Video: Get A First Look At HESTER STREET at Theater J

Now on stage through April 21st, 2024.

By: Apr. 11, 2024
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Get a first look at Theater J's world premiere of Hester Stree - a new adaptation of Joan Micklin Silver’s 1975 film was written by Sharyn Rothstein and directed by Oliver Butler.

A play with music, Hester Street contains original new music and lyrics written by Broadway’s Joel Waggoner. The production is produced by New York-based producers Michael Rabinowitz and Ira Deutchman. Hester Street is the largest production in Theater J’s history. 

Hester Street depicts the uplifting journey of Gitl, a young Jewish immigrant from Eastern Europe, who arrives with her son to meet her husband Jake in the tumult of the late-19th century Lower East Side. Separated from his wife and the provincial limitations of his upbringing, Jake has fully embraced his new American life—one that has little in common with Gitl’s old-time ways. Faced with the disintegration of her marriage in a world she can barely comprehend, Gitl must find her voice, protect her son, and redefine her identity. Hester Street is an unforgettable show, awash in the humor, heartbreak, and hope that is essential to the Jewish immigrant experience. 

Having recently passed, this stage production honors Joan Micklin Silver’s work and legacy. Joan Micklin Silver’s mainstream success opened the doors for a new generation of female filmmakers to break into Hollywood, leading to a series of female-led and directed films finding their way to theaters across the country in the following years. The original film version of Hester Street shocked the film world of 1975, crafted on a shoestring budget then opened to rave reviews and box office success. It launched the career of Carole Kane, earning her an Academy Award nomination for her performance as Gitl. 

The creative team behind Hester Street is awash in well-known talent. Director, Oliver Butler, has an established career directing both Broadway and Off-Broadway in New York and throughout the country, having helmed the Pulitzer and Tony Award-Nominated What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck, alongside serving as the Co-Artistic Director of Brooklyn-based devised theatre company The Debate Society. Sharyn Rothstein is an award-winning playwright whose play, By the Water, was the recipient of the American Theater Critics Association Francesca Primus Prize. Other plays include Tell Me I’m Not Crazy (Williamstown Theater Festival), All the Days(McCarter Theater Center) and Right to Be Forgotten (D.C.’s Arena Stage and Chicago’s Raven Theater). Her television work includes having been a writer/producer of Suits, the most streamed show on both Netflix and Peacock in 2023. Joel Waggoner is a singer/songwriter, composer, performer, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, teacher, and comedian who can currently be seen on Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building.” 

Producer Michael Rabinowitz is an independent Theatrical Producer who has worked at such institutions as McCarter Theater Center, The Public Theater, and The John Gore Organization. Ira Deutchman is a prolific Film Producer, marketer and distributor, as well as a Professor in the School of the Arts at Columbia University. This is Deutchman’s first theatrical project.  

To purchase tickets for Hester Street, please visit or call the ticket office at 202-777-3210. Single ticket prices for regular tickets start at $49. Discount tickets are available for groups of 8+, EDCJCC members, preview performances, students, educators, military personnel and U.S. Veterans. $5 Community Access Tickets are available to individuals who receive government assistance through state issued EBT cards (EBT is not accepted as a form of payment, only as proof of status).  


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