We're a bit behind.
First - thank you, todah rabah, mazel tov, and YOU ROCK!!! We here at the Project have been thrilled to receive and read your plays. They show a level of sophistication, passion and energy that is inspiring to behold. We are honored that you have chosen our humble Contest as a worthy repository of your work.
Second - we're late.
The response to the contest was overwhelmingly positive, and we received 175 New Jewish Plays. That's right, our first time out, and we got 175 plays. We were excited, we were dancing with joy, we were soon buried under mounds of digital words. We quickly took stock and retooled our review structure with 10 Artists, 35 Lay Leaders, and a new advisory board to decide complicated aesthetic matters. It took a bit, but we are now just 10 days away from completing our online review, after which we will meet in person and selecte the finalists.
SO - the upshot of all of this is that our Hannukah gift to you all is another month of waiting!!! We will now announce the Finalists on January 20, 2012.
We know, it's a bummer.
Please accept our humblest apologies for this delay, but I simply refuse to give short shrift to any playwright who has made the enormous sacrifice of time, blood, sweat and intellectual tears that is required to create a work of dramatic fiction. I personally have read 94 of the scripts, and it is my promise to you that I will not rest until I have read them all (though that won't happen before the Contest ends). Our three review panels have contributed invaluable insight, and we will be sure to give you as much direct response to the work as we can.
Whatever happens with this Contest, we want you to remain a part of the Project. This go around we'll only be able to work on three plays with actual actors, and that's a woeful number considering how much good work we got. PLEASE,
(though admittedly, we don't do that very often. Okay, we never do that. But still.)
As we build out the Project, there will be lots more ways to help us revolutionize the field of Jewish theater, and I want you on board.
However, in the meantime...
The good news is that there are GREAT PLAYS HERE. Imaginative plays, funny plays, spiritual plays, plays with heart and brains and neshama and strong 21st Century Jewish voices. We'll be drilling down on our data for a while now, but here's one way to look at it - when you break the plays down by general topic area, this is what you get:
It ain't scientific, but it might just be true: 27% Family, 27% History (a lot of it Holocaust history), and 46% other stuff. An interesting picture of Jewish life right now. But I'll tell ya, that OTHER stuff, that's what I find interesting. In that bunch, there's some Biblical retellings, some grappling with Israel, and new looks at sexuality, ethnic diversity, dating, terrorism, and a lot more.
Because that's what Jewish life today is about. It's family and history and the Bible, but its also everything else under the sun, and its why the Jewish Plays Project exists. Making great theater about all of it makes it more human, more joyful, more accessible to everyone - Jews and non-Jews alike. As I delve deeper into the work, I'll let you know what else I find.
SO - onward. Make sure you connect with us. Contact us with any questions or comments, or just to say hi. And please, PLEASE, keep writing amazing new Jewish plays.
Todah Rabah -
Director, Jewish Plays Project
Director, Gaelen Center for the Arts
JCC of Metrowest