Alyssa Quint focuses on the early years of the modern Yiddish theater, from roughly 1876 to 1883, through the works of one of its best-known and most colorful figures, Avrom Goldfaden. Goldfaden (né Goldenfaden, 1840-1908) was one of the first playwrights to stage a commercially viable Yiddish-language theater, first in Romania and then in Russia. Goldfaden’s work was rapidly disseminated in print and his plays were performed frequently for Jewish audiences. Sholem Aleichem considered him as a forger of a new language that "breathed the European spirit into our old jargon." Quint uses Goldfaden’s theatrical works as a way to understand the social life of Jewish theater in Imperial Russia. Through a study of his libretti, she looks at the experiences of Russian Jewish actors, male and female, to explore connections between culture as artistic production and culture in the sense of broader social structures. Quint explores how Jewish actors who played Goldfaden’s work on stage absorbed the theater into their everyday lives. Goldfaden’s theater gives a rich view into the conduct, ideology, religion, and politics of Jews during an important moment in the history of late Imperial Russia.
This book considers Yiddish theatre from a number of aspects: its historical development, its popular and critical reception, and the practice and consequences of state censorship. Its coverage ranges from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century and extends to locations as diverse as Cracow, London, Moscow, New York, St Petersburg, Vienna, and Warsaw. Yiddish Theatre not only presents a wide-ranging study of the field but also helps illustrate the significance of Yiddish theatre as a vital form of expression in the Jewish world: it has not only provided entertainment for audiences on six continents, but has also highlighted the social, political, religious, and economic concerns that Jews considered of vital interest. Yiddish Theatre is a valuable resource for scholars, university students, and general readers interested both in Yiddish theatre specifically and related fields such as Jewish literature and culture, east European history and culture, and European and American theatre. The book contains an extensive bibliography of sources relating to all aspects of Yiddish theatre. (PRINT ON DEMAND)
While a frequently used term, Jewish Theatre has become a contested concept that defies precise definition. Is it theatre by Jews? For Jews? About Jews? Though there are no easy answers for these questions, "Jewish Theatre: A Global View," contributes greatly to the conversation by offering an impressive collection of original essays written by an international cadre of noted scholars from Europe, the United States, and Israel. The essays discuss historical and current texts and performance practices, covering a wide gamut of genres and traditions.
How does a theatrical tradition emerge in the fields of dramatic writing and artistic performance? How can a culture in which theatre played no part in the past create a theatrical tradition in the modern world? How do political and social conditions affect the encounter between cultures, and what role do they play in creating a theatre with a distinctive identity? This volume attempts to answer these and other questions in the first in-depth study of the reception of ancient Greek drama in Israeli theatre over the last 70 years. Exploring how engagement with classical culture has shaped the evolution of Israel's theatrical identity, it draws on both dramatic and aesthetic issues - from mise en scene to 'post dramatic' performance - and offers ground-breaking analysis of a wide range of translations and adaptations of Greek drama, as well as new writing inspired by Greek antiquity. The detailed discussion of how the performances of these works were created and staged at key points in the development of Israeli culture not only sheds new light on the reception of ancient Greek drama in an important theatrical and cultural context, but also offers a new and illuminating perspective on artistic responses to the fateful political, social, and cultural events in Israel's recent history.
The Yiddish Queen Lear New York in the late 1930s: a once-famous Yiddish actress gives her theatre business over to her three daughters. The Yiddish Queen Lear is a story of love, infedelity, betrayal and exile, which examines the moment when Jewish East European and American cultures mix, on the eve of the Holocaust. Both a free reworking of Shakespeare’s King Lear and a homage to the lost world of Yiddish theatre, The Yiddish Queen Lear is a vibrant, funny and tragic study of the clashes and connections between two very different worlds. "This play is an affecting and electic treat." Evening Standard (The Yiddish Queen Lear) Woman In The Moon Set in the United States, England and Germany, between 1920 and 2001, Woman In The Moon is a dream play inspired by both the legend of Faust and the testimonies of French, Austrian and German survivors from Camp Dora. It explores the connections between the US space programme, the V1 and V2 bombers, and the slave labour in the Third Reich. "Brave, intelligent and desperately moving." The Guardian (Woman In The Moon)
The professional Yiddish theatre started in 1876 in Eastern Europe; with the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, masses of Eastern European Jews began moving westward, and New York—Manhattan’s Bowery and Second Avenue—soon became the world’s center of Yiddish theatre. At first the Yiddish repertoire revolved around comedies, operettas, and melodramas, but by the early 1890s America's Yiddish actors were wild about Shakespeare. In Shakespeare on the American Yiddish Stage, Joel Berkowitz knowledgeably and intelligently constructs the history of this unique theatrical culture. The Jewish King Lear of 1892 was a sensation. The year 1893 saw the beginning of a bevy of Yiddish versions of Hamlet; that year also saw the first Yiddish production of Othello. Romeo and Juliet inspired a wide variety of treatments. The Merchant of Venice was the first Shakespeare play published in Yiddish, and Jacob Adler received rave reviews as Shylock on Broadway in both 1903 and 1905. Berkowitz focuses on these five plays in his five chapters. His introduction provides an orientation to the Yiddish theatre district in New York as well as the larger picture of Shakespearean production and the American theatre scene, and his conclusion summarizes the significance of Shakespeare’s plays in Yiddish culture.
Greek and Roman theatre - Medieval theatre - Renaissance in theatre - Elizabethan England - 17th and 18th century theatre - Romanticism - Melodrama - Realism - Playwrights - Diversity of modern theatre - Dramatic structure - _Dramatic style and genre - Actor, director and designer - Business side of theatre - _Critiquing a theatrical production_______________