While some knew him as Jonah and others as Mac, we all loved and respected him. And we miss him dearly.

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To purchase our magnificent recording, "So Is Life," visit jonahmac.org/so-is-life.

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Jonah @ PGT: Emily Selinger

Jonah'sYears@PGT.2013.11.BlogAd.Final.large“Jonah’s Years at PGT” is The Jonah Maccabee Foundation’s autumn fundraiser for 2013. Throughout November and December 2013, we’ll be remembering, mainly through the writing of his friends, some of the great fun and growing Jonah experienced at PGT. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to help us provide other kids with similarly loving direction along the road to wholeness during their own childhood years. Please consider making your tax-deductible gift at jonahmac.org by Sunday, January 5, 2014. Okay, or any other time. Thank you. You’re the best!


 

Emily Selinger remembers …

Emily graduated from Columbia University in 2012. She is currently living on the Lower East Side in Manhattan and working in independent film distribution. 

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I was in five shows with Jonah, which left me perfectly positioned to witness his journey as an actor. Our third show together was Marvin’s Room. Being in a seven-person cast – unprecedented for PGT – was an experience I will never forget. Being such a small cast, we had the time to really delve into the script, devoting entire rehearsals to talking about the play’s message, each character’s depth and journey, and how we were going to deal with the combination of comedy and tragedy.

The most remarkable part of the process, though, was Jonah’s transformation into Dr. Wally. At the beginning, the doctor’s office scenes between Dr. Wally and Bessie were frustrating to watch. Jonah didn’t know his lines, he and Naomi were having a lot of trouble with the pacing, there was just something missing. The problem persisted as we got closer and closer to opening.

Jonah and Naomi Riemer "Marvin's Room," May 2007

Jonah with Naomi Riemer
“Marvin’s Room,” May 2007

Then one night, during a run-through in the purple room [at the old PGT location], something in Jonah clicked. It was like watching a different show. The scene moved along, Jonah was hysterical and honest and compassionate and we all fell in love with Dr. Wally.

That was the magic of Jonah. Just when we were beginning to lose faith in him, he would take us all by surprise and create a character so complex and enjoyable to watch that it was almost better that way, happening all at once. I remember thinking, “Is this really the same kid from Lucky Stiff?”

Jonah’s astounding growth as an actor also helped him gain a sense of self, and this once temperamental kid became funny, confident, and loving. He was a true pleasure to share the stage with, and I’m so lucky that I got five chances to do so.

Emily

P.S. Please give generously to our Autumn 2013 campaign at jonahmac.org. As always, we are ever grateful for your friendship and support.

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