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November 28, 2003 - Image 108

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-11-28

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

I Life

Soul Sisters

In a new JET comedy, the spirit of a traditional

19th-century woman returns to Earth and attaches

Winter 'Hours:

itself to her modern-day, independent descendant.

Tuesday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner
Saturday: Dinner
Sunday: Brunch C. Dinner

three roller-skating rabbis.
Rebecca Delcomyn of Harrison, Diane
Special to the Jewish News
O'Brien Hill of Farmington Hills,
Timothy Mc Kerman of Livonia, Paul
play presented last year as a
Riopelle of Chicago and Theo
staged reading for the
Williamson of Detroit round out the cast.
Jewish Ensemble Theatre
"I hope people will feel sympathy
makes its professional full-
with the characters and find that
production debut this season for JET. It
there's more to the play than the
was voted a "must produce" by the
audience at the theater's Seymour J. and laughter," Roisman says. "After the
JET reading, I blended one character
Ethel S. Frank Festival of New Plays.
in with another.
Nobody Gilgul, running Dec. 3-Jan.
"I often have a character who
4 at the West Bloomfield Jewish
pierces the membrane between the
Community Center, presents Lois
Roisman's exploration of the meaning of .real and the unknown, the sacred
and the profane. I want Nobody's
womanhood through a fantasy scenario.
Gilgul audiences to think about the
"My play explores the struggle
little and big choices that the charac-
between Eve and Lilith (traditional
ters and the rest of us have to make."
and modern-day women) and came
Roisman, who lives in New
about through what I have faced in
Hampshire with her attorney husband,
my own life," says Roisman, 65, who
doesn't consider herself a religious per-
has been writing scripts since retiring
son but does take inspiration from
as an organization administrator 10
mystical literature. Chasidic tales
years ago. "I love to make people
inform her work and life, which
laugh, and I thought it would be a
includes a blended family of six chil-
hoot to have a character from a shtetl
dren and six grandchildren.
of the past .see what's going on now"
A longtime writer of magazine articles
The play follows Eva, a spirit from a
Polish ghetto, as she finds an appropri- before devoting herself to scripts,
Roisman's main career during the 1980s
ate descendant through whom she can
involved Jewish charitable interests.
return to Earth and complete require-
The playwright vvas founding execu-
ments to enter the Garden of Eden.
tive director of the Jewish Fund for
Eva becomes part of Lily, a corporate
Justice, a national public charity
attorney, and tries to maneuver Lily's
bringing Jewish partners to non-Jewish
romantic relationship.
efforts aimed at alleviating poverty in
The title of the play comes from a
the United States. Before that, she was
line that conveys attitude.
coordinator of the Council on
"Eva explains to Lily that Lily is her
Foundations, where she worked with
gilgul, the person Eva is to inhabit
the establishment of community foun-
while fulfilling her earthly good deeds,"
dations across the country.
Roisman reveals. "Lily responds with,
"I don't find writing non-Jewish
`I'm nobody's gilgul, sweetheart.'"
material as satisfying as working with
Roisman, who wants audiences to
Jewish themes," Roisman says. "My
go beyond the comedy and take note
role model for writing is August
of the serious issues ultimately
expressed through the fantasy plot, has Wilson, who writes about black people
taken her script to community theaters but uses themes that override the eth-
nic point of view."
before bringing it to JET.
Nobody's Gilgul, included in the
Nancy Kammer of Grosse Pointe
anthology. Making a Scene: The
Park is the director of the production.
Contemporary Drama ofJewish Women,
Appearing in the play are Robin
has
been read at the Source Theatre
Lewis-Bedz of Dearborn as Lily;
Festival in Washington, D.C., where it
Meredith Manners of Royal Oak as
won an award for Outstanding New
Eva; and Stan Newman of Warren,
Play in 1993. It was one of, three plays
Johnny- Ginger of Farmington Hills
chosen for a reading out of 1,700 sub-
and Bill Premin of Bloomfield Hills as

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