The funny, insightful, and mysterious new drama is the fourth by Ziegler produced by Theater J
The Wanderers by Anna Ziegler begins performances in the renovated Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater at the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center on February 19, 2020 and continues through March 15, 2020. Theater J’s DC premiere will be directed by Amber McGinnis. The press is invited to Opening Night on Monday, February 24 at 7:30 PM.
In The Wanderers, Esther and Schmuli are Satmar Hasidic Jews embarking on an arranged marriage, despite barely knowing each other. Abe and Julia are high-profile celebrities embarking on a dangerously flirtatious correspondence, despite being married to other people. On the surface, the lives of these two couples couldn’t be more different. The play explores the hidden connections between these seemingly disparate people, drawing audiences into an intriguing puzzle and a deeply sympathetic look at modern love.
The Wanderers was previously produced at San Diego’s Old Globe, where it won the 2018 San Diego Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Play and was included in the San Diego Tribune’s “Best of 2018” list. Theater J gives the play its second production, and New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company has recently announced an off-Broadway production in 2021.
“The Wanderers invites us into the lives of two Jewish couples (one Orthodox, one secular), both straining inside marriages that confine them, as they imagine and hope for more,” says Theater J Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr. “It is an aching and beautiful play about the universal search for happiness, the way we seek the new and exciting, and the way that experiences are handed down from one generation to the next.”
Ziegler is an award-winning playwright whose widely-produced Photograph 51 won London’s 2016 WhatsOnStage award for best new play, for a production starring Nicole Kidman. Photograph 51 was also selected a “Best of the Year” play by The Washington Post, The Telegraph, and The Chicago Tribune. Ziegler currently has five active commissions and over a dozen productions of her plays slated for the 19/20 season. Of the remarkable breadth of characters and milieu on display in her work, Ziegler states that, “I am drawn to things that are not black and white, where there can be discussion afterwards about whether people did the right thing, and whether or not it makes them a bad person if they did the wrong thing.”
The Wanderers will be Theater J’s fourth production of a Ziegler piece, having staged Photograph 51 in 2011, Another Way Home in 2016, and Actually in 2018. Says Immerwahr, “Theater J is proud to be Anna Ziegler’s artistic home in DC.”
The cast includes Tessa Klein, Jamie Smithson, Alexander Strain (seen recently in Theater J’s Sheltered), Dina Thomas, and Kathryn Tkel.
The Wanderers runs from February 19 through March 15. For more information, click here.