A Play Teaching the Holocaust, Tolerance, and Courage

Written by Wendy Kout

Creative Team

Wendy Kout (Playwright) is an award-winning writer/producer of stage, film, virtual screen and television, whose work has been appreciated around the world.  STAGE CREDITS: SURVIVORS, was commissioned by CenterStage Theatre in 2017 and now has four independent touring productions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, St. Paul, Minnesota, Victoria BC, Canada and the West Coast, which Wendy is co-producing with Genie Benson. Never is Now, an iteration of SURVIVORS, world premiered at Skylight Theatre Company in Los Angeles. We Are the Levinsons world premiered at Six Points Theatre (previously the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company) and won BroadwayWorld Regional awards for Best Play and Best Ensemble Performance. Naked in Encino world premiered at CenterStage Theatre in Rochester, NY, and won Marlowe Awards for Best New Play and Best Production, Comedy for its And Toto too Production in Denver, Colorado. Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Helen Gahagan Douglas, co-written with Michele Willens, is an O’Neill Conference Finalist and has been produced as a fundraiser in NYC and L.A. for The Nation magazine, in L.A. for People for the American Way and in Washington, D.C. for National Women’s Law Center. Wendy’s virtual play credits produced by Skylight Theatre Company are Courage Takes the Stage, co-written with Michele Willens, Wake Up Call, cowritten with Jeff Reno and Wendy was part of the team who created, We the People, which serves as a warning about our threatened democracy.

FILM CREDITS: Co-Writer and Co-Producer of Jacob the Baker, which is streaming on Amazon Prime Video and On-Demand.  Directed by Gev Miron, featuring poet/philosopher, Noah benShea and music composed by Grammy-award winner, Sharon FarberDorfman in Love, produced by Leonard Hill Films and starring Elliott Gould, Sara Rue and Haaz Sleiman, won Best Film at the Hollywood International Film Festival and Marbella International Film Festival and Best Comedy at the Los Angeles and Miami Jewish Film Festivals. The film streams on Amazon and has a four and a half star (out of 5) rating.

TELEVISION CREDITS: Creator and Co-Executive Producer of the Golden Globe and ASCAP award-winning ABC series, Anything but Love, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis. Wendy was also on the writing/producing staffs of Robin Williams’ Mork & Mindy and Jane Fonda’s 9 to 5 and wrote a breakthrough episode for The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, where Molly falls for a Hasidic Jew. Wendy also developed television projects for Lifetime, Barbra Streisand’s Barwood Productions and Paul Reiser’s Nuance Productions.

Wendy serves on the Board of Directors of the award-winning Skylight Theatre Company in Los Angeles, the Outreach Committee of the Alliance for Jewish Theatre, and the Honorary Committee of the Boston Jewish Film Festival. She lives in Santa Barbara, California with her husband and favorite male writer, Dennis Koenig

Learn more about Wendy at www.wendykout.com.

Literary Manager – Will Levine – [email protected]

Rochester, NY Team

Sandi Henschel (Original Production Director) is a New York City trained actress, director and writer. Sandi is a published playwright and poet and is currently a contributing editor to AudioFile Magazine. Her performance and directing credits include productions ranging from off-Broadway to regional theatre. She has also performed and directed for most of Rochester’s leading theatre companies. Sandi has been a TYKEs director since its beginning, directing many memorable shows including TYKEs most recent production, LLAMA, LLAMA, RED PAJAMA, The Musical. Sandi was the first ever director of Wendy Kout’s powerful drama, SURVIVORS, and has directed all four productions mounted for the JCC since. Sandi feels her work on SURVIVORS is her most important and meaningful work to date. She is honored to be a part of this life-affirming project.

Ralph Meranto (Co-Producer) was inspired to commission SURVIVORS as a way to ensure the stories of Rochester’s Holocaust Survivors would continue to be told after their deaths. As a Producing Artistic Director of CenterStage Theatre at the JCC his passion and national reputation for new work developed has led to multiple new plays created locally and in conjunction with the National New Play Network and Alliance for Jewish Theatre. Recent new works include Tracy Jones by Stephen Kaplan, Division Street and On the Market (Jason Odell Williams), RuPaul’s Drag Race star Mrs. Kasha Davis’ There’s Always Time for a Cocktail (Off-Broadway Premiere at Beechman Theater), Bruce Sabbath’s Searching for Tevye, Wild Horses by Allison Gregory and the annual popular music series Hitmakers. Ralph directed the world premiere of Jason Odell Williams’ Church & State which made its NYC debut at New World Stages (OBA Nominee Best New Play). Church & State has been licensed by Dramatist Play Services for over 65 productions across North America.

Freyda Schneider (Co-Producer) TYKEs’ founder and director has 25 years of professional theatre management experience. She also works with aspiring young actors each summer at TYKEs’ KidStage to write and perform original on-stage productions, and writes for adults as well including Writers & Books’ 24 Hour Plays and the original production of A Sharing Stone based on the Stone Soup fable. A local JCC member since childhood, she has strong connections to the Jewish community, maintaining a focus on pinpointing and addressing audience needs. Passionate about children’s theatre, her goal is to spark creativity and out-of-the-box thinking among young people to inspire upcoming generations of thoughtful, caring theatre performers and patrons.

2024 Cast
Jodi Beckwith
Miranda Rose Blood
Sarah Malek
Evan J. Miller
Ged Owen
Alessandro Martellaro

Jael  López-Gifford
D. Scott Adams

Stage Manager
Jennifer DeHollander

Cathy Johnson

Tour Manager
Chris Marshall

Company Manager 
Marc Cataldi

“Being a part of Survivors and the JCC CenterStage community has brought a happiness and meaning to my life that I am forever grateful for. I look forward to working with my peers every day and learning more about our community’s Survivors as well as having conversations with my Safta, a Survivor herself, about her experiences and how we see the world now.” –Sarah Malek

Contact us:
[email protected]    
(585) 461-2000 x243

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