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David Winitsky

Visiting Lecturer

David Winitsky

Educational Background

  • Cornell University, College Scholars, BA in Mathematics, 1994
  • Northwestern University, MFA in Directing, 2004

Website(s)

Overview

David Winitsky is the Founder and Executive Artistic Director of the Jewish Plays Project, the nation’s leading development house for contemporary Jewish theater. Since founding the JPP, he has been a Storahtelling/LabShul Maven, a 2014-17 UpStart National Fellow, a 2013 LABA Artist Fellow, and a 2011 PresenTense New York City Fellow. Currently, he is a Fellow at UJA’s  Institute for Jewish Executive Leadership at Columbia Business School. David held leadership positions at Playwrights Theater of New Jersey (Producing Director), What Exit? Comedy Theater (Co-Artistic Director), and the Obie Award-winning HERE Arts Center (General Manager), in addition to positions in commercial theater (Broadway on Broadway, Chicago, Rent, Miss Saigon, etc.)

Currently, David is on sabbatical from the JPP and is the Interim Producing Artistic Director at the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca, NY, where he is helping to navigate this leading Finger Lakes region non-profit through the pandemic wilderness. In Ithaca, David also is in his third year as a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, where he teaches the course “Sitcom Jews: Ethnicity and Culture on TV and Stage, 1948-Present”. It’s a fun class. 

As a freelance artist, David has directed or assisted on Broadway, off-Broadway, and regionally at Papermill Playhouse and Chicago’s famous Steppenwolf Theater. NYC: Displaced Wedding (New Worlds Theatre Project). A Wonderful Flat Thing (14th St Y), Brooke Berman's Until We Find Each Other (Best of Festival, MITF). Regional: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Our Dad is in Atlantis and The Fantasticks.  

With the JPP, David has developed 49 plays, 27 of which have gone on to production and further development in New York, London, Tel Aviv and around the U.S. He has directed new plays by Renee Calarco, Lindsay Joelle, David Rush, Colin Greer, Lauren Feldman, and a host of others, and created innovative arts programs in JCCs in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Chicago, Charlotte, Houston, Washington DC, Fairfax VA, Hartford, New Haven, San Francisco and Palo Alto.

As a consultant, he has helped raise over a million dollars for arts education, underserved youth, and FSU programs, and has developed an expertise in Presbyterian organizations in Elizabeth, NJ. 

David holds an MFA in Directing from Northwestern, where he studied with Tony Winners Frank Galati, Mary Zimmerman, Tina Landau and Anna Shapiro. He received his BA in Mathematics from Cornell. 

More important than all of this, David is the proud husband of Elizabeth Samet, and thankful father of Ezekiel (19) and Alexander (16), and resides in South Philadelphia (Go Eagles!). 

Departments/Programs

  • Jewish Studies Program
  • Near Eastern Studies