Jews, God, and History (Not Necessarily in That Order)
May 18th to June 5th
New York City
A full-length work of solo theater that uses comedy and drama to look at how modern humans live with ancient traditions.
Our religions date back to the Bronze Age—before science taught us that the reality of the universe doesn’t match the story told by the Bible. Yet we still practice the religions of our ancestors. How and why do we still live with these traditions in the modern age?
Jews, God, and History (Not Necessarily in That Order) is both reverent and irreverent as it explores the big questions asked by all people. As Michael Takiff provokes you to think, he also gets you to laugh. Venturing into rarely explored territory he pulls no punches, challenging audiences to question their assumptions about Jews, God, history, and everything in between.
Praise for Jews, God, and History...
"The work is not without humor and wit...Takiff turns himself inside out, scouring his heart, to show that his atheism is fully in line with his reaction to this horrible history which, ironically, reinforced his Jewishness...Takiff is a skilled performer who never loses the audience"
"Jews, God, and History (Not Necessarily in That Order)...is a roller-coaster ride through Jewish belief, identity, and practice...it’s moving, and almost reverential..."
"I found myself genuinely laughing…often… He not only was able to make what could have been dry information funny and relevant but he wove personal stories in that made it so completely lovely and touching. I think this is definitely a MUST SEE."
Creator & Performer
is the great-great-great-great-great grandson of the legendary Hasidic sage Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev. Michael grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and graduated from Yale with a degree in history. After college, he came to New York to be an actor, studied classical singing, and then spent ten years touring the country as a stand-up comic. He was known for his intelligent, original material and his theatrical presentation. Michael is the author and performer of two works of solo theater, Black Tie: A Son’s Journey through the Death and Life of His Father and Jews, God, and History (Not Necessarily in That Order), both directed by Tony nominee Brian Lane Green. Michael has authored numerous books, including A Complicated Man: The Life of Bill Clinton as Told by Those Who Know Him (Yale University Press). AND Magazine called A Complicated Man “the best oral history book ever written about a President of the United States.” A Complicated Man was awarded First Prize, Biography/Autobiography by the Los Angeles Book Festival. Michael’s previous book, Brave Men, Gentle Heroes: American Fathers and Sons in World War II and Vietnam (HarperColllins/Wm. Morrow), was praised by Kirkus as “a superb oral history [that] would do Studs Terkel proud.” The Washington Post named Brave Men a “Critics’ Pick.”
Michael’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, Salon, The Nation, CNN.com, and HuffingtonPost. He has appeared on Fox News and MSNBC and holds the distinction of being the only person in Hardball history not to have been interrupted by Chris Matthews.
Brian Lane Green
is a veteran of film, stage, and TV. Brian made his Broadway debut as Huck Finn in Big River and earned a Tony nomination for his work in the musical Starmites. He starred in the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and appeared again on Broadway in the Cy Coleman musical The Life. He directed Canaan at the California African American Museum and has directed and helped develop many solo shows. Recent projects include Confessions of a Nightingale, based on the memoirs of Tennessee Williams, and Josepha Gayer’s Renaissance Notes from Italy. He recently directed an Equity workshop production of A Shooting, a new play by Steven Hauser, at the Attic Theater in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth M. Stewart
Elizabeth M. Stewart, Lighting Designer (she/her) is a lighting designer and interdisciplinary artist whose work has been seen in New York, London, Philadelphia, and more, in venues ranging from art gallery basements to off-Broadway theatres. Recent credits include Orlando (Barnard), Ritual (Witness), An Odyssey (Hangar Theatre), and Prospect Hill (Piper Theatre). Elizabeth is a resident designer with both WWTNS? Theatre Company and The Arctic Group, and is a member of the art collective Smear Campaign. ElizabethMStewart.myportfolio.com
Sound & Video Designer
Matt Chilton is a New York native active in a variety of media as a composer, technician, and multi-instrumentalist. Recent production credits include sound mixing for short film plural (love) (WP Theater Pipeline Festival, 2022), sound design, tenor sax, and composition for myname’sound with Pioneers Go East Collective (BRICLab, 2022) music, lyrics, and sound design for Specially Processed American Me (Dixon Place, Ping Chong + Co, Free Rein Projects, 2022), original score and sound design for short films Color Theory (PC+C, FRP, Fall 2022), Handwritten (Ibex Puppetry, FRP, 2021) and Equality Tea (Park Avenue Armory, FRP, 2020), and sound design and co-writing for radio play/installation You Are The News Now (PC+C, Art in Odd Places, FRP, 2021). Recent performances include Metropolis Ensemble's Biophony 2022 at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and he is currently dreaming up new compositions for used bookstores, abandoned parking garages, and other liminal spaces.
Emily J. Webb
Emily J Webb she/her (Stage Manager) - This is Emily's first time Stage Managing. She's currently based in Manhattan, NY and working as a Technician for FRIGID NYC (FRIGID NYC's FRIGID Festival '22, Estrogenius Festival '22). Her previous credits includes projects from her undergraduate program (Class of 2021) at SUNY Purchase College: The Last Five Years presented at SUNY Purchase/The Theater Center (Sound Designer/Board Op), Springtime By María Irene Fornés at SUNY Purchase Performance Lab (Sound Designer/Board Op/CCO/Technical Director). She would like to thank Michael, Brian, and Sam for this absolutely wonderful opportunity and congratulate everyone in making FAME, ART, and HISTORY...not necessarily in that order!
Sam Hood Adrain
Sam is an actor, director, and producer based in New York City. As a theatre artist, Hood Adrain has worked on stage and off at companies across the country including Trinity Repertory Company, Infinity Theatre Company, Dramatist Guild Foundation, Missoula Children's Theatre, Ithaca Shakespeare Company, HERE, IRT, MITU580, The Flea, BRIC Arts & Media, and Audible to name a few. He is a published playwright whose works have been called “heartbreaking ….complex...and thought-provoking” (Theatre is Easy), have been presented in NYC at HERE, The Nuyorican Poéts Cafe and IRT Theatre, toured to Providence and Toronto and produced as a radio play by the Cleveland Radio Players. TV credits include "Search Party" and "Law & Order." Sam is proudly a Co-Artistic Director of WWTNS? BFA NYU:Tisch School of the Arts, Experimental Theatre Wing. www.samhoodadrain.com