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By April Nickell

I listen to a lot of podcasts and every now and then tears spring to my eyes on the subway. I am always surprised by this and try to figure out what has moved me. It is often because of human connection. I just listened to a Bill Moyers about activism where he interviews Howard Zinn. He tells about Janora Dalinger, a 23 yr. old woman who, while at a sit-in strike against unfair working conditions of the 1930’s, got on a loud speaker and rallied the crowed against the violent police. The men tried to stop her from getting involved but she pushed them away. Her speech made women walk into the chaos of the protest in order to help the powers that be see the violence of their acts. Men don’t like to hurt women. What is it that allows an individual to walk into violence in order to bring about change? It is connectedness. You may get hurt or die but you are part of something bigger than you. There is power when we realize we belong to each other.

This woman’s voice caused action and then the retelling of the story affected me. Encouraging people to tell their stories and listen to others stories is what Jaradoa is all about. I keep thinking about what Jaradoa has done on the very limited budgets we have and thinking that none of it is possible if we didn’t feel like we belonged together. (if any of you Lost fans are feeling like Rose in the final season thinking – “if you say ‘live together, die alone’ one more time, I’m going to hurt you!” rest assured – I leave that line to the high drama of Lost!)

Here we are heading into load in this week with very limited staff and funding but what happens is volunteers, members and friends show up to help make it happen. Some of my favorite memories are looking around the theater in the middle of load in and seeing, writers, actors, directors, designers, friends, my neighbors and even my parents working on something. I think this even playing field of everyone diving in and doing what they can for the production is what makes our play time like the Kicknick or ‘family’ potluck so much fun. I am not saying painting a set is the same as this woman’s rallying speech, but I am saying what makes either of them work is the same thing – knowing we belong to each other.

There is no outside, no other, only all. Jaradoa is a family now and hope everyone we encounter can become part of that family and remember this whole city, country and planet are part of that family. We belong to each other. We are on the same team. So we love. That is the team we are on. The loving body of the universe!

(Click here for a link to the Bill Moyers Thee Journal that made me cry! He interviews Howard Zinn around 28:00 minutes)


By Eric Emch

As the Marketing Director of Jaradoa Theater, I have a lot of unique responsibilities. I adopt the “voice” of Jaradoa and create facebook status updates; I take photos from Play On! and meticulously cut out the students from the background; I have a weekly meeting with April that usually ends in beer drinking/life evaluation. But never before have I had the responsibility of being on stage.

When Anika asked me to participate in last Saturday’s Radio Play, my first reaction was “absolutely not.” I’m not an actor — I don’t want to be an actor. However, I hadn’t seen Anika in a while, nor had I ever seen a Radio Play, so I nervously agreed. I received the script and was assigned a role (Announcer 2 – holla!), and even practiced out loud in my apartment which loud/zany accent I would use (Radio Plays sound better with bold vocal choices, apparently).

The day of the Radio Play, everyone showed up at Bishop Mugavero Nursing Home in Brooklyn and my fears immediately faded. Everyone was so excited to be there and eager to entertain that I quickly jumped on the fun-times bandwagon. Not to mention our audience (the elderly folk of the nursing home) was lively and completely ready for our performance. And the performance was a hoot and a half! I read my lines with the only accent I’m confident in (a Palin-esque Midwestern accent — I’m from Ohio, what can I say?) and mostly shouted my lines. Everyone else was HI-larious and our singing talent was out-of-control good. When I wasn’t laughing hysterically my jaw was dropped hearing Anika sing her face off or watching Telly epitomize a “triple threat.”

While the actual play was such fun to be a part of, the hands down best part of the day was the post-show sing along with the residents and the conversations that followed. The two women I sang by for the sing along were not shy by any means, and performed (mostly to themselves) a stirring rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Mary and Gladys had both sung for their church choirs — and both women were full of stories and anecdotes that were yearning to be told. And I couldn’t get enough! Looking around the room at all the story-swapping, I felt such pride to be a part of Jaradoa and such honor that this fascinating and important community was so willing and eager to share their lives with us.

I think I’m still on a high from the hilarity and good times that ensued at Saturday’s Radio Play. If any of you ever get a chance to participate (whether you’re an actor or not), do it! If all else fails, you can just yell the lines using your best Sarah Palin accent.

This February, we came down with a mean case of the Jarabowlaz… especially our Athletic Director, Chris Harbur. Collected here for your enjoyment are excerpts from the emails Chris sent out in advance of our weekly bowling matches. By the end of the season, the Jarabowlaz were on pins and needles waiting to see what he’d say next. (Did you catch that, with the pins? It’s a bowling reference! Ok, Chris is better at bringin’ the funny than we are, so keep reading.)


Your very own Jarabowlaz (Jaradoa + bowling + the letter “z”… see what we did there?) will be hittin’ the lanes for the very first time!

We are all super excited to be in the Broadway Bowling League and just wanted to extend an invitation to all of you Jaradoa supporting people. It’s $15 to bowl two games, and you also can just come, support, have a drink and say hi to your fellow Broadway people, cheer us on and dance to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s bowling playlist! This is your captain, Chris “Thunder Strike” Harbur signing off…..


I think everyone who showed up last week will be in a general state of agreeance (yes that term was more popularly used circa 1919) that Thursday’s bowling was one of the most fun things done in a long while! With that in mind, this Thursday will be for points! No pressure–as we found out last week, you can literally bowl worse than a Northern Canadian field mouse and still win because you get to add as many as 200 points to your score!

Bowl boldly, my friends.


Oh, biscuits, we’re in 4th…

That said, I can pretty much guarantee that if you make your way on down to Port Authority Bus Terminal this Thursday night at 11pm you will do the following:

1) Laugh at least 6 times

2) Dance to a song from every decade

3) Do the “strike” dance (you’ll just have to see it for yourself)

4) MOONWALK (it’s sooooo much easier with bowling shoes on)


Ridiculous…. We are a bunch of goofy laughing hyenas at the bowling alley and have managed to be the best closing team in the Broadway Show League. Last week everyone had to bowl a good last frame to win their match up and DID! I feel like a proud stage mom….

Tonight we will return, in third place, bearing the metaphoric bronze medal and waving our Jarabowland country flag high, singing our famous song: “Jarabowland! Jarabowland! Hear our cries and fear our bowlin…d….!”

I love you all.


Last week, the 15+ Jarabowlaz supporters witnessed a tiny slice of history as we beat the best team in the league 14-9. They are the unruly but hugely dominating “Balls Deep” team. These guys are scary. Not in the physical, vocal or snappy-dressing kinda way, but in a theatrical, eccentric, bowl-your-face-hole-off way. How did we do this, you may ask? Was it our will to bowl? Our desire to spread mercy, beauty, truth and bowling ball cheer to everyone? Or is it the fact that we get excited after EVERY BALL THROWN no matter where it ends up or who throws it?… Technically, none of these things, but MAN were we impressive!


Look gang, let’s get straight to it. We are .5 points out of FIRST. (1/2 a point!!) Amazing.

The bowling debut of our newest Jaradoa Member, Shelley “Spicy Vanilla Heat” Thomas, re-energized an already potent Jarabowlaz line up and propelled us to new heights. This is the closest we have ever been to first place. This week is a position week so we will be bowling that 1st place “Balls Deep” team from South Pacific….. grrrr. Our fearless co-captain, “Balls Wellington” (Brandon Giles), will be steering the Good Ship Jara-pop. I will miss you all this week.


Somebody’s in fiiiiirst…. And that somebody is U-S! Wooo! We rock.

Under the fearless tutelage of our co-captain, “Balls Wellington III,” the “A Team” from South Pacific fell like Humpty-Dumpty after a long night of partying. Come if you want a little taste of what being a national bowling champ feels like.


Tomorrow night is our wing party at Shorty’s…. and the Championship Game.

I felt a legitimate goose bump form on my right forearm as I wrote that subject line just now. I am pretty excited that we will playing for the Championship against a team that actually practices on Monday nights in Queens. We are 2.5 points behind so we gotta win, and we gotta win by 3 points to take home the coveted “Golden Tap Shoe.” Actually, I have no idea what award is given if you win the Broadway Bowling League, but I can imagine it will be something like that.

If you are indifferent about bowling, come hang out and watch the most improbable sporting outcome happen since that hockey team beat that other hockey team in that movie that came out a little while ago.

THIS IS THE BIG ONE! Also the last one. Who’s with me?!?!


So we finished the year in 2nd place…. I feel pretty darn good about that. I think that anyone who ever came to bowl with us would agree that it was something truly exciting to look forward to each week. There aren’t many people on this planet that put more good vibes into an atmosphere than the good people of Jaradoa Theater. 🙂 Well my friends, it’s time for Chris “Thunder Strike/ I Have a 127 Pin Bowling Average” Harbur to sign off for this season with the Jarabowlaz chant that got us all the way to #2: “Mercy, Beauty, Truth, BALLS!”

I love you all and will see you at the Kicknick on May 17th!

Want to get involved this summer?
If you’d like to participate in or learn more about any of this stuff, please email

• Jaradoa Radio Theater •
Come perform for, chat with, and love on some old folks!

– Thursday, June 11th from 1:30-3:00 – Brooklyn

– Wednesday, June 24th from 1:30-3:00 – Astoria

– Wednesday, July 15th from 1:30-3:00 – Washington Heights

– Saturday, July 25th from 1:00-2:30 – Midtown

• Play On! •
Our playwriting and acting course for kids!
– At an afterschool program in the Bronx:
May 5, 14, 21, 28 and June 4 from 4:00-5:30.

• Shafrika, The White Girl •
Our next production will rehearse in May and run in June, and we’ll need volunteers for load in and load out, ushering, running crew, board ops, and much more!  If you’re interested in helping out on the production in some way, drop us a line at!

• Play Club •
Once a month, we read a play together.  Just for fun!
May 20, 5:00-7:00; June 17, 5:00-7:00; July 22, 5:00-7:00

Want to get involved in March, April or May?
If you’d like to participate in or learn more about any of this stuff, please email

Jaradoa Radio Theater – Come perform for, chat with, and love on some old folks!
– Tuesday, April 7, 1:30-3:00 in Washington Heights
– Saturday, April 25, 1:00-2:30 in midtown

Play On! – Our playwriting and acting course for kids at an afterschool program in the Bronx.
April 7, 9, 23, or 28; May 14, 21, or 28; 4:00-5:30.

Scene Study Classes – Tuesdays from 7:00-9:30, February 10 – March 24.
$15 per class. Next round starts April 7th.

Play Club – Once a month, we read a play together. Just for fun!
March 18, 4:00-7:00; April 15, 5:00-7:00; May 20, 5:00-7:00.

Shafrika, The White Girl, our next production, will rehearse in May and run in June. We’ll need volunteers for load in and load out, ushering, running crew, board ops, and much more! If you’re interested in helping out on the production in some way, drop us a line at

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