Welcome to Theater J’s 2017-2018 season—a diverse selection of dramas and comedies, romances and fantasies. 

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Sotto Voce
By Nilo Cruz
Directed by José Carrasquillo
October 3-29, 2017         
Love transcends all borders in Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz’s passionate and lyrical Sotto Voce. A young Cuban man's research into the fate of the S.S. St. Louis leads him to a reclusive writer who refuses to talk about the ship of Jewish refugees that fled Nazi Germany only to be denied entry into both Cuba and the United States. As he strives to uncover the mysteries she’s hiding, an old romance is relived and a new one blossoms.  This dreamlike sonata explores the plight of the refugee, the resilience of love, and the sensuality of imagination.

“fanciful new drama”—New York Times

“Artfully…touches on war, loss, displacement, the lives of undocumented immigrants and more.”
Miami Herald


The Last Night of Ballyhoo
By Alfred Uhry
Directed by Amber McGinnis
November 29-December 31, 2017
The year is 1939 and Atlanta’s posh German Jews are preparing for Ballyhoo, their annual lavish country club ball.  The Freitag family hopes that the party of the year will be the chance for their daughters to meet their future husbands—but when their uncle brings home his new employee, a handsome Eastern European bachelor from Brooklyn, everyone must confront their own prejudices, desires, and beliefs.  Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play, The Last Night of Ballyhoo is an achingly beautiful, comedic, and enthralling romance by the writer of Driving Miss Daisy.

“a winning play…wonderfully crafted script”
Variety

“An engaging family portrait...”
The New York Times


Everything is Illuminated
By Simon Block
Adapted from the book by Jonathan Safran Foer
Directed by Aaron Posner
January 11-February 4, 2018
Based on the best-selling novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, this stunning and hilarious stage adaptation tells the story of a young man — also named Jonathan Safran Foer — who sets out to find the woman who might or might not have saved his grandfather. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war, an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Jr. Jr., and a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan takes a quixotic journey into an unexpected past, where reality collides with fiction in a heart-stopping scene of extraordinary power. A highly anticipated East Coast premiere.

“A thoughtful, nuanced piece of theater that takes a familiar theme and makes it at once strange and familiar.”
Chicago Tribune

Everything Is Illuminated is such a strong work that its quality will shine through and audiences fall in love.”—British Theatre Guide


Becoming Dr. Ruth
By Mark St. Germain
Directed by Holly Twyford
February 21-March 18, 2018
She's America's favorite sex therapist! But before she became Dr. Ruth, Karola Siegel had to flee Germany in the Kindertransport, become a sniper in Jerusalem, and survive as a single mother in America.  Starring Naomi Jacobson, this heartwarming one-woman show is written by the author of Theater J’s Freud’s Last Session. Filled with humor and honesty, Becoming Dr. Ruth is a triumphant and life-affirming story of a girl who found her own unique place in the world.

“More than just another celebrity memoir… a family saga, a Holocaust drama and an exploration of 20th-century Jewish identity.”
The New York Times


Roz and Ray
By Karen Hartman
Directed by Adam Immerwahr
April 3-April 29, 2018
A gripping medical drama about a doctor at the onset of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Dr. Roz Kagan offers a new miracle drug to save Ray Leon’s hemophiliac twins. But miracles aren’t always what they appear to be, and life on the cutting edge of biomedicine means moral ambiguity and impossible choices. Powerful, urgent, and beautiful, Roz and Ray charts the untold story of a devastating chapter of medical and queer history.

“very powerful play… a great service, especially in this moment of drastic political realignment.”—Chicago Tribune


Trayf
By Lindsay Joelle
Directed by Benjamin Kamine
May 30-June 24, 2018
Zalmy lives a double life: by day, he’s the rebbe’s loyal foot soldier, driving a tricked-out “Mitzvah Tank” through NYC with his best friend Shmuel. By night, he sneaks away from his orthodox community to roller-skate, dance in discos, and listen to rock and roll. But when he befriends a zealous young man eager to be his student, the barrier between Zalmy’s two worlds starts to crack—until he finds himself in the middle of the 1991 Crown Heights riots and must choose once and for all where he belongs. Overflowing with humor and heart, you won’t want to miss this delightful new play making its world premiere at Theater J.

Winner of 2016 Rita Goldberg Award, and Jewish Plays Project Top 10 finalist

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