Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Ten new plays premiering in New York, launch artistic response to Pew Survey


NEW YORK—“Pew-ish,” an unusual new project to expand the conversation about Jewish identity, especially among unaffiliated Jews, launched with a special dramatic production of 10 new plays on June 26 at the Loft at Judson Memorial Church in New York.

Participating playwrights include Bekah Brunsetter (ABC’s Switched at Birth, upcoming “Cutie and Bear” at Roundabout Theatre), Jonathan Caren (“The Recommendation” at the Flea) and Anna Ziegler (“Photograph 51” at Theatre J). Additional playwrights include Matthew-Lee Erlbach (“Eager to Lose” at Ars Nova), Ken Weitzman, Emily Chadwick Weiss, Zohar Tirosh-Polk, Warren Hoffman, Jonathan Karpinos and Jacqueline Goldfinger. Actors will include Megan Ketch (CBS’s Blue Bloods), Lynne Rosenberg (“High Maintenance” web series) and Nathaniel P. Claridad (“Here Lies Love” at the Public). “Pew-ish” will be presented in association with Form Theatricals (Anthony Francavilla and Zachary Laks), Judson Arts and Jake Goodman. 

“Pew-ish” was created following the 2013 release of the Pew Research Center’s “Portraits of Jewish,” which overwhelmingly shows that Jewish Americans feel pride in being Jewish but also underscored a changing Jewish identity.  

“When Pew was released, it sparked endless debate inside the organized Jewish world,” said David Shmidt Chapman, a theatre director who initiated the project. “But among my Jewish artist friends, few even knew the study existed, let alone that a debate was raging about their Jewish identity. ‘Pew-ish’ will bring new, creative voices into the conversation.” 

The June 26 launch event featured Jewish playwrights, while future “Pew-ish” programming will also engage artists working in music, dance, visual art, film and other media. “Pew-ish” will work closely with other Jewish arts initiatives, including Asylum Arts and the Jewish Plays Project.


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