Who The Folk?! Sara Bogomolny

How does a theater background relate to engaging people in a non-theater environment? Sara Bogomolny, Jewfolk, Inc.’s new director of engagement tells us. Sara joined us just over a week ago, and talks about what brought her to the Twin Cities, how her theater background will help her in the job, and what creating a community means to her on this week’s Who The Folk?! Podcast.

You can read an excerpt below, but for the whole interview, please listen or subscribe to the Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher, with more to come later soon. Please subscribe, rate, and review. And of course, if you have suggestions of others who would be great subjects, let us know!

How did you come to Minneapolis?

So I just moved to Minneapolis two months ago. I come from Cleveland, Ohio with a background in theater. I’m a director and an actor, a theater educator. And I came here with my partner, Zach for his medical residency.

Do you prefer on stage or behind the scenes?

Right now? I feel like I’m on the cusp of transitioning more towards being a director. But I would never give up performing.

What is your favorite show that you’ve performed?

Oh, that’s such a good question. My first professional show right out of college was The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail was really fun, because it kind of played on literary-historic fiction. And I had a great time working on that.

So do you like musicals, drama, comedy?

All of the above.

What’s your favorite musical that you’ve performed in?

Sweeney Todd. It was kind of my first crack at like a big role. I was in high school. But it’s a role I would love to come back to I played the beggar woman. And she has this great plot twist around her. And she’s a little bit, I mean, completely crazy. So there was just a lot of freedom as a high schooler to kind of explore this really unbound character.

There’s a lot of great theater in the Twin Cities. Have you looked to involve yourself somewhere?

So I’m going to be in a show at the Minnesota Fringe Festival coming up. it’s called Renaissance of the Dead. It is about a zombie outbreak at the Minnesota Renaissance Faire. I am playing a sort of, I’m playing several characters, but my favorite is a Shakespearean esque fool kind of character.

So how do you see the theater background that you have, are working well with the engagement part of your job here?

I think theater teaches you how to interact with all different sorts of people. And from both sides of my experience in theater, I think I get that. So as a director, I’m always navigating and organizing groups of people and having to speak their own language. You speak in one language to your actors about how to put the show together. And you have to speak in a totally different way to engage with your designers and the tech side and the patrons. So I think that just has given me so many tools to approach people from different aspects of life. And then acting just gives you that empathy, like popping into a perspective and being able to see the world through somebody else’s eyes is a great tool for engaging with people.

So now, in full disclosure, you’ve been on the job officially for two days as we are recording this. What is it about the opportunity that drew you to it?

Well, being brand new to the city, I think there’s a selfish element of really wanting to find my own Jewish community here and wanting, wanting to not take it for granted. I think growing up in Cleveland staying there for so long I felt like I could navigate that community with a lot of ease and comfort. And I kind of knew the leading players as it were. Here. I don’t know anybody. So there’s definitely a selfish aspect to it. But also, I just think that I’m enthusiastic about getting to know people and making those connections.

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