Goldberg published a vivid debate between himself and Artistic Director Ari Roth about the staging of Churchill‘s play. The very next day, Goldberg posted two heated (yes negative) responses, one from a reader and another from an anonymous “prominent New York theater type,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. Does that mean they are actually in the theater, or a prominent New Yorker who’s around the theater? Anyway.

The readers’ responses highlight something that seems to be missing from the discussion. Roth didn’t only stage Churchill’s play. Disagree if you will with Roth’s decision, but present his decision accurately.

He staged her play, along with “Seven Palestinian Children” by Deb Margolin and “The Eighth Child” by Robbie Gringras, and followed by discussion. That may not change people’s opinions about Churchill’s play, and it may upset others that Roth didn’t let the play be read on it’s own, but let’s at least fully present the choice Roth made. From Roth himself:

I am critical of the play, and that’s why I’m offering our stage for a reading–not a performance–of it. So it can be heard, digested, and responded to by our diverse audience. I trust that we will have a candid and responsible conversation about it. And that we will also present two artistic pieces written in response to the play; SEVEN PALESTINIAN CHILDREN by the Jewish American writer Deb Margolin, and THE EIGHTH CHILD, by Israeli Performance artist, Robbie Gringras.

To add to the mix, J Street wrote a letter of support for discussing the play:

The decision to feature Seven Jewish Children at Theater J should be judged not on the basis of the play’s content but, rather, on its value in sparking a difficult but necessary conversation within our community. To preclude even the possibility of such a discussion does a disservice not only to public discourse, but also to the very values of rigorous intellectual engagement and civil debate on which our community prides itself.

J Street takes no position on the content of Seven Jewish Children – it is, after all, a play, and not policy. We do, however, stand unequivocally behind Theater J in its decision to feature programming that examines different facets of this critical debate over how our community can best support Israel. Such an opportunity for individual and collective reflection is integral in informing our shared interest in bringing true peace and security to Israel.