"Jewlinka!” ~Wrassling with My Bubbe~
A Melange of Dance, Theater and Song

What do you get when you combine a Russian Jewish Bubbe with her rebellious, hippie granddaughter? Oy!!
Dynamic musician Michelle Newman and power-house character actress, Julie Oak weave dance, theater and song, in “Jewlinka” --a hilarious and heartrending portrait of Julie’s bewildering Jewish upbringing. Ms. Oak plays 7 different characters, including herself at different ages and her eccentric Yiddish-accented Grandmother, while Michelle accompanies brilliantly with guitar, vocals, sound effects and a delightful array of Jewish music.

These two knock-out performers give us a wild taste of Gramma’s cross-Atlantic immigration to New York City, and the clash of her American dream with teenage Julie’s 1969 iconoclastic fervor.

From the Program:
“Jewlinka” ~ Wrassling with my Bubbe

Conceived, written and directed by Julie Oak
With major contributions from
RD Bolam, Michelle Newman, and Tibisay Strazzera
Based on the true life story of Julie Oak. Characters have been altered, combined, exaggerated, renamed-- generally used, abused and toyed with.

Dedicated with love, to my Grandma Rachel Landsman
Grandma Francis Simonoff Burt
and my Great Aunt Betty Simonoff http://www.museumoffamilyhistory.com/yt/lex/S/simonoff-betty.htm

This piece originally began as an improv with helium balloons. Somehow I found myself in deeply mournful song. I think the happiness of the balloons, reminded me of my well of sadness, that polarity of joy and sorrow, so poignant in my Jewish heritage.
“Jewlinka” is also made fantastical with the surprising and varied use of five colored helium balloons.

My relationship with my grandmother was difficult and distant. She died when I was 16. As and adult, I came to realize how much of my make-up for better and for worse was similar to hers. This piece is the culmination of my journey healing the wretched feelings I had about her- and the ways I have come to love her.
Julie Oak

Julie Oak – Jewlinka or Julie as child, teen, young adult, and adult, Grandma Rose (Bubbe), Julie’s mother, Julie’s father, Dr Berry, Jewish Sunday school teacher, witch, Boris Simonoff, child Bessie

Michelle Newman – Musician, Great Aunt Bess

Julie Oak

Julie Oak began performing in Wisconsin Mime Troupe in 1972. Influenced by Ruth Zaporah's Action Theater, she appeared as a solo improviser and performance artist through out the Bay Area.
Julie has created, produced, directed and performed in several original shows Santa Cruz. She has appeared in character roles in the works of many local choreographers, and directed improvisational movement-theater groups.

After teaching mime and Contact Improvisation, Julie developed "RealPlay" Moving Theater and Transformative Expression. She teaches this form, which has a performance wing and a healing wing. More info at RealPlayis.Us.

Julie has been a guest teacher at Cabrillo College, at University of California Santa Cruz, NCDC Dance Camps, and in improvisation festivals throughout the West Coast.











Michelle Hodah Newman

If there's Music in the Air, Michelle is there. She has led Chanscendental Meditation Ritual Circles, co-led Spirit Sound Wave and has an organization called Women's Heart CirclesTM. She's now offering Sing Your Soul SongTM workshops for Women with Cancer, as well as accepting private clients with cancer to assist in their healing soul journey through musical expression by Singing Your Soul SongTM!
Michelle writes music and is a sound healer with her voice and crystal bowls, as well as practitioner of a voice mapping bio feedback program called eVOX.
She graduated from University of CA at Santa Cruz in Theater Arts with a Teaching Credential (K-12) and San Jose State University, Music Education. She taught music and theater in schools for many years, and performed as a jazz vocalist.
Michelle has completed Lev Shomea (Hearing Heart) Spiritual Direction Training Program at Elat Chayyim (Isabella Freedman Center) in Connecticut. She is a Cantorial Soloist and Teacher of Hebrew/B'nai Mitzvah & Judaism for Chadeish Yameinu Community School in Santa Cruz, CA. www.WomensHeartCircles.org