Benedictus Press Page 

Theater J continues its Voices From A Changing Middle East Festival with Motti Lerner's Benedictus running March 14-29, 2009

DC Theatre Scene
Reviewed by Tim Treanor
March 20, 2009

"Benedictus - the name comes from a canticle which celebrates the birth of John the Baptist by praying for peace and deliverance from fear - is a political black-box thriller which presents an insoluble problem. Its considerable pleasures derive less from watching the efforts to solve it than from watching those efforts undone by greed, remembered humiliation and fulminating mistrust. More autopsy than surgery, Benedictus is nonetheless an extraordinary character study which makes the blood race and the heart break."  CONTINUE READING

Express Night Out
Tension Rising: Motti Lerner's 'Benedictus'
Reviewed by Nathan Martin

IT WASN'T THE revolution they were expecting. Thirty years after the removal of the Shah and installation of the Ayatollah Khomeini-headed Islamic republic of Iran, the characters of Motti Lerner's "Benedictus" find themselves wrestling with the implications of 1979, under the pressure of an imminent U.S.-backed military strike.  CONTINUE READING


Potomac Stages 
Reviewed by David Diegel
March 15, 2009

"A peppery, spirited presentation helps to offset slippery and perhaps implausible plot points in this political thriller which may be best for those steeped in the issues surrounding relations between the United States, Iran, Israel and even the Vatican. The world of foreign policy is a hall of mirrors, of course, with mist shrouding the visible surfaces rarely depicting what is throbbing beneath."  CONTINUE READING

Washington Post
'Benedictus': Engaged in a Tense, but Wordy, Diplomatic Mission

By Peter Marks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The setup of "Benedictus" sounds as if it were concocted for one of those geopolitical thrillers you buy in an airport bookstore: On the eve of a threatened U.S. bombing of Iran's nuclear installations, an Israeli arms dealer and an Iranian ayatollah meet secretly at a Benedictine monastery in Rome to try to stop the attack.  CONTINUE READING

Metro Weekly
Troubled Pathway
Defaulting to sound bites and talking points, Theater J's 'Benedictus' feels more workshop than finished work
by Tom Avila
Published on March 19, 2009

"One of the toughest lessons to teach a beginning visual artist is the understanding that every piece they create will not be a finished work of art. Sometimes the scattering of marks made on the page are nothing more than exercises, graphite clouds as they try to figure out how to coax line and form and objects from the blank page.

But the impulse is to ignore this most difficult stage of learning, the part where one must release control. Make the occasional gross or awkward mark. Erase with disregard and enthusiasm."  CONTINUE READING

All Arts Review 4 You

By Bob Anthony

"Theater J is concluding the 2009 Festival of "Voices From A Changing Middle East" and this production, "Benedictus" (To 3/29) takes on a direct challenge to Iranian/United States/ Israeli relationships.  Artistic director Ari Roth is to be highly praised for his continuing search for peaceful interactions amongst all social, political and religious groups."  CONTINUE READING

Washingtonian Magazine

Susan Davidson talked with Lerner.  CONTINUE READING




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