JUNE 26–JULY 25, 2010

From the Artistic Director
We are gathered as a theatrical congregation not only to wrestle with the tenets of one of the great minds of our millennium, but to wrestle with something far less vaunted in ourselves: Why did our historical brethren in Amsterdam inflict upon Baruch De Spinoza one of the harshest decrees of excommunication ever ordered? We have learned from Professor Jean Cahan (who helped kick off an extended two-week study session at Tifereth Israel Congregation involving our troupe on the subject of Spinoza) that the excommunication of Jews during the 17th Century was not uncommon; there were, in fact, thirty-nine between 1622 and 1683. But most sentences were short. Even the cantor was excommunicated (but that was only for a day)! Spinoza’s sentence was different. The severity was commensurate with the umbrage taken. Why was the community so provoked? Why didn’t it rally to defend one of its own; a best and brightest light—albeit a provocative, occasionally arrogant presence? Clearly the Jewish community is coerced, pressured, and feels it has no choice but to censure its prodigal son. Yet, for all his alleged sins—which includes a blasphemous discussion of theology with Gentiles—Spinoza repudiates his Jewishness far less than the Jewish community repudiates him. Why such communal ferocity directed at a most un-ferocious dissident? And what does the inflamed reaction say about us today? Spinoza’s ideas destabilized Jewish thinking, then and now. Spinoza questions the Jewish community’s relationship with the governing Dutch authority. More than that, he sets the stage for modern Judaism’s understanding of the Torah as a historical—not a divinely originated—document. And, of course, he asks basic questions about God, challenging the centrality of faith as a cornerstone of religious practice. Widely accepted, rationalist views today are met with uproar and fury by the community. Its intellectual weakness exposed, the community hits back, defensive and aggressive. What do we do with the blasphemers of our time; those heretics who destabilize the community with trailblazing thoughts? Why isn’t Spinoza’s “heresy” reflected upon by the “enlightened” community that spawned him? Why no acceptance from the rabbi who nurtured him like a son? The genius of David Ives’ play is that in exposing the community’s hypocrisy, we are also exposed to flaws and contradictions within Spinoza himself. What fuels this angry young man to such heights of impudence, while still maintaining a strong self-identification with the Jewish community? Was Spinoza such an angry young man? Or did his love of reason demand a sanguine and unwavering devotion to rational belief over blind faith? A debate play seemingly about the nature of God—or the God of nature—really turns out to be a mystery play about the nature of a man and what moves him, and what moves a community to silence—and remove—him. The community exhibits no willingness to compromise, but then neither does Spinoza. Spinoza is touched, but in the end unmoved by the imploring of his teacher. Is this stubborn rigidity a trait to be admired, or does it seal his fate? There’s something of The Crucible in this drama of a man holding firm—and making new discoveries—before an unholy tribunal. These are angry times in our own nation, and in our multi-stranded Jewish community as well. What we have in New Jerusalem is a play to appreciate and to inspire learning, both from books and from examining ourselves—how we behaved as a community once upon a time and how we continue still—as we marvel at the achievement of a towering young giant whose greatness refused to be expunged.

-Ari Roth

Theater J’s Angels

Jacqueline & Marc Leland Joel Wind & Al Munzer
Additionally, the following have provided generous support for

This select group has provided generous support for

The Fisher Family Visiting Artists Program
The Fisher Family Foundation Arlene & Robert Kogod Jacqueline & Marc Leland

The Arlene and Robert Kogod New Play Development Program
Diane & Arnold Polinger

Theater J’s Passports Educational Program The Cohen Family Foundation The Jacob & Charlotte Sandra & Arnold Leibowitz Lehrman Foundation Theater J Council
Marion Ein Lewin Co-Chair Irene Wurtzel Co-Chair Lois Fingerhut Vice-Chair Paul Mason Vice-Chair Ira Hillman Treasurer Ellen Malasky Secretary Natalie Abrams Patty Abramson Michele G. Berman Mara Bralove Deborah Carliner Mimi Conway Myrna Fawcett Cheryl Gorelick Ann Gilbert Carolyn Kaplan Yoav Lurie Amelia S. Mattler Jack Moskowitz Elaine Reuben Evelyn Sandground Hank Schlosberg Andy Shallal Patti Sowalsky Stephen Stern Manny Strauss Barbara Tempchin Trish Vradenburg Joan Wessel Rosa Wiener Margot Zimmerman

Washington DCJCC Leadership
President Mindy Strelitz Chief Financial Officer Judith Ianuale Chief Executive Officer Arna Meyer Mickelson Chief Development Officer Mark Spira Chief Operating Officer Margaret Hahn Stern Chief Programming Officer Joshua Ford


Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater/Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts

June 26 – July 25, 2010
Theater J presents

By David Ives Directed by Jeremy Skidmore+

Rebekah Eliza Bell* Ben Israel Ethan Bowen* Clara Lauren Culpepper Simon Brandon McCoy Valkenburgh Lawrence Redmond* Spinoza Alexandar Strain* Mortera Michael Tolaydo*

Artistic & Production Team

Scenic Designer Misha Kachman** Lighting Designer Thom Weaver** Costume Designer Kathleen Geldard** Sound Designer Matt Nielson** Properties Designer HannaH J. Crowell Production Stage Manager Roy A. Gross* Dramaturg Stephen Spotswood Assistant Director Stephanie P. Freed Scenic Artist Meaghan Toohey Assistant Stage Manager Ariel Warmflash Lighting Operator Aaron Waxman Sound Operator Scout Seide * Member of Actor’s Equity Association Head Electrician Garth Dolan **Member of United Scenic Artists Local 829 Casting Director Naomi Robin + Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society
New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza is presented by special arrangement with Dramatist Play Service, New York. It was originally produced by Classic Stage Company, Brian Kulick, Artistic Director; Jessica R. Jenen, Executive Director, by special arrangement with Robert Boyett. This play will be performed with one 15-minute intermission. Patrons are requested to turn off pagers, cellular phones and signal watches during performances. Please do not text message during the performance and remember to turn your cell phone off after intermission. The taking of photographs and the use of recording equipment are not allowed in this auditorium.


About Spinoza
The beginning of the 17th century saw European civilization in the midst of a long, arduous climb out of the brutality and fear that dominated much of the Middle Ages. The young man Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677) was one of a handful of thinkers who took it upon themselves to examine a millennium of old ideas, dissect them, and discard what they no longer believed was in mankind’s best interest. In this way, Spinoza and his contemporaries acted as philosophical midwives to the modern age. However, at the time this play takes place, the recognition of Spinoza as a philosophical founding father is unrealized. In Amsterdam of 1656, Spinoza is a man of many ideas but few friends, and on the verge of being an outcast in his own community. The Jewish community in Amsterdam was still very young at this time. When the Inquisition expanded into Portugal in 1580, many Portuguese Jews found refuge in Amsterdam—the trade center of the Western world. Unlike most cities at this time, Jews here were not confined to a ghetto and were well respected by many of their Christian neighbors. The words in the title of this play, New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza, refer to the idea, voiced early in the play by one of the city’s regents, that Amsterdam was a God-given homeland for Jews and Christians alike. Considering the Inquisition was still ongoing in other European countries, and that Jews living elsewhere faced murder, torture and mass conversions, the argument for Amsterdam as a true haven for Jews was valid. However, their freedom was tightly circumscribed. Jews were excluded from nearly all of the trade guilds, from owning shops, and from holding public office. They were also forbidden from proselytizing their religion, while at the same time ordered to keep strict observance of their own orthodoxy. It is this community, still in its infancy and still very vulnerable, that took up the case of Baruch de Spinoza, charging him with atheism and dissemination of heresies. This event would be the first of many trials for the young philosopher. His ideas eventually spread around the world. In leading universities and religious institutions, Spinoza was tried and condemned in absentia as a monster and heretic. When his magnum opus, Ethics, was finally sent to a publisher shortly following his death, Catholic priests, Protestant ministers and Jewish rabbis banded together in a failed attempted to discover who had possession of the manuscript and stop it from seeing the light of day. And they had good reason to put a stop to Spinoza. His philosophy deconstructed the foundations of the Jewish and Christian faiths. He presented a reality that allowed for morality and goodness to exist in a world without divinity, laying the groundwork for what modern thinkers recognize as secular humanism. But before Spinoza had to argue his ideas to the world, he had to defend them to the Portuguese Jews of Amsterdam—a confrontation that has been brilliantly dramatized by David Ives in New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza. Still, David Ives has not written a history play. The Spinoza that is put forth here is a modern man—possessing dry wit and irony and a sense of the gravity of the moment. Through the course of two hours he lays out a system of living—peppered with wonderful moments of discovery along the way—that history shows was not complete until just before Spinoza’s death. And the trial taking place on stage is not just the trial of Spinoza. Within the heart and mind of Rabbi Mortera, who is forced to choose between the flawless reasoning of his beloved pupil and the tenets of his faith, Ives presents the clash between religion and reason in the modern world. With characters that feel contemporary and words that ring relevant and true, this play dramatizes an argument that has continued to play out over the last four hundred years, and proves that the interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza remains unfinished.

About Spinoza
(in four clauses or less) IF it is true that in the beginning there was God and nothing else.

The Philosophy of Baruch de Spinoza

THEN there was no Substance for God to create the universe out of other than the Substance of Himself. THEREFORE the entire universe was created from God, and everything in the universe is an aspect/piece of God. AND IF God is perfect, and the entire universe IS God, then the universe, as it is, is perfect. Notes by Stephen Spotswood, New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza dramaturg For more dramaturgical information, visit (click on “New Jerusalem”)

Additional Programming for NEW JERUSALEM
Theater J is dedicated to taking 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. Discussions take place weekly, following Sunday matinees and many Thursday evening performances. For an updated list of panelists and additional discussion dates, visit (click on “Beyond the Stage”) Saturday, June 26 at 10:15pm: A Discussion with David Ives: including Jeremy Skidmore (Director of New Jerusalem), interviewed by Michael Kahn (Shakespeare Theatre Artistic Director, director of The Liar) Sunday, June 27 at 5:15pm: The Artistic Team of New Jerusalem Monday, June 28 at 9:45pm: Preview Talkback Tuesday, June 29 at 9:45pm: Preview Talkback Sunday, July 4 at 5:15pm: Interfaith Discussions on Spinoza: The First in Our Series of Perspectives Interfaith Dialogues led by Rabbi Tamara Miller Thursday, July 8 at 9:45pm: Cast Talkback Sunday, July 11 at 5:15pm: A Discussion with members of the Washington Spinoza Society Thursday, July 15 at 9:45pm: Spinoza’s God: A Discussion with Daniel Spiro, Coordinator of the Washington Spinoza Society Sunday, July 18 at 5:15pm: Talkback with Spinoza scholars Kenneth Feigenbaum and Sidney Bailin Sunday, July 25 at 5:15pm: The Rehabilitation of Baruch Spinoza in Modern Jewish Culture: A Conversation with Spinoza Scholar Daniel Schwartz 5


About the Artists
Eliza Bell (Rebekah Spinoza) is thrilled to be back at Theater J, where she appeared as Shiri in The Accident. Local and regional credits include: Harvey (Bay Theater); Charles Mee’s Snow in June (American Repertory Theater); Donnie Darko, Trust, Three Sisters (ART Institute); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lightbulb); Black Codes and Bloody China (Manhattan Theater Source). Television: As The World Turns. Eliza has trained at Studio Magenia Ecole de Mime in Paris and the Moscow Art Theater, and holds an MFA from the American Repertory Theater Institute at Harvard. Ethan Bowen (Ben Israel) is pleased to make his Theater J debut. Recent DC credits include Detective FIx in Around the World in Eighty Days at Round House Theater, where he was also Billy Bones and Squire Trelawney in Treasure Island. Other area credits include The Olney Theater Center (Peter Pan, Brooklyn Boy, 13 Rue de L’Amour), The Shakespeare Theatre (Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar) and Woolly Mammoth Theatre (The Faculty Room). Regional credits include productions at The Joseph Papp Public Theater, The Acting Company, Northern Stage, Clarence Brown Theater, St. Michaels Playhouse. Ethan is an Associate Artist with Vermont Stage Company where he has performed for the last 15 years, most recently Louis de’Rougemont in Shipwrecked!, and Elliot in Opus. He received his MFA from New York University and splits his time between DC and Vermont where he lives with his wife Courtney and dog Otis. Lauren Culpepper (Clara) Most recently appeared at the Folger Theatre and the Two River Theater in Orestes: A Tragic Romp. New York credits include The Dinner Party at Lincoln Center Institute and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her regional credits include Dream Machines, Peril on the Red Planet, Trojan Women and Two Gentlemen of Verona. She is a proud company member of No Rules Theatre. Ms. Culpepper holds her BFA from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Brandon McCoy (Simon) is proud to make his Theater J debut. Originally from Huntington, WV, Brandon holds a BFA in Acting from Marshall University and an MFA in Acting from Catholic University. He has appeared at numerous area theatres and festivals including Rep Stage, Forum Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Arena Stage, The Bay Theatre, Journeyman Theater Ensemble, Washington Shakespeare Company, and Theatre Alliance. He is also a professor of acting at Catholic University and Howard Community College, as well as an accomplished stand-up comedian and musician. Lawrence Redmond (Valkenburgh) welcomes the chance to join this company of artists. He was last seen at Theatre J as Samuel/Uriah in David in Shadow and Light, as well as Jaime Sabartés in Ariel Dorfman’s Picasso’s Closet, as Emil Goldfus in Jules Feiffer’s A Bad Friend, and as Ben Charney in Ari Roth’s Life in Refusal. Other efforts this season included Alfred Morris in Permanent Collection at Round House Theatre and Dimas in Triumph of Love at Olney Theatre Center. An Affiliate Artist at Arena Stage, Redmond is a born and bred Washingtonian, a 2010 Artist Fellowship Grantee from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and a two-time recipient, and multiple nominee of the Helen Hayes Award. Alexandar Strain (Spinoza) has performed at Theater J in The Rise and fall of Annie Hall, Honey Brown Eyes and Pangs of the Messiah (Helen Hayes nomination - Supporting Actor) and The Seagull on 16th Street. Other performances include Angels in America (Forum Theatre); In the Heart of America, Bach at Leipzig (Rep Stage), My Name is Asher Lev, Lord of the Flies (Round House Theatre), Caligula, Medea (Washington Shakespeare Company), The Monument, Gross Indecency (Theater Alliance), The School for Scandal (Everyman Theatre), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (LongAcre Lea 7

About the Artists cont.
Productions, Helen Hayes nomination - Ensemble). In Washington, DC he has directed Marisol (Forum Theatre), Life’s A Dream (Journeymen Theater Ensemble), Peace (Washington Shakespeare Company—World Premiere). He is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he studied at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. He is a recipient of the 2007 Boomerang Fund for Artists grant and lives in Washington DC with his girlfriend, Natalia. Michael Tolaydo (Mortera) is delighted to return to Theater J. Past performances include The Accident, Benedictus, The Pangs of the Messiah and numerous stage readings including Seven Jewish Children with Forum Theatre. He recently performed in Heroes at Metro Stage (Helen Hayes Award for Ensemble Acting). Other performances include a one person telling of St. Mark’s Gospel at Theatre Alliance, the National Cathedral, and at St. Mary’s College of Maryland; Blue/Orange at Theater Alliance; Heartbreak House and Treasure Island at The Roundhouse. Michael has appeared at The Studio Theatre in Uncle Vanya, Privates on Parade, Blue Heart, and Waiting for Godot. He has appeared on Broadway in A Moon for the Misbegotten, Kingdoms, Dirty Linen/New Found Land, The Robber Bridegroom, The Time of Your Life, The Three Sisters, and in Edward II. Past appearances at the Folger have included Sterling in The Clandestine Marriage, Macbeth, Prospero, Lord Capulet, and Shylock. Michael is a professor of Theater, Film, and Media Studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and was the first recipient of the Steven Muller Distinguished Professorship in the Arts. David Ives (Playwright) was born in Chicago and educated at Northwestern University and Yale School of Drama. A former Guggenheim Foundation Fellow in playwriting, he is probably best known for his evenings of one-act comedies. His short plays are collected in two anthologies, All In The Timing (Vintage) and Time Flies (Grove). His full-length theatre works are available in Polish Joke and Other Plays (Grove). He is also the author of two youngadult novels, Monsieur Eek and Scrib. Most recently, he wrote Venus In Furs, adapted Corneille’s The Liar and translated Georges Feydeau’s classic French farce A Flea In Her Ear which won a Jefferson Award for Best Adaptation and a Prince Prize for New Work. He lives in New York City. Jeremy Skidmore (Director) has been based in Washington, DC for nine years. He served for two years as Producer of the Source Festival and for six years as the Artistic Director of Theater Alliance where he produced 22 productions in five years that garnered 22 Helen Hayes nominations. Elsewhere in the DC area, he has directed for Signature Theatre, Round House Theatre, Olney Theatre Center for the Arts, Everyman Theatre, Catalyst Theater Company, African Continuum Theatre, Rorschach Theatre, Forum Theatre, Keegan Theater, The Hub Theatre, Adventure Theatre, University of Maryland, Catholic University, St. Mary’s College and The National Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. Outside of Washington, Jeremy has directed, produced or taught all over North Carolina and in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Pennsylvania, London, Oslo, Galway, Kilimanjaro, Tokyo, Macau and Tai Pei. Jeremy is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts. Misha Kachman (Scenic Designer) is a graduate of the State Academy of Theatrical Arts in St.Petersburg, Russia. His most recent designs include costumes and scenery for Gruesome Playground Injuries and Fever/Dream at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Set Design), Around the World in 80 Days at Round House Theatre, Barrio Grrrl and Unleashed! at the Kennedy Center, Evgeny Onegin, Xerxes and Così fan tutte at Maryland Opera Studio, Lost in Yonkers, The Seagull and Honey Brown Eyes at Theater J and Cymbeline at Milwaukee Shakespeare, among many others. Misha serves as an Assistant Professor of Scene and Costume Design at University of Maryland and is a member of United Scenic 8

Artists Local 829. Misha has worked as a museum designer at The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia from 1994 to 1998; he is also a renowned painter and printmaker, whose work has been shown at numerous one-man and group exhibitions in the U.S.A. and abroad. Misha’s work can be seen online at Thom Weaver (Lighting Designer) In the DC area, his work has been seen at Folger Theatre (Arcadia, Macbeth) and Round House Theatre (26 Miles). In Philadelphia, his work has been seen at the Arden (Romeo and Juliet, Blue Door, My Name is Asher Lev), the Wilma (Becky Shaw, Coming Home, Scorched), Delaware Theater Company (The Foocy, All the Great Books, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Diary of Anne Frank), Theatre Exile (Shining City, American Buffalo) as well as the Lantern, People’s Light, New Paradise Laboratories, InterAct, and Curtis Opera. Other theatre credits include: CENTERSTAGE, Syracuse Stage, Children’s Theatre Company, California Shakespeare Festival, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Two River Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Signature Theater Company, Berkshire Opera, York Theatre, Summer Play Festival, 37 ARTS, Spoleto Festival USA, City Theatre, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center Institute, Urban Stages, Rattlestick Theatre, NYMF, The Culture Project, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, and Yale Rep. Awards include two Barrymore Nominations in 2009, and a Helen Hayes nomination in 2010, as well as the 2007 Best Lighting Design AUDELCO Award for Signature Theater’s King Hedley II, and the 2003 Entertainment Design Magazine Tyro Talent award. He is the artistic director of Flashpoint Theatre Company and a member of Wingspace Design Group. He received his BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and his MFA from Yale School of Drama. Kathleen Geldard (Costume Designer) Theater J: Speed the Plow, Spring Forward/ Fall Back, Bal Masque, The Disputation, A Bad Friend. DC Area: Signature Theatre: Sycamore Trees (World Premiere), Sweeney Todd, I Am My Own Wife, Show Boat, See What I Wanna See, Les Miserables, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Happy Time. Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Eclipsed. Round House Theatre: Permanent Collection, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Eurydice, Orson’s Shadow, Life x 3. Imagination Stage: The Dancing Princesses, Heidi, The Neverending Story (2008 Helen Hayes Nomination), Twice Upon a Time, The Hundred Dresses, Huck Finn’s Story, Charlotte’s Web, Liang and the Magic Paintbrush. Olney Theatre: Is He Dead?, Rabbit Hole, Of Mice and Men, Elephant Man, Having Our Say. Her work has also been send at Studio-Arena Theatre, Vineyard Playhouse, Folger Theatre, Studio Theatre 2ndStage, Everyman Theatre, Rep Stage, and Theater Alliance. DANCE: Liz Lerman Dance Exchange: Nocturnes, The Farthest Earth From Thee, 613 Radical Acts of Prayer, Funny Uncles, Imprints on a Landscape: The Mining Project, Still Crossing 2006. AWARDS: nominated for 3 Greater Baltimore Theatre Awards; recipient for The Seagull at Rep Stage. Matt Nielson (Sound Designer) is returning for his fourth production at Theater J. Past productions include Honey Brown Eyes, The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall, and In Darfur. He is the Resident Sound Designer at Round House Theatre, where his design and composition credits include Around the World in 80 Days, My Name is Asher Lev, Treasure Island and A Prayer for Owen Meany (Helen Hayes Award). Other designs include Catalyst Theatre (Helen Hayes Award, 1984), Woolly Mammoth, Signature Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Rorschach Theatre, Delaware Theatre Company, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Barrington Stage, The Contemporary American Theatre Festival, the Smithsonian Institution and Adventure Theatre. Off-Broadway credits include the Joseph Papp Public Theatre/New York Shakespeare Festival. He is a founding member of audio theatre company The Audible Group and creator of the audio series Troublesome Gap. Samples can be heard online at Stephen Spotswood (Dramaturg) has been the literary assistant at Theater J since fall 2008. He previously dramaturged the staged reading of Caryl Churchhill’s Seven Jewish Children. Trained as a playwright and journalist, he received his MFA in Playwriting from the Catholic University of America in May 2009. Previously produced plays include: Eulogy (Imagination Stage), Miranda is Morning (2009 Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting); The Aaronsville Woman (2007 Paula Vogel Award); Born Normal; Gilgamesh, who saw the deep; and Give Unto Caesar 9

About the Artists cont.

(Catholic University Religious One Acts Festival winner). His play, 7 Lessons on Suicide, will premiere at Capital Fringe this summer, and his plays The Resurrectionist King and A Creation Story for Naomi will be read at the Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage Festival in the fall. HannaH J. Crowell (Properties) recently designed props for The Four of Us, Zero Hour and The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall at Theater J and was the scenic and props designer for In Darfur. HannaH has also designed props for Miss Nelson Is Missing (Imagination Stage) and Other Room (VSA Arts). She primarily works as a scene designer in the Washington DC area. Local credits include Ain’t Misbehavin (Olney Theatre Center), Seascape (The American Century Theater), The Receptionist (Studio 2nd Stage), Holes and If You Give A Mouse A Cookie (Adventure Theatre), All’s Well That Ends Well, House of Yes and Kafka’s Dick (Washington Shakespeare Company). Upcoming projects include Forever Plaid (Olney Theatre Center) and Locomotion (Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences). Hannah received her BFA from North Carolina School of the Arts and is currently a graduate student at the Corcoran College of Art and Design for Museum Exhibition Design. Roy A. Gross (Production Stage Manager) has worked as a producer, production manager, stage manager, and writer in the DC metro area for ten years. A proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, he serves as a member of the DC/Baltimore AEA Liaison Committee and the regional campaign coordinator for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Roy had the privilege of stage managing Tribute Productions’ Beyond Glory, bringing the piece to the US Military around the world as part of Operation Homecoming, a program jointly sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Department of Defense. Roy is the recipient of a US Army Southern European Task Force Scroll of Appreciation, US Army 282nd Base Support Battalion Scroll of Appreciation, and a League of Washington Theatres Offstage Honor Award. Currently Roy is the Executive Director of Artists’ Bloc, an organization that presents the developing performing art work of over 40 creating artists each year. Ari Roth (Artistic Director) is enjoying his 13th season as Artistic Director at Theater J where he has produced 90 full productions, including 30 world premieres. Also a playwright, Mr. Roth has seen his work produced at Theater J and across the country, where productions include Goodnight Irene, Life In Refusal, Love & Yearning in the Not-for-Profits, Oh, The Innocents, and a repertory production of Born Guilty, based on the book by Peter Sichrovsky, and its sequel, The Wolf in Peter (coming to Epic Theatre Ensemble in New York in the 2010-11 season). His plays have been nominated for five Helen Hayes Awards, including Best Resident Production and two Charles A. MacArthur Awards. He is a 1998 and 2003 recipient of a NEA playwriting grant, three-time winner of the Helen Eisner Award, two-time winner of the Avery Hopwood, four-time recipient of commissions from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and recipient of the Mertyl Wreath Award from Hadassah. He was recently named one of the Forward 50, recognizing those “who are leading the American Jewish community into the 21st century.”

About the Artists cont.

Artistic Director Ari Roth Managing Director Patricia Jenson Production Manager Delia Taylor Director of Marketing and Communications Grace Overbeke Marketing & Group Sales Associate Becky Peters Director of Literary & Public Programs Shirley Serotsky Director of Patron Services Tara Brady Casting Director Naomi Robin Technical Director/Master Carpenter Tom Howley MCCA Associate Technical Director Daniel Risner Construction & Load-in Crew Ellen Houseknecht, Kevin Laughon, Van Pham and Meaghan Toohey Front of House Raha Behnam, Bonnie Berger, Jeremy Brown, Elizabeth Heir, Katherine McCann & Hadiya Rice For Theater J staff bios, visit

Theater J Staff


Friends Of Theater J
Theater J is, at its core, a playwrights’ theater and as such, we have named our giving levels in honor of Jewish playwrights and two of their director/producers. We gratefully acknowledge the following generous donors who have given since July 1, 2009 towards our 2010 fiscal year. We ask our many long-time supporters and new friends of the theater to join them in underwriting this exciting season. (This list is current as of May 8, 2010.)
Executive Producing Show Sponsor ($25,000 and above) The Fisher Family Foundation The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington The Shubert Foundation The National Endowment for the Arts Wendy Wasserstein Grand Angel ($15,000 - $24,999) Arlene & Robert Kogod Charlotte & Hank Schlosberg Patti & Jerry Sowalsky The George Wasserman Family Foundation Harold Clurman Champion Angel ($10,000 - $14,999) Carolyn & Warren Kaplan The Jacob & Charlotte Lehrman Foundation Trish & George Vradenburg Irene & Alan Wurtzel Tony Kushner Collaborating Angel ($7,500 - $9,999) Deborah Carliner & Robert Remes The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation Jacqueline & Marc Leland Evelyn Sandground & Bill Perkins Ellen & Bernard Young Joseph Papp Producing Angel ($5,000 - $7,499) Patty Abramson & Les Silverman Esthy & James Adler American Jewish World Service The Family of H. Max & Josephine F. Ammerman and Andrew Ammerman Ryna, Mel, Marcella & Neil Cohen Lois & Richard England Lois & Michael Fingerhut Cheryl Gorelick Barbara & Jack Kay Judy & Peter Kovler Marion & Larry Lewin The Omega Foundation Rosa Wiener Judy & Leo Zickler Lillian Hellman Supporting Angel ($2,500 - $4,999) Natalie & Paul Abrams Michele & Allan Berman Embassy of Israel Myrna Fawcett Betsy Karmin & Manny Strauss Sandra & Arnold Leibowitz Zena & Paul Mason Faye & Jack Moskowitz Al Munzer & Joel Wind Diane & Arnold Polinger Elaine Reuben Loretta Rosenthal Joan Wessel Sholom Asch Admirer ($350 - $499) Richard Arndt Bonnie & Jere Broh-Kahn Brenda Gruss & Daniel Hirsch Cookie Kerxton Deborah Lerner Cohen & Edward Cohen Eugene Herman Estelle & Irving Jacobs Dana & Ray Koch Iris & Michael Lav Barbara Rappaport Michelle Sender Betty L. Ustun Suzan & Ronald Wynne

Arthur Miller Mentor ($1,500 - $2,499) Susan & Dixon Butler Ruth & Mortimer Caplin Mimi Conway & Dennis Houlihan Barbara Kurshan Chaya & Walter Roth Victor Shargai Margot and Paul Zimmerman David Mamet Muse ($1,000 - $1,499) Agatha and Laurence Aurbach Mara Bralove & Ari Fisher Jane & Charlie Fink Ann & Frank Gilbert Marjory Goldman Shoshana & Peter Grove Ira Hillman & Jeremy Barber Rachel Jacobson & Eric Olsen Rona & Allan Mendelsohn Melanie Franco Nussdorf & Lawrence Nussdorf Toby Port Hillary & Jonathan Reinis Saul Stern* Neil Simon Stage Benefactor ($500 - $999) Margery Cunningham Miriam J. Cutler & Paul Saldit Steven des Jardins Barbara & Samuel Dyer Robert Eager Frances Goldman Paula Siegle Goldman Michael Gottesman Meliha & Joshua Halpern Rosalyn & Gary Jonas Edith & Arthur Hessel Dianne & Herbert Lerner Ellen & Gary Malasky Amelia & Mike Mattler Jeff Menick Trudy & Gary Peterson Shira Piven & Adam McKay Tina & Albert Small Jr. Margaret Hahn Stern & Stephen Stern Marsha E. Swiss & Ronald M. Costell Barbara & Stanley Tempchin Francine Zorn Trachtenberg & Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Beverly Walcoff Anthony & Janet Walters Diane Abelman Wattenberg


Paddy Chayefsky Champion ($175 - $349) Rabbi & Babs Abramowitz Anonymous Cecily Baskir & John Freedman Susan & Steven Bralove Beth Chai - Greater Washington Jewish Humanist Congregation Mady Chalk Edward Collins David Culp Susan & George Driesen Alison Drucker & Thomas Holzman Susan & Jay Finkelstein Ina Ginsburg Debra Goldberg & Seth Waxman Jeanette & Leonard Goodstein Martha Winter Gross & Robert Tracy Elizabeth Grossman & Joshua Boorstein Ritalou Harris Lauren & Glen Howard Julie Jacobson Rebecca Klemm Beth Kramer Michael Lang Arthur Le Van Joy Lerner & Stephen Kelin Freddi Lipstein & Scott Berg Pat & Larry Mann Dorothy Moss & Larry Meyer Caroline & Michael Mindel Janice & Andy Molchon Undine & Carl Nash Louisa Foulke Newlin & William Newlin Muriel Miller Pear Laurie Ann Phillips Erica and Doug Rosenthal Faye & Norman Seltzer Beverly & Harlan Sherwat Susan Talarico John Tolleris Debby & Donald Tracy

Friends Of Theater J cont.
In memory of Marjory Hecht Watson Marjorie & Allan Weingold Linda Winograd Carolyn & William Wolfe Ellen Wormser Richard Young Renee Gier Stacie & Bruce Goffin F. Goldsman Morton Goren Hilton Graham Wendy Gray & Steven Pearlstein Judith & Albert Grollman Ben Hecht Booster Merna & Joseph Guttentag ($75 - $174) Cindy Hallberlin & Joel Kanter Patricia Andringa Phyllis Kline & Norman Lord Anonymous Faye & Aaron Hillman Leslie Barr Linda & Steven Hirsch Ann Hoffman Rosalyn Bass & James Greene Robert Honeygosky Byrna Bell Lorna Jaffe Goldie Blumenstyk Sarah Kagan Sue Boley Pamela Kahn Andrea Boyarsky-Maisel Jean & Robert Kapp Edith Bralove Ellen Kolansky David Cantor Adrienne Kohn & Garry Grossman Wallace Chandler Nancy Korman Timothy Christensen Margaret Sohn Cohen & Harvey Cohen William Kreisberg Martin Krubit Rosalind & Donald Cohen Hannah & Tim Lipman David Connick David Lipton Leona & Donald Drazin Marjory & Sheldon London Peter Dreifuss Madeline & Gerald Malovany Kenneth Dreyfuss Marlene & Ken Markison Gitta Fajerstein Lynne Martin Anne & Al Fishman Johana McCarthy Ruth & Barry Fishman John McGraw Richard Frankel Gloria Meade Linda & Jay Freedman Thomas Merrick Steven Metalitz Neil Miller Nancy & Richard Millstein Mona & Leonard Mitnick David & Margaret Nalle Joan Nathan & Allan Gerson Dori Phaff & Dan Raviv Stephanie Paul Suzy Platt Nikki & Michael Rabbino Ellen Miles Ratner & Phillip Ratner Joan & Ludwig Rudel Leona & Jerrold Schecter Diane Schroth Rochelle & Richard Schwab Steve Shapiro Arlene Farber Sirkin & Stuart Sirkin Janet Solinger Kathy Sreedhar Sandy Stern Sandra Stewart Helen & Jonathan Sunshine Elizabeth & Joel Ticknor Stephanie & Fernando van Reigersberg Virginia & James Vitarello Jonathan Waxman Leslie H. Weisman Phyllis & John Wimberly

Washington DCJCC Donors
The Washington DCJCC wishes to thank all those who made contributions to the JCC to help support our programs during the 2009 fiscal year (July 1, 2008 – June 30, 2009). Your support has been invaluable in allowing us to create and sustain programs of excellence throughout the year.
$100,000 + Ann Loeb Bronfman The Robert M. Fisher Memorial Foundation The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington Nextbook, Inc. United Jewish Endowment Fund $50,000 - $99,999 The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arlene and Robert Kogod Melanie and Lawrence Nussdorf Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation Serve DC: The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism David Bruce Smith $25,000 - $49,999 Jamie and Joseph A. Baldinger Diane and Norman Bernstein Melinda Bieber and Norman Pozez DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Louie and Ralph Dweck Stuart S. Kurlander National Endowment for the Arts Philip L. Graham Fund Robert H. Smith* Family Foundation The Shubert Foundation Trish and George Vradenburg $15,000 - $24,999 Lisa and Josh Bernstein Ginny and Irwin Edlavitch Susie and Michael Gelman Alexander Greenbaum Brenda Gruss and Daniel Hirsch Tamara and Harry Handelsman Susy and Thomas Kahn Jacob & Charlotte Lehrman Foundation Diane and Arnold Polinger Deborah and Michael Salzberg Charlotte and Hank Schlosberg The Abe & Kathryn Selsky Foundation Patti and Jerry Sowalsky Lori and Les Ulanow George Wasserman Family Foundation, Inc. $10,000 - $14,999 Anonymous Patty Abramson and Les Silverman Michele and Allan Berman Deborah Carliner and Robert Remes Rose and Robert Cohen Ryna, Mel, Marcella and Neil Cohen The Corps Network DC Office on Aging The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, Inc. Lois & Richard England Family Foundation The Fannie Mae Foundation Marilyn and Michael Glosserman Rena and Michael Gordon Martha Winter Gross and Robert Tracy Barbara and Jack Kay Thelma and Melvin Lenkin Schoenbaum Family Foundation Rhea Schwartz and Paul Wolff United Way of the National Capital Area Natalie Wexler and James Feldman Irene and Alan Wurtzel $5,000 - $9,999 Anonymous


Washington DCJCC Donors Continued From Previous Page
Esthy and Jim Adler Beverly Bernstein Blum-Kovler Foundation Ann and Donald Brown Susie and Kenton Campbell Children’s Charities Foundation Debra Lerner Cohen and Edward Cohen Janet Langhart Cohen and William Cohen CrossCurrents Foundation Embassy of Israel Lois and Michael Fingerhut Jane and Charles Forman The Aaron & Cecile Goldman Family Foundation Cheryl and Ken* Gorelick Deborah Harmon and Robert Seder William Kreisberg Sandra and Stephen Lachter Jacqueline and Marc Leland Joy Lerner and Stephen Kelin Marion and Larry Lewin Linda Lipsett and Jules Bernstein MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger Arna Meyer Mickelson and Alan Mickelson Faye and Jack Moskowitz Linda and Sidney Moskowitz Prince Charitable Trusts Kathy and Thomas Raffa Renay and William Regardie Rae Ringel and Amos Hochstein Debra and Jonathan Rutenberg Lynn and John Sachs Evelyn Sandground and Bill Perkins Emily Schoenbaum Barbara and Michael Smilow SunTrust Bank Francine Zorn Trachtenberg and Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Marvin Weissberg Joan Wessel Rosa D. Wiener Carolyn and William Wolfe Woodbury Fund Ellen and Bernard Young Judy and Leo Zickler Rory and Shelton Zuckerman $2,500 - $4,999 Rabbi and Babs Abramowitz Natalie and Paul Abrams Marnie Abramson Adas Israel Congregation Amy and Stephen Altman Arlene and Kenneth Becker Dorothy Bennett Joan and Alan Berman Caryn Cohen Sarah Cohen and Norman Rich Beth and Ronald Dozoretz Lois and Richard England Myrna Fawcett Federal Emergency Management Agency Linda and Jay Freedman Joanne Fungaroli Debra Goldberg and Seth Waxman Mary and Robert Haft Roberta Hantgan G. Scott Hong Sandra and Arnold Leibowitz Edward Lenkin Richard Levy Zena and Paul J. Mason Cathryn and Scot McCulloch Jeff Menick Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Alfred Munzer and Joel Wind Elaine Reuben Sylvia Ritzenberg* Charitable Trust Loretta Rosenthal Chaya and Walter Roth Daryl and Steven Roth Jane Nathan Rothschild Beth Rubenstein and Evan Markiewicz Michael Singer Sondheimer Family Charitable Foundation Saul I. Stern Mindy Strelitz and Andrew Cornblatt The Washington Post Company Diane Abelman Wattenberg Paula Seigle Goldman Ira Hillman and Jeremy Barber The Holton-Arms School Judith and Paul Ianuale Italian Cultural Institute JCC Assocation of North America Sally Kaplan Betsy Karmin and Manny Strauss Laine and Norton Katz Ruthe and Nathan Katz Aviva Kempner Linda Klein Bette and William Kramer Laurie Kramer Amy and Kenneth Krupsky The Louis J. Kuriansky Foundation, Inc. Steven Lustig Ellen and Gary Malasky Jennifer Mizrahi Dorothy Moss and Larry Meyer Lawrence Muenz Shirlee Ornstein Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning Carol and David Pensky Thomas and Sue Pick Family Fund Ruth and Stephen Pollak Stanley Rabinowitz Georgia Ravitz Carol Risher Toni Ritzenberg Joan and Barry Rosenthal Sanford Schwartz Victor Shargai $1,000 - $2,499 Risa Shargel and Rumen Buzatov Anonymous(2) Albert and Shirley Small Wendi and Daniel Abramowitz Michelle Smith Participants from the Behrend-Adas Richard Solloway Senior Lunch Fellowship Sarah Rabin Spira and Mark Spira Alternative Gifts of Margaret Hahn Stern and Stephen Stern Greater Washington Samson and Andrew Stern Agatha and Laurence Aurbach Katherine and Thomas Sullivan Bender Foundation Inc. Tabard Corporation Dava Berkman Michael Tacelosky Ellen Berman Annie and Sami Totah The Bernstein Companies David and Rita Trachtenberg Suanne and Richard Beyda Marion and Michael Usher Mara Bralove and Ari Fisher Lise Van Susteren and Amelie and Bernei Burgunder, Jr. Jonathan Kempner Sharon and David Butler Matthew Watson Susan and Dixon Butler Judith and Herbert Weintraub Mimi Conway and Dennis Houlihan Cynthia Wolloch and Joseph Reid Nancy and Morris Deutsch Margot and Paul Zimmerman Elizabeth and Richard Dubin Nava and Mark Ely Laura and Michael Faino Due to space limitations only donors of $1,000 Melissa and Joshua Ford or more are listed. The Washington DCJCC would like to thank all of our donors for the Lorraine Gallard and Richard Levy important impact they have on our work. For Geico Philanthropic Foundation a complete list of donors to the Washington Richard Gerber DCJCC visit Sarah and Bernard Gewirz Ann and Frank Gilbert 2009 Board members appear in italics Albert Girod * of blessed memory Rhoda and Dan Glickman


About Theater J
Hailed by The New York Times as “The Premier Theater for Premieres” and winner of the 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actor (Jim Brochu in Zero Hour), 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 other components of the Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts: the Washington Jewish Film Festival and Screening Room, the Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery, and the Program in Literature, Music and Dance. 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 presents cutting edge contemporary work alongside spirited revivals and 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 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 Richard Greenberg, Thomas Keneally, Robert Brustein, Joyce Carol Oates and Ariel Dorfman, with many debuts from emerging writers like Stefanie Zadravec and Sam Forman. The late Wendy Wasserstein’s play Third, which began 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. Theater J’s diverse body of work features thematically linked festivals including its ongoing “Voices From a Changing Middle East” series. With hit productions ranging from Talley’s Folly and The Disputation to Pangs of the Messiah, The Price, Honey Brown Eyes (Winner of the 2009 Helen Hayes Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play), Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears and Zero Hour, which both opened this past November in New York, it’s no surprise that Washingtonian Magazine notes, “Theater J productions keep going from strength to strength.” Most recently, Theater J received end-of-year 2009 Special Citations from The Washington Post and The Forward for its Israel-related programming. Winner of the 2008 Mayor’s Arts Award for Excellence in an Artistic Discipline, Theater J offers a number of additional programs including Artistic Director’s Roundtables, Peace Cafés, Tea at 2 (a monthly reading series) and its PASSPORTS education program. Theater J is a member of the Cultural Alliance, the League of Washington Theatres, TCG and the Association for Jewish Theatre.
Washington DCJCC 1529 Sixteenth Street NW Washington, DC 20036 Info: (202) 777-3210 or

Photos by Stan Barouh

Josh Lefkowitz and Maureen Rohn in The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall Holly Twyford in Lost in Yonkers Maia DeSanti and Alexander Strain in Honey Brown Eyes Naomi Jacobson and Jerry Whiddon in The Seagull on 16th Street 14

By Willy Holtzman August 28–October 3

By Neil Simon October 23–November 28



December 18–January 2
The Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv’s

By Ghassan Kanafani Adapted by Boaz Gaon January 15–31
Presented by Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, Fichandler Stage



By Chaim Potok Adapted by Aaron Posner March 7–27 PHOTOGRAPH 51 By Anna Ziegler March 23–April 24

By Sam Forman May 11–June 12

Choose the plays YOU want to see. Get EASY ticket exchanges & the BEST seats! CALL (800) 494-TIXS (8497) For Groups of 10 or more, Call (202) 777-3214 or visit