How Julia Jordan, Champion of Female Playwrights, Spends Her Sundays

How Julia Jordan, Champion of Female Playwrights, Spends Her Sundays


Julia Jordan writes plays, runs a non-profit organization, plays Sudoku obsessively, walks her dog and raises two kids in a Brooklyn house in mid-renovation. You could say she’s earned a Sunday off.

This season she may not get one. The Lillys, of which she is a founder and the executive director, will present a fund-raising event on Oct. 29 called “The 24-Hour Musicals,” in which a group of entertainment professionals will create and perform four short musicals in one day. The Lilly Awards Foundation, named after the playwright Lillian Hellman, was formed in 2010 to honor female playwrights and to address the shortage of plays by women that get produced in America.

Ms. Jordan, 52, lives in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens section of Brooklyn with her husband, Douglas Unis, 49, an orthopedic surgeon, and their two children, Kitty and Ro, ages 8 and 12, and Max, a mutt of indecipherable lineage.

BREWED AWAKENING More often than not, my husband wakes up before me, and he wakes me up with coffee in bed, which is really, really nice.

STRANGE BEDFELLOW The dog sleeps right by me, then he basically tries to climb in bed with me and I say no. And then we go out and I take him to the dog run in the park, where he can be off leash until 9. There’s huge packs of dogs, sometimes 100 dogs. I’m primarily the dog walker, but usually the kids come with me.

LAID BACK CRISIS MODE I’ve been having meetings at this bar slash coffee shop, so I usually stop by there. That’s where my producer, Mark Armstrong, hangs out. The place is called Erv’s and it’s a bar by night and a coffee place by day, on a little dead end street, funky little place. We’ll meet a little after 9. The last week before the event is crisis mode.

BLOCK PARTY When the weather’s halfway decent, we have wide sidewalks, and the kids all get their bikes and scooters. We’re on the corner, so everybody passes us, and we have a porch. We sit there and people bring some wine over and the moms and dads end up hanging out on our porch and the kids play. It’s a little bit “Sesame Street,” but it’s lovely. We kind of have a magic, social block. People know each other and hang out. We have a book club, and an amazing block party in October with a sit-down dinner, with hundreds of people, and a woman who is 102 who is the queen of everything.

PIZZA OR WHATEVER I’m a grazer, so I’ll just pick something up as I go along. Sometimes we’ll order pizza when we’re on the steps. We’ll order a pizza from the local place, or sometimes we’ll go crazy and order fancy pizza from Crown Heights. I don’t really think about food a lot.

NETFLIX, EYES BEGIN TO FLUTTER Then, honestly, we’re exhausted, and we go inside and I watch Netflix and go to sleep.

BUT FIRST, AN END I’m reading Endling by Katherine Applegate, who wrote The One and Only Ivan. It’s a children’s book but a really great one, total page turner. My daughter and I are obsessed with that. So that’s our thing right now. After she goes to sleep I’ll put on Netflix.

NO FAMILY HOUR We’ve all got our own separate screens. It’s really sad. Communal watching is over.

POWER DOWN I shut it off and do Sudoku on my phone. I know I’m not supposed to look at screens, so I have to break myself of that habit. I should switch to paper. Then I go to bed around 11.



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