Hailed by The New York Times as “The Premier Theater for Premieres,” 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, Theater J works in collaboration with the four other components of the Washington DCJCC’s Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts, which include the Washington Jewish Film Festival and Screening Room, the Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery, the Program in Literature, Music and Dance, and Nextbook.
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 premiere playwrights theaters, Theater J 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 236-seat Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater in the vibrant Dupont Circle neighborhood, Theater J works with some of the worlds most distinguished authors for the stage. Most recently it has produced world premieres by Richard Greenberg, Thomas Keneally, Robert Brustein, Joyce Carol Oates, Ariel Dorfman, with many professional debuts as well. In 2005, the late Wendy Wassersteim’s play Third, which began as part of an evening of her one-acts at Theater J, received its New York premiere at Lincoln Center Theatre, while Neena Beber received an OBIE for her New York production of Jump/Cut (co-produced by with Woolly Mammoth Theatre). Theater J’s diverse body of work includes a number of thematically linked series including its ongoing “Voices From a Changing Middle East” project, “Sex and Guilt in the Jewish Theater,” and two repertory productions on Post-Holocaust Remembrance. With hit productions ranging from Talley’s Folly to Homebody/Kabul to Hannah and Martin to The Disputation, The Dybbuk, and BETTY Rules, it’s no surprise that Washingtonian Magazine notes, “Theater J productions keep going from strength to strength.”
Theater J offers a number of programs to augment its productions including its Sunday Artistic Director’s Roundtable ; Peace Cafés; Tea @ 2, a monthly Friday reading series; and our PASSPORTS educational program. Theater J has garnered support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Theatre Communications Group, The Shubert Foundation and The National Foundation for Jewish Culture and is a member of the Cultural Alliance, the League of Washington Theatres, TCG and the Association for Jewish Theatre.