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Jewish Women in Hollywood – Showcase in New Performance at Jewish Women’s Theatre (JWT) in Santa Monica Assembles Expert Panel

Jewish women are, and always have been, change agents in Hollywood.  Jewish Women’s Theatre (JWT) will present a performance and panel that looks at the evolving role of these smart, talented, aggressive and influential women on Sunday, February 11 from 10 am to noon at The Braid, JWT’s performance and art space, 2912 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica.

The morning program will begin with a performance about Hedy Lamarr, an Austrian-born actress who not only had a successful movie career, but also invented a radio guidance system that enabled Allied torpedoes to reach their targets without being jammed by the Axis powers. Louis B. Mayer referred to her as “the world’s most beautiful woman.” But that’s not all.  Her contributions to technology were recognized with her induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.

The combination of brains and talent in Jewish women began with Sarah Bernhardt, the first superstar actress, writer, producer, artist and sculptor.  It continued with Fanny Brice, Molly Berg, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Natalie Portman, Sarah Silverman and Gal Gadot.

The legacy of these multi-talented women will be discussed by a panel of Jewish women who are working in Hollywood today. The panelists work both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.  They will discuss their personal careers, what they are doing to promote positive images of Jewish women on screen and how they are smashing the entertainment industry’s glass ceiling and much more.

Panelists include:

  • Olivia Cohen-Cutler — During her 40 year career as a television executive, Cohen-Cutler served in various legal and executive capacities in the entertainment industry in NY and LA. She spent 29 years at ABC, where she initially led the Labor Relations department and went on to become Vice President of Standards and Policy.
  • Debra McGuire – Best known as the costume designer for FRIENDS. McGuire has been nominated for 11 Emmy Awards.  She has designed costumes for Al Pacino and Helen Mirren, while working for David Mamet, and has done multiple projects for Judd Apatow and Jake Kasdan.  She is currently finishing the seventh season with The New Girl.
  • Sarah Platt – With over a decade of experience as a filmmaker, Platt’s credits include work with Warren Beatty, Billy Ray, Phil Alden Robinson, Duncan Jones and Gregory Hoblit. Her true passion as a filmmaker is working with up-and-coming talent to develop their voices for the screen and their story and characters for the page.
  • Rena Strober — Strober began her musical career on Broadway, and she did national tours and played in local theatres.  She was in Les MiserablesFiddler on the Roof and Zhivago.  Since moving to LA, she has guest starred on VEEP, Shameless, and Big Bang Theory and has voiced hundreds of characters for Disney and other animation companies.

The Jewish Women in Hollywood panel will be moderated by Arlene Sarner, a writer and award-winning producer, who has written for every major movie studio, including Universal, Fox, Columbia, Paramount, Disney, Warner Brothers, Tri-Star, and Orion, as well as TV networks ABC, CBS, CBC, and VHI. Her film work includes Academy Award-nominated Peggy Sue Got Married and Blue Sky, starring Jessica Lange in her Academy Award-winning role.

Jewish Women in Hollywood: Gamechangers will take place on Sunday, February 11 from 10 am to noon at the Braid, 2912 Colorado Avenue, Suite 102 in Santa Monica.  Tickets are $20 and include a light brunch.  To purchase tickets, visit www.jewishwomenstheate.org  and click on “Events.”

Olivia Cohen-Cutler.
Debra McGuire.
Rena Strober.
Sarah Platt.
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