Theater J set for US Premiere of One Jewish Boy
The highly anticipated play "One Jewish Boy" is set to make its US premiere at Theater J in Washington DC from June 7 to July 2. The play, written by Stephen Laughton and directed by Theater J Associate Artistic Director Johanna Gruenhut, examines the impact of hate and prejudice on relationships through the lens of two lovers from different cultural upbringings.
Jesse, a Jewish man, and Alex, a Black woman, navigate the challenges of their relationship as they confront traumas from their past. Jesse is haunted by a vicious anti-Semitic attack, while Alex struggles to navigate a world that discriminates against her because of her race and gender. Despite their pure and absolute love for each other, rising prejudice and politics threaten to tear them apart.
This thought-provoking play debuted in the UK in 2018 and sparked important conversations about anti-Semitism. Theater J hopes to continue this dialogue in the United States through the play's US premiere. Gruenhut, the director, acknowledges the grim statistics regarding hate and prejudice, with 2,261 anti-Semitic attacks reported in the UK in 2021 and Black women being four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than their white counterparts.
The play's urgency is reflected in Gruenhut's direction, as she notes that One Jewish Boy forces us to acknowledge that hate is a trauma that love can't always heal. The leads, played by New York-based actor, and Washington State-native, , bring their immense talent to these complex and nuanced roles.
Theater J is a nationally-renowned professional theater that celebrates and struggles with the complexities and nuances of the Jewish experience and the universal human condition. As the nation's largest and most prominent Jewish theater, they aim to create community and commonality through theater-going experiences and to preserve and expand a rich Jewish theatrical tradition.
The US premiere of One Jewish Boy promises to be a bittersweet, sophisticated, and quick-fire comedy that addresses important issues of hate, prejudice, and the power of love. It is a must-see for anyone interested in engaging with these timely and critical themes in an artistic and thought-provoking way.