Theater

Hester Street

Dates : March 27, 2024 — April 28, 2024

The world premiere adaptation of the beloved 1975 film Hester Street by Joan Micklin Silver.

world premiere

A play by Sharyn Rothstein
With original music and songs by Joel Waggoner
Based on the film by Joan Micklin Silver
Directed by Oliver Butler
Produced in association with Michael Rabinowitz and Ira Deutchman

RUN TIME: Hester Street runs approximately 120 minutes, including one 15 minute intermission

The world premiere of Hester Street – the theatrical adaptation of the beloved 1975 film by Joan Micklin Silver – marks the largest production Theater J’s stage has seen in years. 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. A deeply moving new stage adaptation by Sharyn Rothstein (Arena Stage’s Right to Be Forgotten), featuring songs by Broadway’s Joel Waggoner, and directed by Oliver Butler (Broadway’s What the Constitution Means to Me), assembling a nationally-renowned team of artists and produced in association with New York-based producers Michael Rabinowitz and Ira Deutchman, Hester Street is an unforgettable show, awash in the humor, heartbreak, and hope essential to the Jewish immigrant experience.

Hester Street at Theater J goes even deeper than the beloved 1975 movie version”

The Washington Post

About the Production

Joey: Katie Angell
Rabbi and Others/Instrumentalist: Jason Cohen*
Mamie: Eden Epstein*
Jake: Jake Horowitz*
Gitl: Sara Kapner*
Joey Understudy: Alexandra Moore
Joe Peltner: Morgan Morse*
Bernstein: Michael Perrie Jr.*
Mrs. Kavarsky and Others: Dani Stoller*
Rabbi’s Wife and Others/Instrumentalist: Lauren Jeanne Thomas*

*Appearing through an Agreement between this theater, Theater J, and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

Playwright/Adapter: Sharyn Rothstein
Original Music And Songs: Joel Waggoner
Based on the film by Joan Micklin Silver and Abraham Cahan
Produced in association with Michael Rabinowitz and Ira Deutchman

Director: Oliver Butler^
Associate Director & Choreographer: Nikki Mirza
Scenic Designer: Wilson Chin+
Costume Designer: Frank Labovitz
Lighting Designer: Colin K. Bills+
Projection Designer: Patrick W. Lord
Sound Designer: Justin Schmitz+
Props Designer: Jason Dearing
Casting: Eisenberg Casting, Daryl Eisenberg, CSA
Casting Assistant: Chelsi Kern
Production Stage Manager: Anthony O. Bullock*
Assistant Stage Manager: Rebecca Talisman*
Assistant Stage Manager: Delaney Dunster

*Appearing through an Agreement between this theater, Theater J, and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
+Member of United Scenic Artists Local 829

^Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

Michele and Allan Berman
James Beller and Christopher Wolf
Myrna Fawcett
James A. Feldman and Natalie Wexler
David and Patricia Fisher
Mindy Gasthalter
Ann Gilbert
Cheryl Gorelick
Meg and John Hauge
Daniel Hirsch and Brenda Gruss
Marion Ein Lewin
Paul and Zena Mason
Jeff Menick
Howard Menaker and Patrick Gossett
Carl and Undine Nash
Mita M. Schaffer and Tina M. Martin
Les Silverman
Richard Solloway
Stuart Sotsky
Manny Strauss and Betsy Karmin
Martha Winter Gross and Robert Tracy


Creative Connections

Join us for powerful post-show conversations with expert guests to deep dive the themes of Hester Street.

Hester Street tells the story of 19th century Jewish immigrants arriving in New York through the famed Ellis Island. Washington, DC is the fifth most Jewish city in the country today, with almost 300,000 Jews living in the DMV – but without a widely heard Ellis Island-type narrative. This panel, presented with the Capital Jewish Museum and HIAS, illuminates the history of DC’s Jewish immigrants and how they arrived in the DMV, before discussing the issues DC-area immigrants are facing today.

Featured Panelists:

  • Jonathan Edelman, Collections Curator at the Capital Jewish Museum
  • Naomi Steinberg, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at HIAS

Hester Street is a story of adaptation – it’s a play adapted from a book and film with characters adapting to new countries, cultures, and customs. Yiddish, spoken throughout the play, is a language of adaptation – combining German, Hebrew, and more, to create a sound all of its own – a sound you may not hear too often anymore outside of certain Jewish spaces. Come join Yiddish experts as they respond to the play and dive into questions surrounding adaptation, how Yiddish is used within Hester Street, and what role Yiddish has yet to play in the world around us.

Featured Panelists:

  • Dr. Miriam Isaacs, Retired Affiliate Visiting Associate Professor of Yiddish Language and Culture, University of Maryland.
  • Dr. Lauren B. Strauss, professor of modern Jewish history, specializing in American Jewish cultural and political history. 

Sponsored by Bob and Helene Schlossberg.

Accessibility

The Edlavitch DCJCC provides accessible seating and assisted listening devices upon request. Please contact the Box Office at  boxoffice@edcjcc.org or (202) 777-3210 with questions or requests. More information about accessibility >

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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

12:00 PM Theater J
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Thursday, April 18, 2024

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Friday, April 19, 2024

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Saturday, April 20, 2024

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Saturday, April 20, 2024

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Sunday, April 21, 2024

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Friday, April 26, 2024

7:30 PM Theater J
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Saturday, April 27, 2024

7:30 PM Theater J
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Sunday, April 28, 2024

2:00 PM Theater J
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Sunday, April 28, 2024

7:30 PM Theater J
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