On June 5, playwright J.T. Rogers took home the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play for Oslo. The play, currently running at Lincoln Center Theater, about the back-channel meetings between Israeli and Palestinian representatives that led to the 1993 Oslo Accords also marks Rogers’ Broadway debut. He remembers his first job as a professional playwright with a play that was intended for New York, but didn’t make it that far. “A woodchuck chucks wood and I do this,” says Rogers of his resolve.
But it certainly makes success all the sweeter.
Stars Jennifer Ehle and Jefferson Mays, Tony-nominated for their performances as the Norwegian diplomat and her social scientists husband who broker the secret rendezvous between the parties of the Middle East, feel honored to be recognized. “Oslo is such an ensemble piece,” says Mays. “I do right now consider myself representative of the company of Oslo because Oslo is one of those things that’s greater than the sum of its parts.”
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Ehle agrees, “I think this show more than any I’ve experience before you do feel like you got one for the team.”