About Us

You don't have to be Jewish to love Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids!

Founded in 1992, Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids is dedicated to presenting quality theatrical productions with Jewish themes that are universal in appeal. In doing so, we hope to enrich the Jewish experience in West Michigan, and inform, educate, and engage both the Jewish and non-Jewish community. We strive to stage productions that will entertain, engage, and enrich people of all faiths.

Rest assured, you don't have to be Jewish to love Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids! It's live theatre to learn, love and laugh with!


The Grand Awards celebrate Grand Rapids area college and community theatres by selecting outstanding acting, directing, and technical awards for productions staged during participating theatre companies previous season. The money raised through The Grand Awards supports the Combined Theatre Scholarship Fund.

Over the years JTGR has presented acclaimed plays and musicals such as The Whipping Man, Death of a Salesman, Golda's Balcony, Denial, Torch Song Trilogy, Driving Miss Daisy, The Diary of Anne Frank, and  Fiddler on the Roof. In 2006 and again in 2009, the company staged an original musical, Esther, The Musical, written by local songwriter and playwright Lori Jacobs, which played to sold-out houses and was also a Grand Award nominee in 2006.

JTGR's 2018 production of Torch Song Trilogy (by Harvey Fierstein) took home 5 Grand Awards including Outstanding Play, Outstanding Director (Michelle Urbane) Outstanding Lead Actor (Shane German), Outstanding Supporting Actor (Isaac Thorenson) and Actress (Bernice Howard). Additionally, Lori Jacobs and Shavonne T. Coleman were nominated for 2018 acting Grand Awards for their roles in Olive and the Bitter Herbs

Irena's Vow received a 2017 Grand Award nomination for Outstanding Actress for Emily Wetzel in the title role. In 2016, JTGR received 6 Grand Award Nominations for productions presented during 2015-16 season For This Moment Alone, by Marcia Kash: Mike Smolenski for Outstanding Lead Actor in a play; Ian Grel for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a play. Becoming Dr. Ruth, by Mark St. Germain: Lori Jacobs for Outstanding Actress in a play, and Mary Beth Quillin for Outstanding Director of a play. That same year Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids also received nominations for Outstanding Play for both Becoming Dr. Ruth and For This Moment Alone. Other Grand Award nominated shows include Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman (2015)and 6 Grand Award nominations in 2014 for productions presented during our 2013-14 Season, .

Grand Award winning JTGR productions include Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Esther-The Musical, Golda's Balcony, Schmulnik's Waltz, The Chosen, Chaim's Love Song, Denial, Lost in Yonkers, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Fiddler's House, Conversations with My Father, and Remember by Name.


  • "Local theater at its best. Truly Grand Rapids' hidden gem"

    -- Amber Brandt    April 10, 2016
  • "We saw "For This Moment Alone" last night. What an outstanding production; very thoughtful with richly dimensional characters fully portrayed. Freddie's eyes are a story unto themselves. Special kudos to Christian Poquette whose set design is almost a replica of my Bubbie's home from when I was a kid growing up in Toronto in the early '50s."

    -- Dave Kagan    April 2016
  • "I found "For This Moment Alone" very poignant with tension-relieving humor and a thoughtful ending."

    -- Celeste Gerke    April 2016
  • "Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids presents a variety of quality productions with enduring messages, excellent staging, acting and directing. (Seldom is there a miss in the years I have attended.) Certainly at least on a par with the best in town, even some with better budgets and bigger hype. The "The Whipping Man" was one of the most emotionally charged plays I've ever seen. Thankfully there were talkbacks after the performances to vent some of the strong feelings the play brought to the surface. Jewish Theatre is the only ethnic theatre addressing universal themes in a Jewish context. See for yourself soon."

    -- Bruce Roller    January 2, 1014
  • ""A Happy End" - It was a good performance last night! Very timely. We always enjoy JTGR performances. You bring some thought-provoking performances to town."

    -- Eric Soya    September 2017