Jews and Theater in an Intercultural Context

Editor: Edna Nahshon
Jewish theater practitioners, playwrights, critics, financiers and audiences have played an enormous role in the development of the European and American theater. Jews and Theater in an Intercultural Context, a collection of essays by an international cadre of theater scholars, addresses this subject. Focusing on the role of Jews and Jewishness in the theatrical field it discusses the representation of Jews on the American, European, and South American stage, with a strong emphasis on twentieth century theater and the contemporary theatrical scene.

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Edna Nahshon, Ph.D. (1988) in Performance Studies, New York University, is professor of Hebrew and Theater at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She specializes in the intersection of Jewishness and performance. Her books include Yiddish Proletarian Theatre: The Art and Politics of the Artef, 1925-1940, From the Ghetto to the Melting Pot: Israel Zangwill’s Jewish Plays, Jews and Shoes, Jewish Theatre: A Global View and the forthcoming Countering Shylock: Jewish Responses to ‘the Merchant of Venice’.
Religion and origins
1. The Biblical Balaam ‘Play’ and its Stage Design in Pictures: A Religious Satire?
Shimon Levy
2. From Alexandria to Berlin: The Hellenistic Play Exagoge Joins the Jewish Canon
Sarit Cofman-Simhon
3. The Passion of Tafi del Valle: The Representation of Jews in an Argentinean Passion Play
Tamara Kohn
4. Going Against the Grain: Jews and Passion Plays in America, 1879-1929
Edna Nahshon
Plays and Playwrights
5. Conceptions, Connotations, and /or actions: How to Present Jewish Characters on the German Post-War Stage – The example of Heinar Kipphardt’s Plays
Matthias Naumann
6. Between “I and Thou”: Buber, Expressionism and Ernst Toller’s Search for Community
David Garfinkle
7. Holocaust Memory in the French-Jewish theater of Jean-Claude Grumberg
Seth L. Wolitz
8. Voices from the Edge of the Abyss: Theatrical texts from the Terezin Ghetto
Lisa Peschel
9. Jewishness in American Documentary Theatre
Carol Martin
10. Fritz Kortner on the Postwar Stage: The Jewish Actor as a Site of Memory
Michael Bachman
Interpretations and reinterpretations
11. Jews in Fashion at the Moscow Art Theatre
Laurence Senelick
12. Restaging Halevy’s Opera The Jewess
Hans-Peter Bayerdoerfer
13. Contemporary Audiences, Shylock, and the Infamous ‘Pound of Flesh’ in The Merchant of Venice
Melia Bensussan
The Contemporary Scene
14. The Joy of Breaking Taboos: Jews in Postwar German Theatre
Anat Feinberg
15. From Merchant of Venice to Mein Kampf: The Representation of Anti-Semitism and its Reception by Jewish and Gentile Audiences in Contemporary Hungary
Aniko Szucs
16. From Purimspiel to Polish Masquerade
Brigitte Sion
17. "Jewface” Minstrelsy and “Jewfaçade” Display: Performing Jewish Cultural Memory in Contemporary Europe and Eurasia
S.I. Salamensky
18. Hadassah and Halacha: the Interventions of Queer Jewish Performance Art
Carol Zemel
Appendix: Mama’s Coming Back, Poor Orphan [A Song]
A play by Jean-Claude Grumberg, Translated by Seth Wolitz