Without further ado, here are the plays:
A Word of Secrecy by Allan Havis
Black Fire White Fire by Peter Ullian
Bounty of Lace by Susan Merson
Centrifugal Force by Gary Winter
Scrambled by Beth Kander
Six by Zohar Tirosh-Polk
The Man in the Sukkah by Deborah Yarchun
The Wicked Son: A Passover Play by Cecelia Copeland
Who by Drowning, Who by Stoning (A Comedy) by Adam Ultraberg
But there were so many more: B'Shalom, The Karpovsky Variations, Abraham's Daughters, Exquisite Potential, Heels in the Sand, Esther's Moustache, Manna, Listen, Goodnight Mrs. Bernstein....we could go on and on and on. Here's what I can tell you: if we read it and thought it had merit, we're not done with it. There's a big theater world out there, and we believe that the contemporary Jewish voices discovered here should always be part its landscape.
To give a bit more insight into our thinking, the work that interested the panel grouped into a few important categories, and we tried to reflect these in our choices:
- Plays About Israel: Israeli and American perspectives on issues other than the conflict
- Plays about Young Adults: Young Jews grappling with connections to their Identity
- Non-Traditional Jews: Multi-racial Jews, working class Jews and lots of other folks we don't normally see
- Grappling with Texts: Ancient stories in modern settings
At the same time, we tried to strike a balance between plays that had been developed and plays that were new, and between experienced writers and new voices. It was tough work, and we may not have gotten it all right, but we believe in the plays we selected.
SO - what's next? In a few weeks, our amazing panel of Lay Leaders and Artists will gather again to choose the top three plays. Selections from these three plays will be read in a special event at the JCC of Metrowest, and the audience there will choose the eventual winner of the Contest! We also will be working over the next few months to get you feedback from our reviews to help you move your plays forward.
Remember - this is just the beginning for the Project. If you can be in New York for three weeks this summer, check out OPEN: The New Jewish Theater Residency presented with LABA: The National Laboratory for New Jewish Culture at the 14th Street Y. There are 3 open slots up for grabs there!!
So please PLEASE, PLEASE - stay in touch with us:
(though admittedly, we don't tweet very often. Okay, we never tweet. But still.)
Also, keep an eye on our website, where we be giving some more background on the Top 10 plays and their writers. And all of you, please, PLEASE, keep writing amazing new Jewish plays.
Todah Rabah -
Director, Jewish Plays Project
Director, Gaelen Center for the Arts
JCC of Metrowest