Revived theater program will take center stage in September

The LJCC is excited to announce that a youth production of the play The Velveteen Rabbit will launch a revival of The J’s theater program this fall. Under the direction of Jennifer Spiegelman, auditions will be held on September 11, and public production dates will be November 10 and 13.

Jennifer Spiegelman, director of the LJCC’s newly revived theater program, browses backstage at The J. The last time the Auditorium was used was for rehearsals for a production of Charlotte’s Web that was canceled by the pandemic in early 2020.

Jennifer has a long history at The J and holds fond memories of having spent much time “hanging out with friends” here after school — including on the Auditorium stage. In fact, she says, “My earliest memories of theater are in this space.” 

She’s excited about her new position. “I know that there’s already this beautiful amazing community that is so interested in keeping the arts alive,” she says. “This community is ripe for a new theater program.”

In addition to her roots in The J, Jennifer’s background includes seven years as education director at Virginia Samford Theatre, where she worked extensively with young children and teens.

On stage at The J

The J’s theater program, called Theatre LJCC, was launched in 1959 under the direction of Irving Stern, who went on to earn the Honoring Pioneers in Alabama Theater Award 30 years later. Over the years The J hosted talent shows, musicals, a children’s theater, and fine arts programs. Of special note are National Holocaust Remembrance Day performances of The Informer and The Jewish Wife by Bertolt Brecht, and Dialogs by Elie Wiesel. 

Although the Auditorium has been largely unused since a production of Charlotte’s Web was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the space recently underwent a timely facelift thanks to a grant from the Daniel Foundation of Alabama.

There is no cost to audition, and the cost for students accepted into the production will be $250. As always, scholarships will be available.

Rehearsal schedule 

  • Open auditions Sunday, September 11, 1 p.m.
  • Through November 5: Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:30-6:30 p.m., Sundays 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • No rehearsals Tuesday, September 27, for Rosh Hashana and Tuesday, October 4, for Yom  Kippur 
  • November 7-9, 5:30-8 p.m.