Our Artists in Residence make JCC Maccabi ArtsFest the premier arts experience for Jewish teens. Carefully selected for their superb credentials and their excitement about working with young people, these working artists are at the top of their fields. They share their talent and experience in an intensive workshop structure, spending the week guiding and inspiring teens to express their own creativity.
2013 Artists in Residence
Acting/Improv with Megan Campisi
Megan is a New York-based performer, playwright and teacher. Her original plays include: Brementown (2005 —Winner of the French Alfa and ADAMI prizes); Floating Brothel (2008); and The Pinks (2012). Her latest play, The Subtle Body, is a historical comedy about the literal and figurative workings of the human heart in eighteenth-century China. Megan is a recipient of Brooklyn Arts Council grants, the Yale Lustman Award for Artistic Achievement, and was shortlisted for the 2013 M-on-the-Bund literary residency. Megan is a co-founder of the Gold No Trade theater company. Megan guest teaches for the Yale University theater department and the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Closer to home, she teaches theater for Lincoln Center Institute, Young Audiences New York, and Marquis Studios.
Megan received her B.A. from Yale University in theater and graduate training from L’Ecole Jacques Lecoq in France. She studied Commedia dell’Arte with Antonio Fava, puppetry with Philippe Genty, and Shakespeare at RADA. In the late 90s, she traveled to South Africa to study the political role of theater in post-apartheid society. Megan speaks French and is learning Mandarin.
See the Acting/Improv audition requirements
Dance with Lauren Shavitz
A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, Lauren Shavitz has studied jazz and tap all her life and been dancing professionally and teaching for 29 years. She has experience with jazz, lyrical, contemporary, musical theater, tap, and creative dance for all levels and ages. Lauren has danced with Performing Arts Modern Dance Theater Company in Johannesburg as well as working as a resident dancer for the South African Broadcasting Corporation. She was also a member of Jazz Dance Theater South in Atlanta, Georgia, and Jazz Spectrum in Orange County, California. Lauren has also taught in Atlanta and extensively in Orange County for the last 23 years at local studios as well as choreographing for several high schools. She also judges high school dance competitions for CADTD (California Association of Dance/Drill Team Directors) and USA (United Spirit Association).
See the Dance audition requirements
Jazz Ensemble/World Music with Mattan Klein
Mattan Klein was born and raised in Jerusalem and won first prize at the Pizmon Tichon composition competition when he was 16 by presenting music set to lyrics by Israeli poet Nathan Alterman. After completing his military service, Mattan performed on national TV, radio, and major festivals. He completed his music studies at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and soon blended into the Boston jazz scene. He gained a reputation as an innovative improviser as well as a proficient studio musician, and was often called upon to play with faculty members and visiting artists including Giovanni Hidalgo and Billy Childs. Now, Mattan performs extensively on stages across North America, and is often touring the world as a leader and as a sideman. Past performances include Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington DC, the 92nd Street Y in New York, Regatta-Bar in Boston, and the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. He is one of today’s hottest jazz/world music flutists, blending a clear and fluent sound with some of New York’s brightest contemporary new voices. Mattan has been an artist in residence at seven JCC Maccabi ArtsFests.
See the Jazz Ensemble/World Music audition requirements
Musical Theater with Naomi Ackerman
Born in New York, Naomi Ackerman moved to Israel with her family in 1973, where she lived until they relocated to Los Angeles in 2006. She received a B.A. from Hebrew University and graduated from the prestigious Nissan Nativ Israeli Acting Studio. Naomi is an experienced actress whose credits include musicals, drama/comedy, film and television. She has performed her acclaimed one-woman show, Flowers Aren’t Enough (which she researched and wrote) around the world over one thousand times. She is founder and director of The Advot (Ripples) Project, a registered 501(c) 3 that uses theater to facilitate change. Her curriculum Relationships 101 is implemented in schools and juvenile detention camps. Naomi works as a consultant, using drama techniques to deal with social, gender and educational issues, as well as exploring identity and promoting tolerance. She is a founding member of “View Points”, an Arab Jewish theater group sponsored and produced by the Peres Center for Peace and the creator of the Jerusalem Municipality children’s clown school, which was one of the first groups of clowns in Israel to engage in medical clowning, integrating professional medical clowning into Israeli hospitals.
See the Musical Theater audition requirements
Rock Band with Kevin Bachelder
Kevin has loved music since he was five years old, and thirty years later, the desire to, write, play and perform is still strong. He attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston and continued to study at USC Jazz Studies. He has performed for David Bowie and sung on a Capitol Records recording session with Steve Miller. He studied with three-time Grammy nominated jazz vocalist and musician Tierney Sutton and completed a rather stellar rock album with the yet unknown Norther 45. He has his own party band, Fastback, and has played hundreds of clubs and thousands of weddings. Through it all he writes, writes, writes. Kevin completed an album of all original music in 2003 under the name Sun Engine, and he teaches in Orange County at the private school Tarbut V’Torah where he infects the like-minded with the same desire to create, play, perform, repeat.
See the Rock Band audition requirements
Star Reporters with Doug Gottlieb
The Star Reporter Specialty’s exciting program will be filled with special guests. Among them is Doug Gottlieb, who will lead a special session on sports journalism. Doug is an on-air TV and radio personality for CBS Sports, and member of the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Doug hosted various shows for ESPN Radio, and has served as an on-air college basketball analyst for ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS. Additionally, he won a gold medal in basketball with Team USA at the 2001 Maccabiah Games.
See the Star Reporter requirements
Visual Arts with Lynne Kaplan
California artist Lynne Kaplan was born in South Africa. After graduating from the University of Witwatersrand with a degree in fine art, Lynne went on to the Johannesburg School of Arts, where she specialized in interior and industrial design. A career in interior design and subsequent years in the fashion industry have cultivated Lynne’s fascination with color and texture. Her experimental approach with a variety of mixed media and artistic techniques has led to a number of exhibitions. Lynne’s passion for art has, in particular, blossomed through teaching. Since her early experiences in South Africa, she been instructing both adults and children in acrylic & oil, graphic design, mixed media, pottery and sculpture. Currently, Lynne is teaching mixed media and sculpture at the Merage Jewish Community Center of Orange County. She has two sons and currently resides in Irvine, California with her husband.
See the Visual Arts audition requirements
Vocal Music with Beth Schafer
Beth Schafer has spent her career redefining Jewish music by combining masterful songwriting with sensitivity with liturgy and a unique insight into text. She specializes in music for Torah-minded adults looking for an extension to their Jewish lives through music. Beth won the 2006 American Idol Underground Faith-Based Competition and has used that win to create new music for interfaith communities. She has been featured in many national conferences and festivals and has played at center court for the Orlando Magic as well as for President Obama during his historic 2008 campaign. Schafer has degrees in music theory and composition from the University of Miami School of Music and is a trained and much sought after guitarist in styles ranging from classical to blues, folk to jazz. In 2010, Beth founded Positive Jewish Living. As chief conceptualizer, she takes her writing to a broader level, offering new perspective, new music and a new Jewish experience in both worship and concert. Beth has been the spiritual leader of Temple Shir Shalom in Central Florida for 10 years, has been married for 19, and has two daughters. She has released seven CDs of original music and is the author of PJL’s Seven Sparks, Tools for Jewish Wellness.
See the Vocal Music audition requirements