Jewish Playwriting Contest

 

The Jewish Playwriting Contest seeks to discover, highlight, and nurture contemporary Jewish drama by engaging with artistic and Jewish communities throughout the English-speaking world. The Contest has received and vetted over 1,800 plays by 1,000 writers in 34 states and 10 countries. The JPP has actively developed 55 of those plays, 36 of which have gone on to production in cities across the globe, including New York, Los Angeles, London, and Tel Aviv, playing for more than 100,000 audience members.

STEP 1: COLLECT

The JPP gathers scripts from around the world —about 300 per year —representing a phenomenally rich and diverse cross section of new Jewish drama. So far, we’ve received and vetted

1,800 PLAYS FROM 1000 PLAYWRIGHTS IN 34 STATES AND 10 COUNTRIES.

STEP 2: IDENTIFY

An Artist’s Panel of more than 80 theater professionals reads like mad each play is read at least 5 different Artist Panelists to answer these questions:

1. Is it a great play?
2. Does it ask a 21st Century Jewish Question?
3. Can it have a future on the world’s best stages?

After four months, a select group of plays are named Finalists

STEP 3: DEVELOP


We bring the Top Plays to as many as 12 Jewish communities around the country, presenting them for lay leaders, clergy, arts-lovers, and regional theater pros.

YOUR JCC, SYNAGOGUE, BOOK CLUB OR THEATER CAN BE A PART OF THE CONTEST!! JUST CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW!!

STEP 4: ADVOCATE

The JPP connects our plays with theatrical decision-makers all over the U.S. and beyond, working to find the best home and the best way to connect our stories to world-wide audiences.

36 OF OUR PLAYS HAVE GONE ON TO PRODUCTION IN ST. LOUIS, LOS ANGELES, CHICAGO, SILICON VALLEY, BERLIN, LONDON, TEL AVIV, AND NEW YORK CITY FOR THOUSANDS OF AUDIENCE MEMBERS

The 13th Jewish Playwriting Contest Finalists

As we enter our B’nai Mitzvah season, we are thrilled to bring you seven amazing stories that highlight the breadth of the  Jewish conversation today. There is darkness in these dystopian futures, but also joy and lightness, Queer expression and radical recovery  

This is the reason the JPP exists: to bring these stories to you, to create community dialogue around the things that matter, and ultimately, to champion these plays as they move onto the best stages in the world. We’re excited for you to be a part of our journey.

Contest Finalists

Jewish Playwriting Contest SemiFinalists

Barbra Streisand by Aidan La Poche
A designer faces intense pushback on their new Hasidic-inspired collection.

Blood Play by Rachel Mars
The first Blood Libel smashes up against a tech company’s revolutionary blood product.

The Book of Solomon by Garrett Scott
A trans man finds Jewish and queer identity in the memories of his grandfather.

Edith by Noah Parnes
A campy, queer retelling of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Female, Ashkenazi with A Sewing Machine by Jamie Greenblatt
A cancer diagnosis sends an adopted artist on a quest for her roots.

Ilya’s Escape, Sasha’s War
by Leonard D. Goodisman
A fable of war, escape, and identity from the Tsar’s Russia to 20th Century U.S.

High School Dybbuk by Shara Feit
An Orthodox girls high school puts on “The Dybbuk”, with mystical results. 

In Her Madim by Rebecca Ostroff
A Canadian IDF volunteer has a fateful evening with a soldier in crisis.

Judith Imeinu by Natalie Welber
Long ago, Judith slew Holofernes to save her people. Can she do the same now? Should she?

L’Dor v’Dor: Nefesh, part 3 of a family trilogy by Lojo Simon
In the third and final chapter, the truth of the South comes home.

The Matriarchs by Liba Vaynberg
Six squabbling teenage girls at a Talmud lesson grow up and out of orthodoxy.

Mikvah Girlsby Emmy Weissman
Two Orthodox women hold a clandestine Bruce Springsteen fan club in the mikvah.

Monarchs by Danielle Frimer
Peter Pan flies into a tense family Seder to offer Perri the chance of a lifetime.

Mother L*ving Tora Studies
by Samatha Davidson Green
Pregnancy and the existential responsibility (and comedy) of motherhood.

Papers by Adin Lenahan
Sibling rivalry and Jewish assimilation in the Russian revolution, the Holodomor, and the Holocaust.

The Prophet  M by Alanna Coby
Quarantine, the banishing of a leper, and Miriam’s seven fateful days in the desert.

Vigorish by Allan Staples
A bookie weighs life in the sportsbook versus moving to Israel.

We are Blood by Ryan Bernsten
The occult rises at the family home in rural Missouri when a debt is called in.

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Latest Results

Oshman JCC - Silicon Valley, CA

April 16, 2024

City Producers: Lauren Berman, Judy Kitt, Deb Radin, Ellice Papp, PattiSue Plumer and Susan Sims

The Last Yiddish Speaker by Deborah Zoe Laufer – 3 pt

Memoriam by Noga Flaishon – 1 pt

The Reservoir by Jake Brasch – 1 pt

Charter Oak Center Hartford, CT

April 16, 2024
City Producers: Playhouse Theater (Tracy Flaty & Sean Harris)  Rabbi Donna Berman & Jacques Lamarre

 

Memoriam by Noga Flaishon – 3 pt
Osher & the Infinite Curtain by Elise Wien – 1 pt
Why This Night? by Dan Kitrosser – 1 pt

Evelyn Rubenstein JCC - Houston, TX

Date May 15, 2024
City Producers:Guy Cohen &  Lonny Price

Memoriam by Noga Flaishon – 1 pt
The Last Yiddish Speaker by Deb Laufer – 1 pt
Olga’s Strike by Abigail Henkin – 1 pt

Chicago Theater Chavurah, Chicago, IL

May 2, 2024

City Producers: Devorah Richards,  Eric Fisher and Lisa Hoffman

May 2, 2024

 

The Last Yiddish Speaker by Deborah Zoe Laufer – 3 pt

Memoriam by Noga Flaishon – 1 pt

Osher & the Infinite Curtain by Elise Wein – 1 pt

Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia Fairfax, VA

May 9, 2024
City Producer: Sarah Berry, Jeff Dannick
A TIE!!!!

Memoriam by Noga Flaishon – 1 pt
The Last Yiddish Speakerby Deb Laufer – 2 pts
Why This Night? by Dan Kitrosser – 2 pts
 

Center Stage Israel Ra’anana, ISR

Date May 16, 2024
City Producers, Danielle Faitelson & Daniella Crankshaw

The Last Yiddish Speaker by Deborah Zoe Laufer – 1 pt

Memoriam by Noga Flaishon – 1 pt

The Reservoir by Jake Brasch – 1 pt

 

Temple Israel (Boston)

Dae TBA
City Producers: Rachel Ollganon, Nalani Haueter

Memoriam by Noga Flaishon – 1 pt
The Last Yiddish Speaker by Deb Laufer – 1 pt
Why This Night?by Dan Kitrosser – 1 pt

New York City

May 15, 2024
City Producer: Illana Stein, Will Steinberger

 
Memoriam by Noga Flaishon – 1 pt
The Last Yiddish Speaker by Deb Laufer – 1 pt
Why This Night?by Dan Kitrosser – 1 pt