Community Reads

Looking for a different way to experience a play online?

Join Theater J for a fun, relaxed, and supportive reading of a topical play where you can play a part. Community Reads requires no acting experience – this is not a performance, but a chance to hear a play out loud and in community via Zoom.

All are welcome, even if you just want to listen.

All are invited – Community Reads is FREE – but reservations are required.

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Leah, The Forsaken by Augustin Daly

Wednesday, October 28th at 7:00PM

A rare chance to experience this thought-provoking melodramatic Jewish play written in 1862. When Leah leads three other Jews to safety outside a small Austrian town, will she find the solace she’s seeking? This classic drama about religious refugees resonates with the current world around us in powerful and surprising ways. Adapted by Augustin Daly from the work of German-Jewish playwright Salomon Hermann Rosenthal, Leah, the Forsaken is full of drama, wit, and biting social commentary.

The event is free and open to everyone. Every participant must register individually, including those in the same household.

We will assign roles at the start of the reading, mindful of readers’ and characters’ gender identities. We invite everyone to share their own experiences and to deepen their connection to the play’s themes in a discussion that will follow the reading.

Information on how to join as well as access to a digital script will be distributed to registrants in advance of the event.

In lieu of charging admission, we ask you to consider supporting the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization that has, since 1913, fought to stop anti-Semitism. Today, its mission also includes fighting threats to democracy, including cyberhate, bullying, bias in schools and in the criminal justice system, terrorism, hate crimes, coercion of religious minorities, and contempt for anyone who is different. Learn more at

Co-Presented with the EDCJCC’s Morris Cafritz Center for Social Responsibility.

Previous Community Reads

Gloria: A Life by Emily Mann

September 1 at 7:00 PM

Recently featured on PBS Great Performances, Gloria: A Life chronicles Gloria Steinem’s decades-long fight for women’s equality and the activists—including Flo Kennedy, Dorothy Pitman Hughes, Bella Abzug, and Wilma Mankiller—who guided her along the way. The script ends by inviting participants to share their personal reflections in a talking circle, a format Steinem and her contemporaries used in their advocacy.

This reading solicited donations for the Radical Monarchs, a California-based non-profit which creates “opportunities for young girls of color to form fierce sisterhood, celebrate their identities and contribute radically to their communities.” More information here:

Co-Presented with the EDCJCC’s Morris Cafritz Center for Social Responsibility.