“I emerged from the birth canal strangling on the umbilical cord. I wonder if God was giving me a chance to change my mind: are you certain you want this adventure of life as a Cuban Catholic daughter of a Jewish mother?”
On this episode, hear the incredibly moving piece “Both/And,” one of the favorite stories from the hit show True Colors which returns to The Braid in Santa Monica for four performances September 19-22. Written by Maria Ramos-Chertok and performed by Heidi Mendez (bios below), “Both/And” is from the collection of pieces that makes up our wildly popular Salon show True Colors – full of humorous, revealing and inspiring stories from Jews of Color exploring identity, community and being a Jew in modern times.
TRUE COLORS CREDITS
Material Adapted, Curated, and Producedby Ronda Spinak
Producedby Eric Greene
Directed by Susan Morgenstern
Dramaturges Lisa Rosenbaum & Susan Baskin
Literary Manager Suzanna Kaplan
South Bay Producer Liz Altman
San Francisco/Bay Area Producer Carol Kirsh
Assistant Producer Barbara Koletsky
Associate Producers Rose Ziff & Susie Yuré
Artistic Associate Daphna Shull
Assistant Artistic Director Andrew Fromer
Starring: Brie Eley, Kimberly Green, Heidi Mendez, Joshua Silverstein and Katherine Washington
Written By: Ruth Behar, Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl, David Chiu, Marcos Cohen, Courtenay Edelhart, Marra B. Gad, Marissa Tiamfook Gee, M.A. Hosein, Maria Ramos-Chertok, Larry M. Sanders, and Joshua Silverstein
Featured on this episode:
Written by Maria Ramos-Chertok. Performed by Heidi Mendez.
MARIA RAMOS-CHERTOK (Writer) is a writer, workshop leader, and coach who facilitates the Butterfly Series, a writing and creative arts workshop for women who want to explore what’s next. Her book, The Butterfly Series: Fifty-two Weeks of Inquiries for Transformation, was published in August 2018. She is finalizing her debut novel, Rosie’s Blues, inspired by the experience of her mother opening their family home in Hackensack, New Jersey, as a shelter for battered women and children. Maria’s manuscript won the 2018 Adult Fiction Mentorship prize from the Word for Diversity. She is a contributor to All the Women in My Family Sing: Essays on Equality, Justice, and Freedom (Feb. 2018), edited by Deborah Santana, and She’s Got This! Essays on Standing Strong and Moving On (Feb. 2019), a Write-on Mamas project. Since 2014, she’s cohosted women’s salons showcasing women-of-color artists. For more info, visit: www. mariaramoschertok.com.
HEIDI MENDEZ (Actor) is a bilingual actor/director/educator who has worked professionally in Madrid, Mexico City, Utah, Texas, and now California. Her favorite roles include Lady Bracknell, Prospero, and most recently Amanda in The Glass Menagerie. Some favorite shows as director/choreographer include Cats, Working, Fiddler, and The Diary of Anne Frank. She is known as the Rapping Grandma to kids in juvie where she volunteered for two years which led her to be founder/director of ACT RISK NO MORE, a nonprofit whose mission is to rescue troubled teens through theater. Heidi is married to Nick (a Mormon bishop) and is the mother of three boys, resulting in her being afraid nothing. For fun, Heidi takes hip-hop classes and plays dress- up with her granddaughter. Education: BA in acting from BYU and MA in directing from Texas State, plus two Utah teaching certificates for theater and Spanish.
For more info on True Colors, click here.