Something Beautiful

Grace here.  I wanted to share something beautiful today, so here is this picture from the newspaper.

Jojopic

It’s a picture of Johanna, the director of Apples from the Desert, from today’s Washington Post article about the upcoming Middle East Festival.

I love the picture because it captures so much of the play’s themes of hope, healing, and reconciliation. With all the terrible things that have happened in the news today, I needed to see something that reminded me of all the promise and beauty that exists in the world. I understand that different people find beauty in different things, but here are some more things that I find beautiful, and I hope you do too.

cute-old-cuoples-6

blackfathers12

Gay+Marriages+Begin+California+CBea0_rJdq7l1

uganda-people04

animals,ocean,peace,whales,nature,water-75bf1e946864908dbf7c8478ea02779d_h

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From Inside the Rehearsal Room- Joshua Morgan

Joshua Morgan

I asked Joshua Morgan – who you might remember from THE CHOSEN (at Arena Stage) – how were rehearsals for OUR CLASS were going.   Joshua will be appearing as Wladek in OUR CLASS.

Enjoy!    ~Becky, Director of Community Outreach & New Media

From Joshua: 

Our Class
Oct 10-Nov 4

“Week two comes to an end!

I’m exhausted! We’ve been reading, singing, dancing and staging like mad and are two days away from our design run. Every day I realize more and more how mammoth this play is and how incredibly lucky we are to be at the hands of Derek Goldman. He cares so deeply about this story and is allowing each of us to bring our ideas, passion and talent to each of these complex people. He has this amazing way of speaking fairly ephemerally about a moment or a character and yet being SO clear. I know exactly what he wants each time he gives me a piece of wisdom about any moment in the play. I trust him and I think that’s allowing me to allow myself to take risks.

This play reads differently on the page than what I’m experiencing. It’s so visceral and full of so much danger, heart, humor and the list goes on. Speaking of humor! We spend a good 40% of rehearsal laughing as an ensemble which is so refreshing and so needed working on this play in particular.

I can’t wait to share it with DC.”

Below are images of dance rehearsal for OUR CLASS:

Dance Rehearsals for Our Class
Dance Rehearsals for Our Class

“Insane and Wonderful”

Grace here. I saw a great article in the Washington Post today about the beautiful and talented Annie Baker. It seems she is as charming in person as she is through her work…just don’t call her gentle.

Here’s a bit of the article:  

“She seems low-key and practical, perhaps because her success isn’t exactly as out-of-the-blue or as absolute as it seems.

After college Baker stopped writing plays while working still more day jobs, culminating with an enjoyable gig as a fact-checker for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” (Baker considers herself an eternal student; she downloads free lectures from major scholars in religion and philosophy on iTunes University, saying, “I highly recommend it.”) Seeing two plays, Young Jean Lee’s “Pullman Washington” and then Caryl Churchill’s “A Number” prompted her to apply for a playwriting group with Ensemble Studio Theatre.

She got in, and support, from development to full productions, rapidly followed. Even Hollywood picked her up quickly, though Baker says in a diverting singsong voice, “I don’t like to talk about it.” (She wrote a couple screenplays and developed a half hour show for HBO; nothing has been filmed.)

For now, at least, the theater is her metier, with Baker’s fine-grained characterizations and fundamental compassion drawing sober comparisons to Chekhov. Not coincidentally, her adaptation of “Uncle Vanya,” directed by Gold, just closed off-Broadway…

Baker is now part of the inaugural Residency Five group at New York’s Signature Theatre. The program offers five playwrights cash awards and guarantees each dramatist three full productions of premieres over five years.

“I’ve been really lucky in that I have a couple theaters that have said, ‘We stand behind you,’ ” Baker says. “Signature, especially, is like, ‘Write your weird play. We’ll do it.’ It’s actually, like, daunting. But really awesome.”

MaryBeth Wise and Michael Kramer in Annie Baker’s Body Awareness–now at Theater J

Why Women’s Voices?

WHY ARE WOMEN’S VOICES IMPORTANT IN ART?

In connection with our production of Annie Baker’s BODY AWARENESS, Theater J is asking women to submit a portrait along with a brief sentence answering the above question.

We would love to hear from ALL woman – artist or not, affiliated with Theater J or not. Men and women alike please share this to the women whose voices you value

About the portrait: This can be whatever encapsulates YOU. Is it the picture where you feel at your best? An image of your cat? Your headshot? A photo of your family? You decide.

Email your name, photo and answer to theaterj99@gmail.com with the subject MY PORTRAIT.

 

Check out some of the fabulous portraits we’ve received thus far!

Inside the Actors’ Rehearsal Room

Adi Stein

Adi Stein, currently playing the role of Jared onstage and the role of Theater J apprentice offstage, joins us today with a peek into the rehearsal room for Theater J’s upcoming production of Body Awareness, opening August 25!  Adi says:

Well, rehearsals for Body Awareness are in full swing.  We just finished staging the entire show (which is no small feat considering the fact that a full meal is made on stage in more than one scene) and we are now on to working out and perfecting each moment.

The Rehearsal Room

(the Israel flags aren’t actually part of the play. Those plays come later in the season)

Working on this show is a blast. The cast, director, and stage managers are just hysterical and terrific people who clearly love what they do. It’s one of those super rare situations where all the pieces are just clicking. In the coming weeks I’m excited to start working with the actual set and incorporating our costumes. I can’t wait for people to see what we’ve been creating!

“It’s Not Just for Jews Anymore!”

Grace here. I recently saw this posting on Craigslist:

“Anyone out there interested in catching the History of Invulnerability at Theatre J tomorow night, on 16th at about P, NW?

… Me: 41, fit, attractive, well-traveled, multiply degreed, floss my teeth, cut my toenails blah de blah. also certified shiksa..this play comes highly recommended by a friend…

if interested write and tell me a little about yourself. as a convo starter, will note last book i read and enjoyed was Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. You???”

The thing that disturbed me about this posting was the part where she said she’s a “certified shiksa”coming to Theater J because the play was recommended by a friend. The implication there is that her ‘shiksa’ status would have prevented her from coming to the J (were it not for her friend’s recommendation) suggests that she perceived Theater J  as a place primarily for Jews.

That is so last century…

JCC stands for Jewish Community Center, yes, but let’s not forget that central word: Community. If you live or work in DC, regardless of your religion, come on in–you’re part of the community! As a theater staff (half of whom are not Jewish, by the way), we strive to create plays that appeal to a universal audience.

With the immortal words of  Neil Patrick Harris’s deliciously satirical opening number of the 2012 Tony Awards, we learned that Broadway’s “not just for gays anymore!” So let me take up his tuneful cry and add my own rejoinder, “Theater J: It’s not just for Jews anymore!”

 

Everything’s Coming Up Guthrie!

Woody Guthrie Makes Front Page News in the Washington Post (Take that, TomKat!)

 

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