Update on Theater J's 30th Anniversary 2020/21 Season

Thirty years ago, Theater J began as a handful of productions in a townhouse, quickly growing to become the largest and most prominent Jewish theater in the country. And throughout the last three decades, we have preserved and expanded a rich Jewish theatrical tradition by creating community and commonality through engaging, provocative, and meaningful theater-going experiences.

As the leaders of Theater J, we have been thinking a lot about our history and our values over the past few months. Pikuach Nefesh (“saving a life”) is a core Jewish principle that values the preservation of human life above all else; as our region works toward recovery, it has become clear that first and foremost we must protect the health and safety of our audience, our artists, and our staff. In order to do so, and with enormous sadness, we are canceling the three productions originally scheduled for fall 2020: The Kinsey Sicks in Electile Dysfunction, Incident at Vichy by Arthur Miller; Tuesdays with Morrie by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom; Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story by Hannah Moscovitch, Ben Caplan, and Christian Barry; The Red Beads by Rinne Groff; and Nathan the Wise by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, adapted by Michael Bloom, which was to be produced in association with the Folger Theater and which both companies look forward to staging in the 2021/2022 Season.

We are currently holding our June production of Fires in the Mirror by Anna Deveare Smith and co-produced with Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta as we await further developments from national and local governments and health authorities.

We look forward to joyfully gathering in the Goldman Theater when it is safe for audiences, artists, and staff to do so. The world is a very different place than it was even a few short months ago, and we are closely following the recommendations of both the DC government and the CDC, as well as consulting directly with medical professionals. We will be sure to update our entire community with information as soon as we know it. For now, we are moving forward with all our originally announced winter/spring programming in 2021.

We believe wholeheartedly that in these moments of challenge, you run toward your mission, and so this autumn we will continue to celebrate, explore, and struggle the complexities and nuances of both the Jewish experience and the universal human condition. We may not be able to gather in person, but we hope you will be able to join us for the new and expanded classes, Yiddish Theater Lab readings, our new Community Reads initiative, and other programs you find on this website.


Adam Immerwahr Jojo Ruf
Adam Immerwahr
Artistic Director
Jojo Ruf
Managing Director


Questions? Call our Ticket Office at 202-777-3210 Monday through Friday, 12:00-4:00 PM.

Fires in the Mirror

Fires in the Mirror

Conceived, Written, and Originally Performed by Anna Deavere Smith
Co-Directed by Adam Immerwahr and January LaVoy
A co-production with Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta
June 9–July 4, 2021


August 1991: simmering tensions in the racially polarized neighborhood of Crown Heights exploded into riots after an African American child was killed by a car in the Chabad-Lubavitcher Rebbe’s motorcade and a Jewish scholar was slain in retaliation. Anna Deavere Smith’s groundbreaking documentary play uses verbatim testimony from throughout the Jewish and African American communities, creating a visionary amalgam. This stunning theatrical event—offered in the 30th anniversary of the Crown Heights riots—promises a tour-de-force solo performance and a story which touches upon every American regardless of race, color, or beliefs. Starring January LaVoy.

“The most compelling and sophisticated view of racial and class conflict that one could hope to encounter.”—New York Times