Theater J Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr and General Manager David Lloyd Olson announce 2021 Patty Abramson Jewish Play Award winner Maggie Lou Rader with her play The Helpers. Theater J Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize awards $ 3,000 and a reading on stage to promising emerging playwright in honor of new play that celebrates, explores and / or struggles with the intricacies and nuances of the Jewish experience .
The award is dedicated to the memory of philanthropist and venture capitalist Patty Abramson and will be presented along with the Trish Vradenburg New Jewish Play Prize at the annual benefit of Theater J on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. in Washington, DC. Inspired by the Diary of Anne Frank, The Helpers is a new perspective from across the most famous library in history. Miep Gies, an immigrant and secretary of Otto Frank’s famous Opekta Society, leads a group of helpers to preserve the residents of the Secret Annex and the spirit of kindness and survival during WWII. The Helpers is a story of joy, hope, friendship and resistance during one of history’s darkest moments.
The staff of Theater J, the artists affiliated with the Theater J and the members of the Board of the Theater J evaluated 83 scenarios in order to choose a winning piece. The final selection committee included: Leigh Silverman (Tony-nominated and Obie-awarded director, and stepdaughter of Patty Abramson), Shawna M. James (director, Board Community Manager TCG), Felicia M. Curry (actress and educator) , and Michele Berman (co-founder of the Theater J Council with Patty Abramson, who gave her name to the Abramson Prize; current honorary member of the Theater J Council).
The finalists are Screech Owl by Madison Fiedler and Damsels by Jenny Rachel Weiner. Maggie Lou Rader will receive her award at the Theater J’s annual benefit on December 7, 2021 in Washington, DC, and The Helpers will receive a Theater J-produced reading featuring professional actors on a date to be announced.
“The Helpers by Maggie Lou Rader is simply a phenomenal play,” says Adam Immerwahr, artistic director of Theater J. “It’s a fascinating journey into the world of Anne Frank, exploring a side of history that is often overlooked. I am so delighted that our selection committee has decided to honor Patty Abramson’s memory by recognizing this exciting new work, by a promising emerging writer. “
Maggie Lou Rader adds, “It fills my heart with joy to know that this story continues to speak to others and to me. The Aids must be recognized in such a way as to allow the story of Miep, the Franks and the Aids to continue in the form of a new theatrical work. “
“The annual benefit of Theater J is an honored tradition for the theater community and the Jewish community in Washington, DC,” said General Manager David Lloyd Olson. “After presenting the event online last year, attendees will be able to watch the award show online or attend in person this year.” Tickets for the benefit start at $ 350 and can be purchased at www.TheaterJ.org/Benefit or by calling the Theater J development office at 202.777.3225.
Produced playwright, Dramatist’s Guild member and AEA actor, Maggie Lou Rader (she / she) tells epic tales of epic women. She is a graduate of William Jewell College in Kansas City and Birmingham School of Acting in the UK and has lived in Cincinnati for almost 10 years. She was a winner of the Notre Dame College New Play festival, a finalist for the Henley Rose Playwrighting Award for Women, Utah Shakespeare’s Words Cubed, Central Florida Community Arts TYA New Play and Musical Festival, and was shortlisted for the University’s first Digital Play. from Miami. Reading Series, as well as a semifinalist for the National Playwright Conference Eugene O’Neill, Garry Marshall Theater New Works Festival, Future Fest by Dayton Playhouse and Renewal Reading Series by UP Theater. She has had the privilege of expanding her work at DePaul University, the Theater School, and the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. His plays have been produced at Know Theater of Cincinnati, InBocca Performance and The Marsh, MarshStream International Solo Fest, as well as staged readings with Theater Pro Rata and Green Buffalo Productions. She has also been published with Smith and Kraus as well as Madwomen in the Attic. Keep an eye out for her work at Eclectic Full Contact Theater, Skeleton Rep and Dean Productions in 2021. As a performer, she has appeared in over 75 professional productions with Know Theater of Cincinnati, StageOne, The Human Race Theater, Kentucky Shakespeare , Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, and was a resident actor with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company for 10 seasons. In Cincinnati, she lives happily on her property with her husband Justin and three furry babies with four eyes between them.