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September 20, 2002 - Image 73

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-09-20

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

Playwright opens JET season with two-character
play drawing from his family's experiences.

who lives in New Mexico.
"During the first preview, I watch
the audience watch the play. During
the second preview, I watch the parts
of the play where I [might have seen]
people moving around the night
"I try to see why people are getting
restless, [if they're getting restless]. Is it
the moment in the play that causes the
rustling or is it a culmination of prior
moments, distractions or lack of atten-
Directed by Bob Devin Jones, who
has worked with the play for four
years, the JET production stars Craig
Wallace, who appeared in Washington,
D.C., and Stephanie Stephen from
Ann Arbor.
Tommy J & Sally developed in part
out of an experience the Medoff fami-
ly had in the late 1990s, when they
invited an African-American young
man to live with them for a year.
Medoff had worked with the youth on
a middle-school theater project and
extended the invitation years later_after
learning the student was having diffi-
culties. in his own home.
The young man and Medoff's
youngest daughter were both seniors


during the time the family opened
their home.
'At some point, I said to the two of
them that they ought to write a play
about how they learned to live togeth-
er," Medoff explains. "In essence, I
wrote it myself.
"This is not their story by a long
shot, but it evolved out of our _ rela-
tionship with him and his friends and
our daughter and her friends and what
we learned. I combined that with a
play I wrote probably 25 years ago
which had to do with how we define
one another and how we generalize
about one another."

Issues Of Diversity

After earning a bachelor's degree
from the University of Miami in
1962 and a master's degree from
Stanford University in 1966, Medoff
got a teaching post at New Mexico
State University.
"I got into playwriting by acci-
dent," says Medoff, who taught at
New Mexico State for 27 years and
. now visits colleges to conduct theater
workshops. "I came to New Mexico
as a prose writer, but my first friends

A scene
om the recent
of "Tommy J
& Sally": Craig
Wallace reprises
his role in the

ON His MARK on page 77

Party On

JET will stage a fun-filled bar mitzvah
fund-raiser on Nov. 3.

They say it's like no bar mitzvah you've ever seen
before, and the reasons are easy to understand.
It's JET'S bar mitzvah year, and everyone is invit-
ed to celebrate the company's 13th birthday at a
mock bar mitzvah that has all the elements of a
real bar mitzvah party and then some.
JET has turned the fund-raising party into an
improv/interactive theater event, creating a bar
mitzvah character, Jeffrey Eric Tischler, with the
same initials as JET The celebration starts at
6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, at Temple Israel in
West Bloomfield.

ey Eric
JET'' "bar

From the hour of
hors d'oeuvres and
through dinner and
dancing, there will be
surprises, along with
music by Star Trax.
Join the event for $100 as a friend or buy your
way into Jeffreys inner circle, which means
going as high as $2,500 for tickets, designating
you as a Mom or Dad.
The R.S.V.P. number is (248) 788-2900.

— Suzanne Chessler



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