And Then What? How Many Bushels Am I Worth?

And Then What? How Many Bushels Am I Worth?

Buy Tickets to Salute 50 Years of Soviet Jewish Emigration

A 10-day theatrical event The Apple Does Not Fall: Journeys of a Russian-Jewish Family is coming to the Piven Theatre at 927 Noyes Ave, Evanston. It will begin with a grand opening on August 16.

The event features two plays by Bena Shklyanoy, a Russian-Jewish émigré, and Kevin Olson of FirstHand Theatrical, and a short film* by Bena’s granddaughter, Abigail Matz.

The film will be screened after each performance followed by a brief discussion with the authors and cast.

The plays are: “And Then What?” and “How Many Bushels am I Worth?” 

Apple Does Not Fall PostCArd

To learn more about the project, visit

To see more details, including parking information, and To Buy Tickets, visit Tickets will be available for purchase at the door while supplies last. (Tickets are cash only at the door.)

 Call 401.400.2517 or email with any questions and to arrange for groups.

“And Then What?”

A scene from “And Then What?” Providence, RI. July, 2017.

Opened in 2017 in Providence, RI to critical acclaim. The Broadway World Review called it a rare piece of theater that truly touches every emotion… captivates from the moment the first lines are spoken.” It tells of Bena’s grandmother and her siblings, the generation that endured the Pale of Settlement and the Soviet life. This family closed ranks in the face of cruel history and defeated it—they brought forth the generation of emigrants.

“How Many Bushels am I Worth?”

Makes its debut at the Piven Theatre. This is the story of the generation that pioneered the emigration out of the Soviet Union. The play paints a picture of life in the Soviet Union and focuses on Bena’s family’s decision to emigrate. Facing the edge of the world, they closed their eyes and jumped. They arrived in Chicago in 1976 not prepared for the culture shock that all immigrants encounter in the beginning.

They could not have done it without the support and encouragement of HIAS and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Or without the unwavering determination of the Save Soviet Jewry movement.

“Cultural Inheritance: Stories of Children and Grandchildren of Soviet Jewish Immigrants”

This short film connects the vision of the Soviet Jewish immigrants to the cultural identity and impact on their young children and grandchildren.

Read more about the event here.

Our Supporters – Thank You!

The Apple Does Not Fall: Journeys of a Russian-Jewish Family is made possible by the generous sponsorship of –

Chicago Surgical Clinic & Associated Surgical Center, Dr. Yelena Levitin,

Shmunis Family Foundation,

LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services,

and by contributions of dozens of supporters.

Our promotion is supported by HIAS Chicago

Vashe Radio is a media sponsor of Apple Does Not Fall: Journeys of a Russian Jewish Family

To make a tax-deductible contribution, click here.

The Team

The plays are the brainchild of Kevin Olson of Rhode Island-based “FirstHand Theatrical.” The company creates and presents original productions using primary source material. It draws its ideas mainly from diverse personal, cultural and social histories and other writings. Kevin directs both productions.

CAST:  Hannah Altman, Maggie Cain, Alex Ireys, Heidi Katz, Kelly Levander, Howard Raik, Matthew Schufreider, Rachel Silvert.

DIRECTOR: Kevin Olson, Artistic Director of First Hand Theatrical



*This film is a JUF Russian Jewish Division’s ( Tikkun Fellowship project by Abigail Matz, funded by Genesis Philanthropy Group (

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