Bruce Bierman

Producer and Co-Artistic Director

Bruce is an award-winning playwright, director, choreographer and Jewish dance master. He directed, choreographed and co-produced the critically acclaimed Di Megileh of Itzik Manger for the Jewish Music Festival at JCC East Bay and Shanghai Angel at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. He was awarded the Playwright Commission Grant for his musical adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston’s Moses, Man of the Mountain at the Odyssey Theater Ensemble.  His directing credits also include productions at Celebration Theater, New Conservatory Theater, Ashby Stage, and the Phoenix Theater. Most recently Bruce served as Yiddish Dance Dramaturg for productions of Indecent for the Arena Stage and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  Since 2006 he has been on the faculty of Stagebridge in Oakland, the nation’s premiere performing arts institute for seniors. He developed the company’s first satellite program at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. For KlezCalifornia, he has served as klezmer dance leader and artistic director for the popular Cabaret by the Bay.

Laura Sheppard

Producer and Co-Artistic Director

Laura is an event producer and professionally trained actor. For over thirty-five years she has produced large scale festivals including Earth Day New York Celebration in Times Square and Bryant Park and the Jewish Music Festival and Jewish Food Festival at JCC East Bay.  Since 2000, she has been Director of Events at the Mechanics’ Institute in San Francisco, where she presents author talks, literary festivals, films and cultural programs.  She has served on the Board of Directors of KlezCalifornia since 2003.   Her solo show, Still Life With Stein, based on the writings of Gertrude Stein, toured to festivals in the U.S. and Europe and was awarded two NEA Grants for Solo Performance (1988,1989).  More recently, her show, Paris Portraits about San Francisco writer Harriet Lane Levy was presented by at the Contemporary Jewish Museum and for Humanities West at Marines Memorial Theater. She co-produced and performed in Di Megileh of Itzik Manger at the JCC EB.

Leads: Roni Alperin (Yankl), Jill Eickmann (Soreh), Elena Faverio (Rivkeleh), Zissel Piazza (Mankeh), Simon Winheld-(Shlomo), Esther Mulligan (Hindl), Naomi Newman (Reb Eli), Josiah Prosser (A Scribe), Rebekah Kouy-Ghadosh (Basha), Frances Sedayao (Rayzel) 

Ensemble: Linda Ayres-Frederick (Old Blind Woman), Heather Klein (The Chanteuse), Gilberto Melendez, Merle Nadlin, Leni Siegel, Randall Solomon, Denise Hingle