It’s July 2000—the Oslo Accords are falling apart, and in Tenleytown, a modern Jewish family is fracturing over what to do with their 14th Street real estate. Their mother has died, their father will need full-time care, and as their adult children debate what do to next, no topic is off limits: American Jews and their relationship to Israel, who’s already given enough to this family, a sibling’s parenting choices. A political and deeply personal play about history, responsibility, and what we’re willing to sacrifice for a new beginning, told with vicious humor and unflinching honesty by Bethesda native Steven Levenson.
Passionate and provoking… the Fischers come vibrantly alive in [Levenson’s] funny, bruising, searching voice…If I Forget speaks to both the head and the heart.
This is the play of the season so far. I won't soon forget it.
Ambitious and often very funny… [Levenson] gives us a lot to talk about, and a play to remember.
Headlines from The Washington Post the week of July 24, 2000Read More
Playwright Steven Levenson is known around the world as the Tony Award-winning writer behind the book of Dear Evan Hansen, but his story began here in DC. A Bethesda native, he remembers a theatre-filled childhood: seeing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express, playing the Ed Sullivan role in Bye Bye Birdie (in sixth grade), and going to Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth, the Kennedy Center, and Studio Theatre.Read More
14th Street was first established in the mid-nineteenth century as a sleepy suburban residential area, with a generally white population. Initially farmland, the area was developed after the Civil War following the expansion of the Federal government during Reconstruction.Read More
It’s July 2000 in DC, and a modern Jewish family is fracturing over whether to sell their 14th Street real estate in Bethesda native Levenson’s political and deeply personal play about history, responsibility, and compromise.Read More
As we all learn from our families, there’s a fine line between honoring your heritage and getting trapped under its weight. For Michael, a professor and the somewhat wayward son of the American Jewish Fischer family in If I Forget, that line is also the subject of his first major academic publication. Writing about what he sees as the calcified nature of contemporary Jewish identity, he argues that the only way for Jewish identity to move forward—to embrace the twenty-first century, in all its plurality and geopolitical ruptures—is to forget the Holocaust: stop writing about it, stop making art about it, stop referring to it as the cultural lodestar for Jewish identity.Read More
If I Forget, boasts a densely packed ideological canvas spanning religion, politics, and history, unpacking how trauma, memory, and identity reverberate through multiple generations of a Jewish family in Washington, DC.Read More