Chutzpah! Festival of International Jewish Performing Arts returns in 2021 with an exciting lineup of performances and stimulating conversations.

About the Chutzpah! Festival

The Chutzpah! Festival: The Lisa Nemetz Festival of International Jewish Performing Arts brings world-renowned international dance, music, theatre, and comedy annually to Vancouver audiences, through a lens of Jewish experiences, stories, and values in all their richness and diversity, and fosters artistic dialogue and collaboration between Jewish and non-Jewish artists and communities. The Chutzpah! Festival offers eclectic and cutting edge multidisciplinary art presentations by local, national, and international artists, creating unforgettable and unique experiences for audiences throughout the Lower Mainland. In addition, the Festival offers artistic residencies, outreach programs, and other professional arts programming of interest throughout the year. 

The Chutzpah! Festival was launched in 2001 by the Vancouver West Side Theatre Society. The Society, established and incorporated in 1994, also operates the Festival’s home, the Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre, a professionally-equipped 318 seat proscenium theatre catering to the presentation of professional dance, music and theatre, as well as film, literary and community arts events. For more information about the theatre and to inquire about booking, please visit

Chutzpah! Festival Staff

Jessica Mann Gutteridge Artistic Managing Director
Theo Hunter Bell Technical Director
Flick Harrison Livestream Director  
Laurie Buckley Marketing Director  
Jodi Smith (JLS Entertainment) Public Relations
Alla Elperin Graphic Designer & Website Administrator
Daniel Wajsman Marketing Coordinator
Anne-Mary Mullen Ticketing Specialist
Josh Kamin Audience Services Coordinator

Vancouver West Side Theatre Society

Our mandate is to enhance the cultural life of both the Jewish and general communities, and our commitment is to presenting, producing, and promoting professional and innovative community-based programming that: (1) Supports both established and emerging artists; (2) Entertains, inspires, educates, and enriches its audiences; and (3) Promotes communication and understanding between Jewish and non-Jewish communities.

Vancouver West Side Theatre Society Board of Directors

Lloyd Baron – President
Shannon Gorski
Jill Shore
Zev Shafran
Alvin Wasserman
Michelle Pollock
Nancy Stern
Sal Casseres
Hillary Cooper

Executive Director of the JCCGV: Eldad Goldfarb

A very special thank you to the wonderful Chutzpah! Festival volunteers who donate generously of their time to support festival events and activities.

About the Artistic Managing Director

Jessica Mann Gutteridge recently joined the Vancouver West Side Theatre Society as Artistic Managing Director of the Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre and the Chutzpah! Festival, where she is responsible for all artistic programming and the management of the organization.

Most recently, Jessica managed Granville Island’s flexible space Performance Works on behalf of renowned independent theatre company Boca del Lupo. She was a founding board member of the Granville Island Theatre District. She held positions as Managing Director and Education Manager of Carousel Theatre for Young People.

Her work as a dramaturg has included new plays for young audiences and playwrights from Shakespeare to Genet to Edwin Sánchez. She received her MFA from the Yale School of Drama’s Department of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism and studied directing at Wesleyan University. She studied drama education at Adelphi University. She was a member of the 2018-19 Cultural Leadership Program at the Banff Centre and a fellow at the 2019 Canadian Arts Summit.

Born and raised in New York, Jessica returned to the theatre after nearly two decades as a lawyer specializing in advertising and trademark law. At Columbia Law School she was editor-in-chief of the Columbia- VLA Journal of Law and the Arts. Her non-profit board work has included serving as Co-President of Landmark on Main Street, a performing arts and community centre on Long Island, the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival, and the Bayview Treehouse Preschool.

Jessica lives in Vancouver with her husband and their three highly dramatic sons.

Remembering Lisa Nemetz (March 31, 1955-May 17, 1997)

Lisa Nemetz was a dancer, a lawyer, a lover of the arts and a tireless advocate for the treatment of women with breast cancer. She was also active in promoting the arts as a member of the Community Arts Council. Lisa was a devoted wife to her husband David Levi, mother to children Yoni and Miri, and shared her love with her sister Laurie, extended family, and many close friends. We are honoured to have the festival named in her memory.