About Theater J
Hailed by The New York Times as “The Premier Theater for Premieres,” and recipient of more than 50 Helen Hayes nominations and awards, Theater J has emerged as one of the most distinctive, progressive and respected Jewish theaters on the national and international scene. A program of the Washington DC Jewish Community Center, the theater works in collaboration with other components of the Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts: the Washington Jewish Film Festival and the Literary and Music Department.
|Theater J produces thought-provoking, publicly engaged, personal, passionate and entertaining plays and musicals that celebrate the distinctive urban voice and social vision that are part of the Jewish cultural legacy. Acclaimed as one of the nation’s premier playwrights’ theaters, Theater J presents daring contemporary work alongside spirited revivals and is a nurturing home for the development and production of new work by major writers and emerging artists exploring many of the pressing moral and political issues of our time.
Dedicated above all to a pursuit of artistic excellence, Theater J takes its dialogues beyond the stage, offering an array of innovative public discussion forums and outreach programs which explore the theatrical, psychological and social elements of our art. We frequently partner with those of other faiths and communities, stressing the importance of interchange among a great variety of people wishing to take part in frank, humane conversations about conflict and culture.
Performing in the 240-seat Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater in the vibrant Dupont Circle neighborhood, Theater J works with some of the world’s most distinguished authors for the stage. It has produced world premieres by Thomas Keneally, Robert Brustein, Wendy Wasserstein, Joyce Carol Oates and Ariel Dorfman, with many debuts from emerging writers like Anna Ziegler, Sam Forman and Renee Calarco. Theater J’s diverse body of work also includes two ongoing initiatives: the Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival and the Locally Grown: Community Supported Art Festival, which supports the development of new plays by local playwrights. It has been called out by The Washington Post as “simply one of the most important and worthwhile projects that any local theater has adopted." With hit productions including Talley’s Folly, The Disputation, Honey Brown Eyes, The Chosen (a Theater J production presented by Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater), New Jerusalem, After the Fall, Our Class and Race, it's no surprise that The Washington Post proclaims that “Theater J propels itself to a new level of engagement with its audience, and, perhaps, to the forefront of theaters exposing Americans to drama that stirs the conscience as it illuminates aspects of Jewish culture.”
Winner of the 2008 Mayor’s Arts Award for Excellence in an Artistic Discipline, Theater J also offers much more than just productions through Beyond the Stage, which includes evening and Friday afternoon readings; a wide array of post-show programming such as panel discussions, cast talkbacks and the newly launched Directors Forum; and our Passports Program which brings theater to area students and underserved adult populations. Theater J has garnered support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and The Shubert Foundation. Theater J is a member of the Cultural Alliance, TCG and the Association for Jewish Theatre, and an associate member of the National New Play Network.