The Theater J 2012 - 2013 Season

This Is Who We Are: Beginnings, Belonging, Becoming & Breaking Through

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Illustrations by Gregory Ferrand


BODY AWARENESS

by Annie Baker
Directed by Eleanor Holdridge

August 25 – September 23
, 2012

A touching comedy from the Obie Award-winning author of Circle Mirror Transformation.  It’s Body Awareness Week at Shirley College, and the non-traditional Vermont family members Phyllis, Joyce and their possibly autistic son Jared are rocked by a visiting photographer and his ‘male gaze.’   As sexuality, identity, role modeling and political-correctness get stirred up, the results are both touching and hilarious.

“An engaging new comedy by a young playwright with a probing, understated voice…”-The New York Times


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OUR CLASS

by Tadeusz Słobodzianek
Translated by Ryan Craig
Directed by Derek Goldman

October 10 – November 4
, 2012

Starting in 1926 and spanning 80 years, moving between Poland and America, this epic play has profoundly affected audiences and critics since its premiere at London’s National Theatre. As ten Polish classmates – five Catholic, five Jewish – grow up, their lives take dramatically unexpected turns as their country is torn apart by invading armies, first Soviet, then German, then Soviet again. Friend betrays friend and violence quickly escalates, reaching a crescendo that will forever haunt the survivors.


“A remarkable and powerful play”- The Daily Telegraph


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Special Event!

WOODY SEZ: The Life and Music of WOODY GUTHRIE

Devised by David M. Lutken with Nick Corley and Darcie Deaville, Helen Russell and Andy Teirstein

November 8 – December 2
, 2012

Celebrate the 100th birthday of Woody Guthrie, the creator of American classics like “This Land is Your Land” and “The Ballad of Tom Joad!”  This boisterous retelling of the life of America’s troubadour blends musical numbers, scenes from Guthrie’s life and excerpts from his progressive newspaper column. The infectious and moving piece brings to life a true American hero, who proudly declared he would “always be there whenever working folks fight for their rights.”


“A high spirited celebration”- The Guardian



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VOICES FROM A CHANGING MIDDLE EAST FESTIVAL:
DIALOGUES IN THE DESERT

APPLES FROM THE DESERT

by Savyon Liebrecht
Directed by Johanna Gruenhut
Translated by Shir Freibach

December 15, 2012 – January 6, 2013

A poignant drama about love and reconciliation adapted by one of Israel's most beloved authors from her own short story, this hit Israeli play follows the young Sephardic Rivka, a religious teenager, who falls for Dooby, a secular kibbutznik, at a dance class in Jerusalem. She arranges to follow him back to his kibbutz in the Negev Desert, but not before Rivka's orthodox parents bar her from leaving, forcibly at first, only to chase after Rivka as she flees. A timeless and timely confrontation between tradition and modernity becomes a moving reckoning, as the sweetest of meals is offered and two generations learn to make peace.



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VOICES FROM A CHANGING MIDDLE EAST FESTIVAL:
DIALOGUES IN THE DESERT

BOGED (TRAITOR): AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE*

English-language premiere by Boaz Gaon & Nir Erez
Based on the play by Henrik Ibsen
Directed by Joseph Megel

January 12, 2013 – February 3
, 2013

Presented in partnership with Georgetown University
In association with StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance
*Performed at Georgetown University’s Davis Performing Arts Center, in the Gonda Theatre

A sudden chemical leak in an Israeli industrial park endangers the region’s water supply. The mayor is quick to cover up the scandal, but his brother fights to expose the truth. The family feud quickly turns into a political war with major environmental repercussions.  Emerging from Israel’s social justice movement of the past year, this timely adaptation of Ibsen’s play is the brain child of the Israeli playwright and adapter of Ghassan Kanafani's Return to Haifa, produced by the Cameri Theatre so successfully at Theater J in 2011.


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RACE

by David Mamet
Directed by John Vreeke

February 6 – March 17, 2013

The latest work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Glengarry Glen Ross ruthlessly examines guilt, betrayal and racial posturing. Two male lawyers are called to defend a wealthy white client charged with the rape of a black woman, while their female associate betrays an agenda of her own.

“Scalpel-edged...a topical detective story”- The New York Times.



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LOCALLY GROWN: COMMUNITY SUPPORTED ART

ANDY AND THE SHADOWS

A World Premiere by Ari Roth
Directed by Daniella Topol

April 3 – May 5, 2013

A family comedy with Freudian hallucinations and pre-marital angst by Theater J’s Artistic Director and award-winning playwright. Andy Glickstein is the son of Holocaust refugees who fears he can't get married because he hasn’t suffered enough. His family's gathered on the South Side of Chicago to celebrate his engagement to clear-headed Sarah, but party preparations are interrupted as Andy is pulled by memories and pre-adolescent enchantments of his mother's bath-time stories recounting her dramatic escapes from the Nazis. Andy's search for his duendé—the Spanish expression of soulfulness and tragic ecstasy made popular in Ernest Hemingway novels--leads him to make a movie mythologizing his mother's triumphant legacy and, when that fails, his father's unsung Zionist heroism, but he ultimately finds more meaning in a jar of jam and a hospital bed that sleeps two.

“A graceful, fluid writer”- The Washington Post


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LOCALLY GROWN: COMMUNITY SUPPORTED ART

THE HAMPTON YEARS

A World Premiere by Jacqueline E. Lawton
Directed by Shirley Serotsky

May 29 – June 30, 2013

Emerging from Theater J's inaugural Locally Grown Festival, this breakthrough premiere explores the development of great African-American artists, John Biggers and Samella Lewis under the tutelage of Austrian Jewish refugee painter and educator, Viktor Lowenfeld. Focusing on the pivotal years at Hampton Institute, Virginia during WWII, this richly researched tapestry of African American luminaries like Elizabeth Catlett reveals the dreams and travails of young artists in a still segregated society while examining the impact of World War II on a Jewish immigrant and his wife finding shelter in the US and his controversial influence in shaping the careers of African American students.

“Lawton deserves much attention and respect for her amazing originality” – DC Theatre Scene


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