Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

61 Theater Chiefs Slam Firing of Theater J Director Ari Roth

Sixty-one artistic directors of U.S. theater companies denounced the DC Jewish Community Center’s firing of Ari Roth, the artistic director of its Theater J who staged numerous works critical of Israel.

An open letter issued Monday said “it is absolutely clear that Roth was fired because of the content of the work he has so thoughtfully and ably championed for the last two decades,” the Washington Post reported. It was signed by leaders of such companies as New York’s Lincoln Center Theater and Public Theater, Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre and Washington’s Shakespeare Theatre Company.

Roth has been artistic director of Theater J for 18 years; the JCC fired him for “insubordination” on Dec. 18.

The letter said its signatories “deplore the action of the JCC, offer our complete support for Ari Roth” and “urge the American theater community to protest these events in all possible ways.”

The JCC has described Roth’s departure as “stepping down to pursue a new series of endeavors,” while Roth has said it “was pretty punitive,” according to the Forward.

In recent years, Roth and the JCC had clashed over several plays criticized for being anti-Israel.


  • Events

    Haart to Haart


    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.