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Jewish Plays Project Brings National Playwriting Contest Online

Jewish Plays Project Brings National Playwriting Contest Online

The Jewish Plays Project is taking its National Playwriting Contest online and is seeking dedicated theater lovers and Jewish culture aficionados to vote for a winner in the Contest.

The JPP invited seven great directors to record 7-to-10-minute video excerpts from the 2020 Top 7 plays with actors from around the U.S - all via Zoom.

The JPP will debut these videos in Live Streamed events with partner agencies and theater companies in Chicago, Northern Virginia, Buffalo, and Silicon Valley.

May 3 at 2 pm CST/3 pm EST, Continuum Theater, Chicago, IL

May 14 at 7 pm EST, Oshman JCC, Palo Alto, CA

June 24 at 7 pm, Jewish Repertory Theatre, Buffalo, NY

The Top 7 Finalists were chosen from over 250 submissions from playwrights in 30 states and five countries submitted.

Interested audiences (from anywhere in the world) can register at by visiting

Directors Aaron Simon Gross, Melissa Moschitto, Ariane Barrie-Stern, Michael Leibenluft, Blayze Teicher, and Mr. Winitsky created in a variety of formats, from straight-ahead Zoom readings to a brilliant animation, to things more like short films. Casting Director Judy Bowman led efforts to engage over 35 actors including Caesar Samoaya (Come from Away), Daniel K. Isaac (Billions), Adam Dannheiser (Fiddler on the Roof), Mitch Greenberg (TikTok's wildly popular @eveandmitch), Kate Levy (Succession), and Yuval David (One Actor Short).

Once the live events are underway, all seven excerpted recordings will be available at, where audiences all over the world can view introductions from the playwrights, watch the plays, and VOTE on their favorite plays.

The Top 7 Finalists were chosen from over 250 submissions from playwrights in 30 states and five countries submitted.

"This is one of our strongest groups of plays," said Mr. Winitsky, "covering the most pressing stories in the Jewish world. Jews taking responsibility for refugees, Jews confronting racial injustice, American Jews and Israel, Jews in the face of anti-Semitism, Jews facing off with each other. This is the reason the JPP exists - to find plays that matter, and to champion them as they move onto the best stages in the world."

The seven finalists are:

A MOVING PICTURE by Jennie Berman Eng • directed by Ariane Barrie-Stern

An NYU student screenplay about a Mercedes Benz labor camp during WWII collides with a legendary director/teacher and the dark secret of his Hollywood success.

SOMETHING'S COMING by Ezra Brain, and J. Andrew Norris • directed by Aaron Simon Grosscreators of the greatest musical suffer through highs, lows, aggression, deadlines, cigarettes, whiskey - and Jerome Robbins.

MOTHERLAND by Lisa Kenner Grissom • directed by Blayze Teicher

trauma among four generations of Jewish women. Can you reclaim your life without knowing your roots?

SETTLEMENTS by Seth Rozin • directed by David Winitsky

JCC's resident theater commissions a controversial play, and a battle

for the institution's soul erupts. How can the center hold in a world of


ELIJAH by Sandy Rustin • directed by David Winitsky

The Prophet steps in to ward off the plagues when faith, family,

science and mysticism collide at one Midwestern family's Seder.

UNITED NATHANS by Jason Sherman • directed by Michael Leibenluft with Animations by Colin McGreal

Reunion in Israel for three longtime friends turns into a confrontation

over the truth behind a tragic night from their past.

REFUGE • MALJA • i??i??i??i?? by Bess Welden • directed by Melissa Moschitto

Photojournalist Jamie meets refugee kids every day, but when

shoeless Waleed steps in front of her lens, she's forced to grapple

with her family history.

The JPP selection process was led by Artistic Associate Joshua Benghiat and Literary Associates Ariane Barrie-Stern, Samantha Harris and Daniel Wallach, along with a team of more than 50 Artist Panelists.

Full information about all the plays - including playwright and agent contact information - can be found at the JPP's website, Interested producers, agents, and literary managers can email Find Jewish Plays Project on Facebook and Twitter.

"The JPC offers something more powerful than exposure: it offers Jewish playwrights a spiritual community, where they can share work and exchange ideas, "said Adi Eshman, 2019 Top 7 playwright and writer's assistant for HBO's Mosaic.

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