May 12, 2021
The Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company has announced that it will be producing “A Pickle,” by Deborah Yarchun, a new play based on true events.
The performances will be staged at outdoor venues around the Twin Cities.
The story line tells how, after entering her kosher pickles into the Creative Activities Competition for preserved food at the Minnesota State Fair, Doris discovers that they’ve been discarded onto a backroom table. The following year she finds her family delicacy disqualified for a second year in a row.
Doris Rubenstein, a Richfield resident since 1984, is the subject of “A Pickle,” a production that will be performed around the Twin Cities between May 27 through June 13.
Disappointed but not defeated, Doris sets out on a quest to uncover why they’re not receiving their due ranking amongst pickles.
What Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company leaves out of its announcement is that the “Doris” of “A Pickle” is Richfield’s own Doris Rubenstein who has lived in Richfield since 1984 and has been an active participant in numerous community committees over the years.
Her conflict with the State Fair pickle judges was covered in the Sun Current when the story first went global in August 2000 (“Pickle contest cans diversity”). This quirky campaign to recognize and celebrate diversity eventually was transformed into a play and it became the hit of the 2017 Twin Cities Fringe Festival.
Since then, the play has had two one-night performances.
Rubenstein also has found herself the recipient of cards, letters, and gifts of everything from sheet music (“Dill Pickles: A New Rag” by Charles Johnson, copyright 1906) to the epitome accessory of the COVID-19 era: a face mask made with a pickle print material.
“I’m thrilled that the MJTC’s production of ‘A Pickle’ is getting such a great response locally,” Rubenstein said. “Several performances sold out almost immediately. I hope it gives a big push to my campaign to bring the State Fair food competitions into the 21st Century!”
The play is also scheduled to be produced by a theater company in Indiana.
The production features prominent local stage performer Sally Wingert as Doris. In an interview with the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, Wingert said, “I knew about the play, but I was not prepared for how charmed I’d be, not only with the story but the writing, too. Deborah Yarchun (playwright) really captured Doris’ (subject of the play) voice.”
The theatre company will have strict safety and health protocols in place, such as social distancing, mandatory masks, attendance limited based upon state and city mandates, and traffic patterns to avoid “choke points.”
“Nothing would make me happier than to have a good turnout from my friends here in Richfield,” Rubenstein said.
For information about tickets, contact the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company Box Office 651-647-4315, or visit mnjewishtheatre.org/apickle.
– This article was submitted by Doris Rubenstein