Established in 2022, Theater J’s Expanding the Canon initiative will commission seven extraordinary racially and ethnically diverse Jewish writers to create new full-length plays that thematically and visually center diverse Jewish narratives. This program is for Jews of Color, Multi Racial/Multi Ethnic Jews, Indigenous Jews, and Mizrachi and Sephardic Jews who seek to correct and broaden the historically limited portrayals of Jewishness on stages in the US and around the world. Expanding the Canon is made possible in large part by funds granted by The Covenant Foundation.
Each writer will receive a $10,000 commission to create a new play over two and a half years; each will also have access to a $5,000 developmental budget that can be used for readings, workshops, research, and travel.
The program will commence in August, 2022 with a three-day intensive “Beit Midrash” led by Rosh Beit Sabrina Sojourner, a Shaliakh Tzibur and nationally recognized Jewish leader, and an exceptional teaching faculty. They will guide the cohort of commissioned writers through a curriculum covering Jewish life, philosophy, history, and literature. This intensive introduction will give playwrights access to texts and understandings of Jewish thought and tradition that will inspire them as they begin to craft their plays. Throughout the commission, writers will meet monthly to continue to learn, share additional resources and workshop written material.
Excerpts of the finished scripts will be shared in a final gathering in December, 2024. All commissioned scripts will be strongly considered for Theater J mainstage productions.
To learn more about playwright eligibility and submission requirements, please see below.
To learn more about the project leaders, click here.