About the project
The Book of Job Project presents dramatic readings by acclaimed actors of The Book of Job as a catalyst for powerful, guided conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon individuals, families, and communities. The Book of Job is an ancient Hebrew poem that timelessly explores how humans behave when faced with disaster, pestilence and injustice.
Developed in collaboration with PopTech, The Book of Job was created to promote healing dialogue within the community of Joplin, which was devastated by a tornado in May 2011. The project has since been presented all over the country and the world, from New York City (Hurricane Sandy), to Pascagoula, MS (10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina), to Japan (Fukushima).
About the play
The Book of Job by Translated by Stephen Mitchell
The Book of Job is an ancient Hebrew poem that timelessly explores how humans behave when bad things happen to good people. At the beginning of the poem, Job, a righteous and prosperous man, is tested by God. In the span of one day, he loses everything—his children, his crops, his livestock, his house, and his health. Convinced of his own innocence, Job sits silently in the dirt behind what's left of his home and asks God for an explanation. But God doesn't answer. Job is visited by a group of friends who, at first, sympathize with his suffering, but when Job begins to question why he has been singled out and made to suffer, they condemn his behavior and accuse him of having done something to deserve his terrible fate. In spite of these accusations, Job clings to the belief that he has done nothing wrong and continues to shake his fists at the sky in righteous indignation. At the very end of the poem, God reveals himself to Job as a disembodied voice within a whirlwind and rebukes him for presuming to understand His will. Job covers his mouth and falls silent, and—in an enigmatic ending—God restores his health and prosperity, doubling his children, his livestock, and his crops.
Book of Job Highlights
Book of Job: Knox County, Ohio
On Zoom / 2020
On December 6th, we are presenting the Book of Job Project, focused on the Knox County, Ohio community, as part of Theater of War Productions’ year-long virtual residency at Kenyon College. We are pleased to open this program up to the public to create the conditions for dialogue and connection during this time of isolation and division. Featuring performances by Bill Murray, Frankie Faison, David Strathairn, Marjolaine Goldsmtih, Kathryn Erbe, and Nyasha Hatendi. RSVP!
Jeffrey Wright plays Job
On Zoom with Exodus Transitional Community / 2020
This special event was a collaboration with Exodus Transitional Community aimed at engaging a socially distanced audience of adults and youth affected by the justice system. We were proud to open this innovative program to the public, to bear witness to the insights of the Exodus Transitional Community.
Ato Essandoh Plays Job
On Zoom / 2020
A short documentary on the Book of Job in Joplin, MO
Joplin, MO / 2012
Book of Job was first presented in Joplin, MO in 2012, on the anniversary of the the tornado that devastated the Joplin community.
Telling Story of Job at Sandy-Ravaged Synagogue in Rockaways
Queens, NY / 2013
Theater of War Productions presented Book of Job in West End Temple in the Rockaways, marking the first time congregants stepped foot in the sanctuary after it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. See article in The Forward.
Actors bring Book of Job to life for Joplin audiences
The Joplin Globe / 2012
The Book of Job as Community Theater Readings after Superstorm Sandy and other disasters
Public Seminar / 2014
You Are Not Alone Across Time: Using Sophocles to treat PTSD
Harpers Magazine / 2014
Medea timelessly depicts how scorned passion can lead to revenge and, sometimes, unthinkable violence. This project, which premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in June 2016, delves into under-discussed mental health issues that affect women and their families.
War & Mental HealthTheater of War
Rooted in discussions about the invisible and visible wounds of war, the company’s hallmark project is designed to increase awareness of psychological health issues, disseminate information on available resources, and foster greater community cohesion.
Theater of War Productions and the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in partnership with the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, present readings of scenes Peter Weiss' play The Investigation, a piece of documentary theater adapted from the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials of 1963-1965. This project centers on guided discussions about mass murder and its lasting impact upon individuals, families, communities, and countries throughout the world. Performed by a diverse cast, including international performers from communities affected by genocide, The Investigation seeks to generate powerful dialogue across cultures and communities about the human capacity for evil, as well as the systems and hierarchies that create the conditions for unthinkable violence.