WASHINGTON, D.C.: Theatre J has announced that Tony-winning author Itamar Moses is the recipient of the 2022 Trish Vrandenburg New Jewish Play Prize for his play The Ally. Moses will be awarded $15,000 and will have a reading of his play performed at Theater J’s Annual Benefit on Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C. The reading will be directed by Theatre J’s associate artistic director, Johanna Gruenhut. The award will be bestowed at that event along with the Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize.
The award recognizes a new play that celebrates, explores, and/or struggles with the complexities and nuances of the Jewish experience. The award is in memory of philanthropist, playwright, and Alzheimer’s research advocate Trish Vradenburg, who served on Theater J’s Council for 13 years.
The Ally examines when Middle East politics become university politics, and vice versa. When Assaf agrees to be the faculty advisor to a new student group on campus, his politics, affiliations, faith, and relationships are put to the test in this dark comedy.
“People can be rational or emotional when talking and thinking about Israel, but usually not simultaneously,” said Gruenhut in a statement. “This play manages to capture that inner conflict. It is a very of-the-moment play. And one that I cannot stop thinking about.”
Moses won a Tony for the book of the musical The Band’s Visit. Other works include The Whistleblower, Outrage, Celebrity Row, The Four of Us, Yellowback, Back Back Back, and Bach at Leipzig. His work has appeared Off-Broadway and at regional theatres across the country and in Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Venezuela, Turkey, and Chile. He has received new-play commissions from the McCarter, Playwrights Horizons, Berkeley Rep, the Wilma Theater, South Coast Rep, Manhattan Theatre Club, Lincoln Center, and the Goodman. Moses holds an MFA from New York University.
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