Announcing Theater J's 30th Anniversary 2020/21 Season

For almost three decades, audiences have turned to Theater J for excellent performances, striking designs, and productions that excite, challenge, and inspire our hearts and our minds. We are proud to be the nation’s most prominent Jewish theater, and our 20/21 season celebrates and builds upon this history, bolstered by and created for our loyal patrons.

Our 30th anniversary season is ambitious, timely, and affecting. From Arthur Miller’s rarely-seen masterpiece Incident at Vichy, to the powerful and touching story Tuesdays with Morrie based on the best-selling memoir, to Anna Deavere Smith’s groundbreaking documentary play Fires in the Mirror about the Crown Heights riots, join us for six journeys—plus a special add-on—exploring human experiences across continents and centuries. All from the comfort of your reserved seat in our beautiful theater.

We hope you will join us next season, celebrate our 30 years, and help us make this one our best yet.

 

Adam Immerwahr
Artistic Director
Jojo Ruf
Managing Director

 

Call our Ticket Office at 202-777-3210—Monday through Friday, 12:00-4:00 PM—to learn more and subscribe today!

Incident at Vichy

By Arthur Miller
Directed by Joe Calarco
October 14–November 8, 2020

AN AMERICAN CLASSIC, REIMAGINED

Arthur Miller’s rarely-seen masterpiece is a dazzling gut-punch of a drama. In Vichy France in 1942, a group of men and a boy are seized by the collaborationist authorities and held in a makeshift police station. Some of them are Jews. All of them have something to hide. As each man is removed for interrogation, some are set free, some are never heard from again, and the stakes rise for all who remain. Director Joe Calarco deftly reimagines “one of the most important plays of our time” (The New York Times) for a taut ensemble of eight transformational actors.

“A seething, searing and profoundly stirring drama.” –Associated Press

Tuesdays With Morrie

By Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom
Based on the book by Mitch Albom
Directed by Jenna Duncan
December 2–27, 2020

FROM THE BEST-SELLING MEMOIR

Based on the best-selling memoir, Tuesdays With Morrie is the powerful and touching story of Mitch Albom, a hard-driving journalist, and Morrie Schwartz, his former college professor. Directed by Jenna Duncan, the poignant play tells the story of the two men reuniting as Morrie faces his own mortality as an ALS patient. What starts as a simple visit turns into a weekly pilgrimage and a master class in humanity, compassion, and friendship. Starring Michael Willis.

“A touching, life-affirming, deeply emotional drama with a generous dose of humor.”–NY Daily News

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story

By Hannah Moscovitch, Ben Caplan, Christian Barry
Directed by Christian Barry
January 6–24, 2021

AN EDGY NEW KLEZMER-INSPIRED MUSICAL

Sex, religion, tragedy, and triumph–Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story has it all! A hilarious and edgy love story interwoven with a high-energy Klezmer concert, this unique music-theater hybrid is inspired by the true tale of two Jewish Romanian refugees finding love after arriving on the shores of Canada in 1908. Featuring a not-to-be-missed performance by genre-bending sensation Ben Caplan, Old Stock has been wildly popular with audiences and critics alike across Canada, Great Britain, and in New York.

“A thing of raw and unmissable beauty.”–Herald Scotland

Nathan the Wise

By Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Adapted by Michael Bloom
Directed by Adam Immerwahr
Produced in association with Folger Theatre
February 17–March 14, 2021

AN 18TH CENTURY SHAKESPEAREAN FABLE

In 12th century Jerusalem Jews, Christians, and Muslims live beside one another in peace—or so they hope. As tensions rise, the ruling sultan asks the question: “Which religion is the one most beloved by G-d?” Lives, and the future of Jerusalem itself, are on the line as the brilliant Jewish merchant Nathan tries to find the answer. This 18th century Shakespearean play abounds with mistaken identities, foiled romances, and families and friendships across cultural and religious divides. Michael Bloom’s moving and humorous new adaptation celebrates the common humanity that unites us all. Starring Mitchell Hébert.

The Red Beads

By Rinne Groff
Based on The Singer of His Sorrows by Osip Dymov
As adapted by Adrian Guo-Silver and Rinne Groff
From a translation by Adrian Guo-Silver
Directed by Johanna Gruenhut
April 7–May 2, 2021

A FUNNY AND MOVING NEW PLAY

A charming, comical, and stirring fable, drawn from one of the great stories of the Yiddish Theater. When a father’s bedtime story magically comes to life, his young daughter is plunged into the world of a poor shtetl poet, desperately in love with a woman who spurns him. With great wit and even greater heart, The Red Beads explores the beauty – and the pain – of letting love triumph over logic. The Red Beads is a world premiere adaptation, and the second full production of Theater J’s signature Yiddish Theater Lab.

Fires in the Mirror

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

THE GROUNDBREAKING DOCUMENTARY PLAY

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

Plus a Special Engagement

The Kinsey Sicks in
Electile Dysfunction

September  9–13, 2020

The Kinsey Sicks are back! Full of their signature panache and perfect harmonies, these over-the-top a cappella drag queens are running for President and their campaign promises to be filthy fun. The gals take (a)back America by out-pandering, out-conspiracy theorizing, and out-outlandishing their political rivals with sharp-witted songs and biting parodies delivered in glorious four-part harmony. Don’t miss America’s Favorite Dragapella© Beautyshop Quartet in their triumphant return to Theater J.

“The songs are marvels…it’s a hoot…clever and jubilantly performed.”—The Washington Post