HESTER STREET [Washington Locals]
Theater J in Washington, DC
A play with music by Sharyn Rothstein
Featuring the original music of Joel Waggoner
Based on the film by Joan Micklin Silver and the novella Yekl by Abraham Cahan
Directed by Oliver Butler (What The Constitution Means To Me)
Producer: Theater J by special arrangement with Michael Rabinowitz and Ira Deutchman
Casting: Eisenberg/Beans Casting
Non-union: $740/rehearsal week, $700/performance week
Rehearsals Begin: February 27, 2024
Previews Begin: March 27, 2024
Run: April 1 - April 21, 2024
Potential extension to April 28, 2024
Performance Schedule: Wednesday at 12 and 7:30, Thursday at 7:30, Friday at 12, Saturday at 2 and 7:30, Sunday at 2 and 7:30
SYNOPSIS: 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, 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.
NOTE: Although this is a play with music, only JOE P, RABBI, and RABBI’S WIFE need to sing. A plus for all roles if there is a familiarity with Yiddish. Please indicate if you are a Washington DC local hire.
TO SUBMIT: Email picture/resume to email@example.com, Subject Line: Hester Street [ROLE]
If local to DC - Subject line: DC Hester Street [ROLE]
JAKE PODKOVNIK: 25-37, Jewish male. Strong masculine energy - both toxic and charming. Bravado mixed with shame. He’s handsome, well-dressed, a Russian immigrant who just moved to the United States five years ago but is trying to seem very American. Someone who is putting on American costumes/appearances and yet we know he can’t “pass.” He’s compensating. Volatile. Holds resentment that his upbringing and education did not properly prepare him for a life outside of the ShtetlA man going through a new adolescence, forced to face the life and identity he thought he'd left behind. Does not sing.
GITL PODKOVNIK: 20-35, Jewish female, religious young mother, just arrived from the Russian shetl to America. Sense of humor, but also dealing with a real trauma. Glowing, optimistic soul. The way she is treated “others” her the most—in contradiction to her natural charisma and positivity. Grappling with the disconnect of not having a community and religious life in America. She’s a sexual person. Wants to be touched. Wants to have more children. A fish out of water in America. Does not sing.
MRS. KAVARSKY: 30s-60, Jewish female. The landlady from down the hall. Funny, not a cartoon. Not necessarily maternal. An independent woman. Does not sing.
BERNSTEIN: 25-40, Jewish male. The scholar. Gentle soul, most likely not to survive America (until he finds Gitl), also adolescent in ways. Does not sing.
MAMIE: 20-40, Jewish female. Young and beautiful, a firecracker. Sexy. Shrewd, but complicated. The most American. Has great sympathy for Gitl. Is going to make it, not matter what. Does not sing.
JOE PELTNER: 30-60, Jewish male. The leader of the band. Busy, always pushing his piano around, distracting himself from his own sorrow. Brash and bossy. Tightly wound. A little strange. Can carry a room. Might have been a Professor of Music in the Old Country. Lonely. SEEKING AN EXCELLENT PIANIST AND SINGER. ACCORDION SKILLS A PLUS.
YOSSELE/LITTLE JOEY - to play age 5-7, Jewish male. Adapts most easily to America. Does not sing.
RABBI/ENSEMBLE: Adult Male. Will play various roles. Also a part of our on-stage band. PLAYS INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED TRUMPET. SINGS.
RABBI’S WIFE/ENSEMBLE: Adult Female. Will play various roles. Also a part of our on-stage band. PLAYS INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED VIOLIN. SINGS.