Jewish Theatre of Bloomington
Diane Kondrat, as columnist Molly Ivins. Kondrat starred in Out of Our Fathers’ House in 2012. Courtesy photo


This year marks a milestone for Indiana’s only Jewish theater. The Jewish Theatre of Bloomington began 15 years ago and consistently hosts two fully staged productions each year. 

“That first show, we didn’t have a penny,” says Audrey Heller, who co-founded the group and still serves as artistic director. “We paid for it from our pockets.” 

Since then, the Jewish Theatre has managed to generate funding and pay everyone—except Heller. The organization has two part-time administrators; the director, cast, and crew are all paid; and the group frequently hires Equity actors, paying Equity rates when it does. 

With about 40% of audiences consisting of non-Jews, Heller feels the group is achieving what it set out to do—reaching a diverse audience with stories about Jewish life that focus on universal themes. 

Funds are raised through ticket sales—about 40% of income—grants, donations, and fundraisers. A fundraising event celebrating the 15th anniversary will be held at the FAR Center for Contemporary Arts, 505 W. 4th St., on March 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. 

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