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The Jewish Repertory Theater Selected as a Site for Jewish Plays Project's Annual National Jewish Playwriting Contest

The Jewish Repertory Theater Selected as a Site for Jewish Plays Project's Annual National Jewish Playwriting Contest

The Jewish Repertory Theater has announced it has been selected to host a City Final in the Jewish Plays project's annual National Jewish Playwriting Contest. The JCC will host the City Final as an online event, Wednesday, June 24, from 7-8 P.M.

The contest, originally scheduled as a live event with a cast of local actors has been redesigned as an online, virtual event. Thanks to Zoom, and the creative reimagining by the Jewish Plays Project, audience members will now have the opportunity to be amongst the first in the country to see pre-recorded portions of three new plays, and then, have the opportunity to vote for which play will receive a full workshop production in New York City in the fall, as soon as it safe to produce live theatre again.

To date, over 1,500 plays from 970 writers in 32 states and 9 countries have submitted original play scripts to the JPP's innovative program, which has been bringing new scripts to theatres globally since 2011. The JPP is dedicated to putting bold, progressive Jewish conversations on world stages, investing emerging artists in their Jewish identity; engaging communities in the selecting of new voices; and securing production opportunities for the best new plays every year.

David Winitsky, Artistic Director of the Jewish Plays Project will serve as host of the event, introducing audience members to playwrights. "Normally, I'd be traveling across the country for our live contest events", says Winitsky. "But obviously we're not doing that this year. Instead, we've invited a panel of theatre experts from your community to review our top seven plays. They'll be picking the best three and you'll have a chance to see a portion of each from the comfort of your homes. It's a combination of a Ted Talk, a play reading and American Idol."

In addition to the staged readings, audiences will learn insider information about the playwrights and their stories. After the three plays are presented, everyone watching has the chance to vote. The Buffalo vote will be combined with results in 6 other cities, plus an online vote to decide the 2020 Winner.

"We think this one-of-a-kind program is an original and engaging event for our communities," says JRT artistic director Saul Elkin. "JRT is committed to providing opportunities to emerging artists and playwrights locally and internationally. This is a terrific way to help our artistic communities and give back to our generous JRT audiences who unfortunately had to miss seeing our last scheduled play of the season, Modern Orthodox."

The event is being offered free of charge as a thank you to supportive subscribers, ticket holders and sponsors. To participate, audience members will need to register and reserve their spot to attend. Registration is available at

The Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western New York is a program of the JCC of Greater Buffalo. For more information on JRT, productions, dates and tickets, visit Tickets are available at 716-650-7626, through Showclix at 1-888-718-4253 (Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm EST) or at either JCC reception desk.


The Jewish Plays Project puts bold, progressive Jewish conversations on world stages. The JPP's innovative and competitive development process invests emerging artists in their Jewish identity; engages Jewish communities in the vetting, selecting and championing of new voices; and secures mainstream production opportunities for the best new plays. The JPP's signature method is Jewish Dramaturgy: matching the best minds in the Jewish community with the best 21st- Century Jewish plays.

The JPP has featured some of the best artists working in New York, including writers David Hein and Irene Sankoff (Come from Away), Robert Askins (Hand to God), and Lauren Yee (Cambodian Rock Band); directors Marc Bruni (Beautiful), Daniella Topol (Rattlestick Theater AD),, and Tamilla Woodard (WP Theater, 3LD); and actors Andrew Polk (The Band's Visit), Hani Furstenberg (The Loneliest Planet with Gael Garcia Bernard), Ronald Guttman (Mad Men, Homeland), Kirrilee Berger (Amazon's Just Add Magic), and Obie and Drama Desk nominee Marcia Jean Kurtz.

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