Theater association’s new president discusses bright future of Jewish theater


There’s a newly elected president from Chicago…other than Barack Obama.

David Chack—a faculty member from in Northwestern University’s Theatre and Jewish Studies Department and a Chicago-based Jewish theater director and culture critic—was named this fall to a two-year term as president of the Association for Jewish Theatre (AJT). Chack was also recently honored as a semifinalist for the 2008 Charles Bronfman Visiting Chair in Innovative Jewish Communities, for his proposal “From ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ to ‘Rent,’” addressing the question of changing the way the Jewish community sees itself. The theater association, which will hold a festival and a conference in May-June of 2009, is the nation’s largest network of Jewish theaters, playwrights, producers, and performers, and is dedicated to the enhancement of Jewish culture through theater.

A Festival of Jewish Theatre and Ideas, sponsored by the Untitled Theatre Company #61 and the Association for Jewish Theatre, will run May 20-June 14 in New York City. The festival will run in conjunction with the Association for Jewish Theatre Conference June 6-10 in New York City.

For more information on the festival, the conference, and on the AJT, visit

In November, JUF News Managing Editor Cindy Sher conducted a phone interview with Chack to discuss his new presidency, the evolution of Jewish theater, and the bright future for the medium.

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