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Plays

Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" performed at Madison Square Garden

February 10, 2001

A sold-out presentation of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" at Madison Square Garden raised $1 million for Ensler's V-Day movement.

Opening of Joan Rivers' first Broadway play

January 2, 1972

"Fun City," the first Broadway play by—and starring—Joan Rivers, opened on Broadway.

Yiddish Theater in the United States

The American capital of Yiddish theater was New York City, where at times as many as fourteen theaters were filled simultaneously, not counting vaudeville and cabaret.

Theater in the United States

For over a hundred years, Jewish women have been involved in the American theater as writers, actors, directors, designers and producers. The vitality of the Yiddish theater, the splendor of Broadway, the rich tapestry of the regional theater—and everything in between—all owe a debt to the Jewish women who have given of their talents, their energy, their drive, and their dreams.

Television in the United States

American Jewish women have a complex history of association with the medium of television. Since emerging as a mass medium in the early post–World War II years, television has figured prominently in the careers of a number of American Jewish women working both before and behind the camera.

Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein, the American modernist writer, was an international celebrity, an artistic iconoclast, and a self-proclaimed genius.

Bella Spewack

The Spewacks’ early plays—Poppa, Spring Song, and War Song—deal with a variety of social issues, among them problems facing new immigrants, some of whom are Jewish. They focus on the clash of cultures, the effect of Americanization on traditional ways, and disenchantment with the elusive American dream. Who better than Bella Spewack, who has “seen it all,” to write about such things?

Jo Sinclair

Jo Sinclair’s works explore the repercussions of oppression in many forms: self-denial and self-destruction, antisemitism and Jewish self-hatred, continued psychic pain due to childhood suffering and dysfunctional family relations, repression of women’s sexual energy and sexual orientation, racism and the internalization of prejudice, poverty, and other forms of marginalization. Her work looks to self-knowledge as a means of emerging from one’s internalized ghetto.

Joan Micklin Silver

With the release of her critically acclaimed film Hester Street in 1975, Joan Micklin Silver established herself as one of the country’s premier independent film directors.

Joan Rivers

In revues, nightclub acts, and concert halls, and to a vast new audience via television in the 1970s and 1980s, Joan Rivers popularized and perfected a genre of comedy that challenged reigning social conventions.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Plays." (Viewed on December 19, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/plays>.

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