Hailed by The New York Times as “the premier theater for premieres,” recipient of more than 50 Helen Hayes Award nominations, and winner of the 2008 Mayor’s Arts Award for Excellence in an Artistic Discipline, 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 DCJCC, 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. We present daring contemporary work alongside spirited revivals and provide a nurturing home for the development and production of new work that explores many of the pressing social 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, including our Passports: Access and Outreach program which brings theater to area students and under-served adult populations. We frequently partner with those of other faiths and communities—coming together 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 Darrah Cloud, Aaron Posner, Wendy Wasserstein and Ariel Dorfman, as well as debuts from emerging writers like Anna Ziegler, Sam Forman and Renee Calarco.
Theater J’s diverse body of work also includes the Locally Grown: Community Supported Art Festival, which supports the development of new plays by local playwrights. It has been recognized by The Washington Post as “simply one of the most important and worthwhile projects that any local theater has adopted.” With hit productions including Freud’s Last Session, After the Revolution, Our Class and Yellow Face, 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.”