Corresponding with Motti and Sinai on the Helen Hayes Awards

from: Motti Lerner
subject: Alas, No Award

Dearest Ari,
How unfortunate. But your speech is wonderful. Let’s keep it in our files for the Obie.

from: Sinai Peter
Dear Ari,
Your speech is excellent because it comes from your deep heart and it gives us the strength to keep on collaborating for the good cause. I`m proud of everything concernig the production of PANGS.

שולח (sender): arirothdc
נושא: alas, no award

…but we got a lot of good mentions – good pictures – a nice souvenir program I can bring to you, if you like. The American Theatre Magazine issue goes online May 1 but the print issue is already out and both your pictures and your articles on the cultural boycott are excellent.  Here was the speech cobbled together from both your emails that I would have delivered, had we won, and had they allowed others to make acceptance speeches. In the end, they wouldn’t have allowed me to speak on your behalf anyway.

“I’m here on behalf of the playwright, Motti Lerner: From Ramat HaSharon he writes, “The success of the production shows that there is a hunger in the audience to see political plays both in Israel and in the US, and if there are many of these plays, together they can create a change, both here and in the US…”

From Israeli director Sinai Peter, writing from Haifa: 
”It is the role of a contemporary free theater to struggle against fundamentalism where ever it settles in the heart of the people and endangers their free thought and their intrinsic humanity.”

On behalf of Theater J, we thank you for this first-ever Helen Hayes Award. We’ve been doing this for a while, forging deep commitment to artists like Motti Lerner, and we’re so thrilled that this new play was met with appreciation and internal reflection.

We’re grateful that the Washington DCJCC supports a serious, ambitious, and passionately driven theater like ours, and we’re grateful to the Washington Theater community for welcoming in visitors from afar, whether they be from Israel, or the south side of Chicago. You’ve welcomed so many of us and allowed us to build an artistic home in the nation’s capital. All of us who write and produce and attend new work of serious ambition are validated by this category and by this particular award tonight.”