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Performing Arts

Bessie Thomashefsky

With suffragette spirit and comedic skill, Bessie Thomashefsky adapted great American and British plays for Yiddish-speaking audiences, from Uncle Tom’s Cabin to Oscar Wilde.

Nechama Tec

Nechama Tec’s experiences as a child in the Holocaust led to her career highlighting nontraditional stories of the Holocaust, and inspired the movie Defiance.

Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor’s bold, experimental style in directing plays and films has led to two Tonys (including the first Best Director Tony won by a woman) and an Emmy.

Sydney Taylor

Sydney Taylor’s famous and beloved All-of-a-Kind Family series of children’s books were almost left unpublished and forgotten.

Helen Tamiris

Acclaimed choreographer and director Helen Tamiris used dance to comment on the social issues of her day, including racism, poverty, and war.

Jacqueline Susann

After a breast cancer diagnosis left her determined to leave a real impact on the world, Jacqueline Susann made history as the first author to have three consecutive New York Times bestsellers, starting with her landmark 1966 novel, Valley of the Dolls.

Johanna Spector

Through her scholarship and the documentary films she produced, Johanna Spector not only preserved the music of Jewish communities around the world but introduced them to new audiences.

Tess Slesinger

A novelist with a skill for balancing deep emotion with biting satire, Tess Slesinger became one of the first writers to explicitly discuss abortion in her 1932 story, “Missis Flinders.”

Death of Susan Braun, dance archivist

October 3, 1995
Artist Susan Braun made an about-face in her career in the art world and began to fill the need of documenting dance on film.

Death of Estelle Joan Sommers, “Empress of Dance”

March 21, 1994
"I have always cherished my family, Israel and dance." - Estelle Joan Sommers

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Performing Arts." (Viewed on March 6, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/performing-arts>.

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