Bad Jews

Full-Length Play, Comedy  /  2w, 2m

A fierce, biting comedy about family, faith, and what you choose to believe, when you're chosen.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    2w, 2m
  • Duration
    90 minutes
  • SubGenre
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences, Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)
  • Nominee: 2014 Lucille Lortel Award, Outstanding Play
    Nominee: 2012-2013 Outer Critics Circle Awards, Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play & John Gassner Award
Bad Jews



The night after their grandfather’s funeral, three cousins engage in a verbal (and sometimes physical) battle. In one corner is Daphna Feygenbaum, a “Real Jew” who is volatile, self-assured and unbending. In the other is her equally stubborn cousin Liam, a secular and entitled young man, who has his shiksa girlfriend, Melody, in tow. Stuck in the middle is Liam’s brother, Jonah, who tries to stay out of the fray. When Liam stakes claim to their grandfather's Chai necklace, a vicious and hilarious brawl over family, faith and legacy ensues.


Bad Jews premiered at the Roundabout Underground in the 62-seat black box at the Steinberg Center in October 2012. Following its critical acclaim, Harmon's play transfered off-Broadway to the Roundabout's 424-seat Laura Pels Theatre in October 2013.

DAPHNA FEYGENBAUM - 22, Liam & Jonah's first cousin. 2/3 body, 1/3 hair. Thick, intense, curly, frizzy, long brown hair. Hair that clogs a drain after one shower. Hair you find on pillows and in corners of the room and in your refrigerator six months after the head from which it grew last visited. Hair that could not be straightened even if you had four hours and three hairdressers double-fisting blow driers. Hair that screams: Jew.

LIAM HABER - 25. Daphna's cousin: his mother is the sister of Daphna's father. Wire-rim glasses. U of Chicago Asian studies Ph.D. student. Former Fulbright scholar in Japan. Has as much of a sense of humor as an overdue library book.

JONAH HABER - 21, Liam's younger brother. Sometime-UVM sophomore. Less lanky than his brother. Less brainy. More brawn. More heart.

MELODY - 24, Liam's girlfriend. Short, stick-straight blonde hair. Which she wears with a barrette. To be extra cute. Mousy. She looks like someone who would have been abducted when she was nine but returned to her parents unharmed. Works for a non-profit.

  • Time Period Contemporary, Present Day
  • Setting

    A studio apartment on the Upper West Side.

  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
  • Additional Features No intermission
  • Duration 90 minutes
  • Cautions
    • Strong Language


Critic's Pick! “Zesty... the best comedy of the season.” – The New York Times

“There’s nothing like a death in the family to bring out the worst in people. This unhappy truth is displayed with delectably savage humor in Bad Jews, a zesty play by Joshua Harmon... the best comedy of the season.” – The New York Times, Read More

“Four stars. Watching Bad Jews, you may change your mind about who the title refers to. But you'll also be consistently impressed by this fast and funny, pungent and poignant comedy by Joshua Harmon.” – New York Daily News, Read More

“[In] Joshua Harmon’s strikingly perceptive comedy with claws, Daphna is one of the most memorable characters to come down the pike in some time. Harmon’s biting script, which unfolds in 100 minutes of real time... marks him as a new theatrical voice to be reckoned with.” – Backstage, Read More

Delicious, nasty fun... Equal parts brains and brawl, Joshua Harmon's play isn't a textbook comedy of hostility, but a smart, divisive conversation starter.” – New York Post, Read More

“One of the funniest things on the New York stage right now... a gleefully funny, thought-provoking evening.” – Huffington Post, Read More


Bad Jews in Frankfurt, Germany: The City of Anne Frank’s Childhood
by Daniel Nicolai
June 28, 2016

Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews Transferring to West End
by Courtney Kochuba
February 24, 2015


  • Bad Jews - Montage youtube thumbnail

    Bad Jews - Montage

  • Bad Jews - About the Show youtube thumbnail

    Bad Jews - About the Show

  • Bad Jews - Opening Night youtube thumbnail

    Bad Jews - Opening Night


  • Musical Style N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal DemandsN/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size N/A (Not a musical)

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £70 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

    Please submit a license request to determine availability.


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Joshua Harmon

Joshua Harmon's plays include Bad Jews, Significant Other, Admissions, Skintight, and Prayer for the French Republic. He and Sarah Silverman co-wrote the libretto for The Bedwetter based on her memoir. His plays have been produced on Broadway and the West End; off-Broadway at ...

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