Rebecca Joy Fletcher is an actress, playwright, and cantor; she is also a scholar and performer of international Jewish cabaret. Rebecca is rare: she's a performer with a mind as expansive as her heart; a Jewish playwright who sees the world as her stage; and a clergy person committed to transformative ritual experiences. Rebecca grew up in Los Angeles where she became a child actress and company member of the Santa Monica Playhouse, a theater specializing in new musicals. Since that tender age of seven, Rebecca has been in love with the theater. Her constant passion: telling stories, in word and in song.
After completing a BA from Brown University, Rebecca moved to Israel, where she studied playwriting and acting at the School for Visual Theater, and performed at cabaret and improv comedy venues across the country. Returning to New York, Rebecca chose to deepen her own spiritual commitment by attending cantorial school. Completing Hebrew Union College's rigorous training program, Masters in hand (and honored with a prestigious Wexner Graduate fellowship during her course of study,) Rebecca embarked on the next phase of her career: juggling the demands of a synagogue cantor with growing success as a playwright and as a performer and scholar of international Jewish cabaret.
In 2007 Rebecca completed a labor of love: a theatrical cabaret exploring the little-known world of Warsaw's Yiddish language cabarets between the wars. Kleynkunst! opened Off-Broadway in November 2007 for a two-month, sold-out run, produced by the Folksbiene National Yiddish Theater. The New York Times calls Kleynkunst! "illuminating, ultimately touching," exclaiming that "Ms. Fletcher delivers a richly rounded and eventually heartbreaking performance." The success of Kleynkunst! opened new doors for Rebecca, including an invitation to perform and lecture at Hebrew University; a Theater Communications Group grant for travel to Warsaw for performances and further research; and a Confidence Foundation grant for research in Israel on Tel Aviv's cabaret culture in the 1930's.
The result of these efforts: Cities of Light, a thrilling theatrical romp through the cabarets of Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, and Tel Aviv. Cities premiered internationally in 2009 at the State Yiddish Theater in Warsaw and at popular venues across New York City, as part of the Festival of Jewish Theater and Ideas. Recently, the show returned to NYC with a series of special performances opening for Yisrael Campbell's off-Broadway hit Circumcise Me. Rebecca also offers Cities in conjunction with a host of educational offerings and is a sought after lecturer and musical scholar-in-residence at synagogues and academic institutions around the world. Rebecca is also currently developing a new full-book musical, Nightingale, based on some of her Warsaw research.
Rebecca serves as a vice president of the Association for Jewish Theater and is a proud member of New York City's award winning Kabarett Kollektif, Chicago Dramatists, the Dramatists' Guild, the American Conference of Cantors and the Cantors' Assembly. Rebecca lives in Brooklyn with her boyfriend Alan and a great view of the East river.