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August 10, 1990 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-08-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I DETROIT I

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JET Expands Horizons
For Its Second Season

ST EVE HARTZ

Special to The Jewish News

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he Jewish Ensemble
Theatre is set to raise
the curtain for its se-
cond season which begins in
October. After meeting its
main objective last year, es-
tablishing the credentials
for a professional theater,
JET has set new goals.
"We're going to be more
aggressive in marketing our
shows," said James August,
JET's president of the board
of directors.
Mr. August said
theatergoers will see an
expanded season with a
better variety of shows.
Last year, JET, which
opened its first show in
February, staged three pro-
ductions. This year, it has
planned an earlier curtain
call and an additional pro-
duction.
"We have a program of
plays which is of more inter-
est to the audience; there
will be more variety," Mr.
August said.
The lineup begins with
The Merchant, a drama that
is based on Shakespeare's
The Merchant of Venice, but
told from the Jewish
perspective. Dr. Phoebe
Mainstair, an English pro-
fessor at Wayne State Uni-
versity, will hold informal
"chalk talks" before some of
the shows.
"We're marketing this to
the schools, hoping to attract
that kind of audience," Mr.
August said. "We want more
group audiences this year."
The second show, A Rose
By Any Other Name, which
opens in December, is a com-
edy set in Ontario. The play
is about a boy preparing for
his bar mitzvah. The boy's
father, who is concerned
about the world's growing
anti-Semitism, changes the
family name, much to the
boy's dismay.
"This show is very ap-
propriate for a family au-
dience, and we are going to
do things to market it that
way," Mr. August said.
"We'll probably offer a fami-
ly price for tickets."
JET's third show, Bitter
Friends, which will be stag-
ed in February, is a political
drama that gives insight on
a controversy reminiscent of
the Pollard spy case.
The season will conclude
in April and May with Can-
torial, a fantasy-comedy

about a young inter-faith
couple.
Mr. August said JET chose
these plays based on the
results of a feasibility study
it took prior to last season's
opening.
Last year, JET aimed to
fill 75 seats per performance
and sell a tital of 1,500
tickets for each production.
The renovated DeRoy
Theatre in the Maple-Drake
Jewish Community Center
can accommodate 225
theatergoers.
"We reached our ticket
goal last year," Mr. August
said. "This season, we've in-
creased our goal to sell 92
tickets for each perfor-
mance."
This year, single tickets
range in price from $8 to

Last year, JET,
which opened its
first show in
February, staged
three productions.
This year, it has
planned an earlier
curtain call and an
additional
production.

$18.50, depending on the
performance date. Last year,
a ticket for the opening
night or a Saturday night
show cost $17.50.
"Last season, we operated
within our budget which was
our goal, but this year we're
hoping to expand the base of
our contributors," Mr.
August said.
On Sept. 9, JET will hold
its first major fundraiser, an
afternoon featuring Broad-
way actors. The minimum
contribution is $500. It will
also plan other fund-raising
activities this year.
"We'll have events for
$100-and-$200 contributors.
We need to have a broad
base of support from the
community," Mr. August
said.
JET has not only expanded
the number of productions
and fund-raising events from
last year, but it has also
expanded the number of
members on its board, from
12 to 28.
"We expanded the board,"
said Mr. August, "because
we wanted more ideas, input
and leadership from a more
diverse group."



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