Theatre). Regional: McCarter Theatre, Pittsburgh Public, Long Wharf, Cleveland Playhouse, Woolly Mammoth, Kennedy Center, Arizona Theatre, Three Rivers Shakespeare, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival (originated the role of Susan Slater in Becky Shaw). New York: Playwrights Horizons, New York Classical Theatre, Westbeth, Summer Play Festival on Theatre Row, Breaking Legs with Philip Bosco (also national tour with Danny Aiello). Awards: nominated for 10 Barrymore Awards; 1998 winner of the Charlotte Cushman Barrymore for best actress for her performance as Josie Hogan in A Moon for the Misbegotten; 2009 winner of Best Supporting Actress in Scorched. TV and Film: The Sixth Sense, Party Monster, Third Watch, Trial by Jury, Law and Order, The Sopranos, Bliss, 1967, the lead in Sounding directed by Joel Coen, featured role as Grace in Cruzando, Featured in The Chosen as Zohara, Most recently: People’s Light: Project Dawn, Morning’s at Seven, The Children. Recent film and TV: Power, Bull and Grow an unconventional horror film due for release later this year.
David Ingram (SAUL): David Ingram has mostly recently appeared in The Vinegar Tree at People's Light and Theatre, where he is a long-time company member and has appeared in End Days, Noises Off, Bach at Leipzig, The Skin of Our Teeth, and many more. Other credits include Indecent at the Arden, Hope and Gravity at 1812 Productions, Red Herring at Act II Playhouse The Brownings at Orbiter 3/FringeArts and Cherokee at the Wilma. David is a faculty member in the Theater program at Temple University.
Marcia Saunders (NAN): Marcia Saunders has been part of the Acting Ensemble at The People's Light & Theatre since 1976 appearing in over 100 plays. Most recently playing Nancy in GRAND HORIZONS.
Her performances there include over 85 productions including Cora in Morning’s at Seven, Ethel in Moon Over Buffalo, Mrs. Jennings in Sense and Sensibility, Stella in Stella and Lou, Mrs. Bennet in Pride & Prejudice, Dotty in Noises Off, Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Amanda in The Glass Menagerie, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Skin of our Teeth, My Mother Said I Never Should, A Room Of One’s Own, Heartbreak House, Abelard & Heloise, Toys in the Attic, Memory of Water, The Stonehouse, Hamlet, The Misanthrope, The Taming of the Shrew.
Theatre Includes: Recently Paige in HIR at Simpatico Theatre, made her directorial debut at Candlelight Theater in Delaware directing Steel Magnolias. Off Broadway: The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow (Atlantic Theatre Co.) Regional: The Wilma, Arden Theatre, Two River Theater, Quintessence Theater. Playing Claire in A Delicate Balance garnered Marcia a Best Supporting Actress award and she has received numerous Barrymore nominations including Best Actress for Stella and Lou and A Man from Nebraska. Training: Graduate Programs, LAMDA.
Susan Riley Stevens (BEV): Susan Riley Stevens has been seen on the mainstage at the Walnut Street Theatre in HARVEY, GOD OF CARNAGE, FALLEN ANGELS, and A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, and in the Independence Studio Theatre productions of THE GIFT, SPEAKING IN TONGUES and THE PRESCOTT METHOD. Next up is NOISES OFF! Performances with Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival include Macbeth, Lend Me A Tenor, King Lear, Othello and Hamlet, as well as a number of Extreme Shakespeare productions: All’s Well That Ends Well, King John, Henry VIII, Troilus & Cressida, and Pericles.
Susan’s regional credits include 1812 Productions, InterAct Theatre Company, Theatre Horizon, People’s Light and Theatre, Bristol Riverside, Arden Theatre Company, Portland Stage Company, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Yale Repertory Theatre, Peterborough Players, Dallas Theatre Center, and 9 seasons with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. She is the recipient of the 2007 Barrymore Award for Best Actress in a Play for BAD DATES at Act 2 Playhouse and holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. Susan lives in Merchantville, NJ with her husband, actor/director Greg Wood, and their daughter, Laura.
Melanie Bernier (SAMMI): Melanie Bernier is an actor, visual artist, and musician based in Philadelphia. Recent projects include the independent web series No Joke and Punk Rock Aerobics!, a hybrid performance piece and workout staged in music venues across the Northeast. Bernier was a finalist for the 2021 Frankenthaler Climate Art Awards for The Popcorn Game, an independent short which she wrote, directed, and starred in. Bernier has toured the US with several bands. Her current project, Boston Cream, is a punk approach to disco. Her artwork, music, and videos have been shown at the Museum of Arts and Design (NYC), Dirt Palace (Providence), the Stone Gallery (Boston), and Evening Hours (NYC), among many others. This is her first production with Theatre Ariel.
Kaitlyn Zion (ARIEL): Kaitlyn Zion (they/them) is so extremely honored to be playing Ariel in We all Fall Down. They recently graduated with a BFA in musical theater from the University of the Arts. Some past credits include Ronnie in Ronnie the Musical as a part of Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Cinderella’s Stepmother (u/s) in Into the Woods at the Arden Theater, and Wilson in A Little Death as part of the Equinox New Play Festival. Much love always to friends and family, a huge thank you to the Theatre Ariel and always a very special thank you to Alex <3 enjoy!
Sonseray Reed (ESTHER): Sonseray Reed is a performer, writer and producer born and raised in New York City and is a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Theatre Arts & Communications and a graduate of the Stella Adler Acting Conservatory. Her credits include performing with the Kule Mele Dance Ensemble of Philadelphia, Forces of Nature, National Theatre for Children, Les Frères Corbusier, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, as well as the Edinburgh & New York Fringe Festivals. Currently, Sonseray is co-directing ‘Plant the Seed’ at the DeSotelle Theatre in New York City and producing her own written work.
Secular Judaism - What's it All About?
WHO ARE SECULAR JEWS?
According to a 2020 study by the Pew Research Center, 27% of American Jews identify as “Jews of no religion”: “Jewish ethnically, culturally or by family background… describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or ‘nothing in particular’ rather than as Jewish.”
JewBelong - an organization dedicated to fighting antisemitism and encouraging participation in Jewish holidays, rituals, and thought – prefers to refer to “Jews of no religion” as “Disengaged Jews”.
WHAT ARE SECULAR JUDAISM'S ORIGINS?
Some secular Jews like to trace their origins back to Baruch Spinoza who, despite being excommunicated for his scientific beliefs, remained interested in Jewish thought and ideas. In fact, Spinoza became a hero for early Zionists, themselves socialist and secular.
The assimilation of Jews that became possible in some nations in the late 18th and 19th centuries encouraged secular Judaism, relegating religion to a private enterprise or making religious expression seem incongruous with the newly adopted state.
WHAT DEFINES SECULAR JUDAISM?
Two tenants from the International Institute of Jewish Secular Humanistic Judaism state: “Judaism is the culture of the Jewish people, which includes many religious and secular traditions” and “a Jew is any person who chooses to identify with the fate and culture of the Jewish people.”
Or, put more succinctly by writer and media personality Bob Garfield, “We don’t necessarily believe in God, but we believe deeply in bagels and lox.”