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Plays

Viola Brothers Shore

While attending New York University, Viola Brothers Shore began her career as a writer in a range of disciplines. Her short stories, many about Jewish American lives of the day, were collected in The Heritage and Other Stories (1921).

Yente Serdatsky

Proud, independent, enterprising, and contentious, Yente Serdatsky exemplifies the enormous difficulties experienced by Yiddish women writers in achieving recognition. Her long-neglected work has consequently engaged the attention of contemporary Jewish feminist literary critics.

Nathalie Sarraute

A Russian Jew by birth, French by education and European by culture, Nathalie Sarraute was always intensely aware of and resistant to the reductive powers of categorizing language: she refused to be described as a “woman writer,” and would equally refuse the label “Jewish writer.” Growing up in Paris in the highly cultured milieu of her free-thinking father, Sarraute never felt any sense of difference in status between men and women, and Jewishness was never an issue.

Diana Raznovich

"Throughout her prolific career Raznovich explores the female role in its multiple manifestations. Her writings invite a kaleidoscopic reading. They are poetic, rather than ideological or anecdotal, and always iconoclastic."

Dorothy Rothschild Parker

Dorothy Rothschild Parker became a staff writer at Vanity Fair magazine, and quickly distinguished herself there with her cutting and well-turned humor.Parker’s stories, like her poetry, resonate with heartache and disenchantment, and reflect her obsessions: incessant alcohol consumption, spoiled romance, social injustice, and the follies of the rich.

Martha Morton

As a female playwright, Martha Morton faced adversity within the male-dominated New York theater world. Despite repeated rejection, she achieved fame and prosperity. Morton not only got her plays produced, but also directed and cast them herself, completely defying the theater industry’s expectations or vision of women’s involvement.

Elaine May

Elaine May, half of one of the most successful American comic teams of the 1950s and 1960s, became one of Hollywood’s first important female directors in the 1970s and 1980s. She has often combined her talents for acting and screenwriting with her role as director.

Clara Lipman

Born on December 6, 1869, in Chicago to Abraham and Josephine (Brueckner) Lipman, Clara attended public schools in Chicago and New York, as well as being educated by private tutors. She began acting in ingenue roles and quickly joined A.M. Palmer’s venerable New York theater company. After a stint touring Europe with English and German classical companies, Lipman returned to New York and married fellow actor Louis Mann.

Lazarus, Nahida Ruth

In 1891 Nahida Ruth Lazarus published The Jewish Woman, a product of her fundamental interest in both feminism and Judaism, which aroused enormous interest. It was and remains an important source book for women’s studies, used and cited by countless female and male authors.

Else Lasker-Schüler

“I was born in Thebes, Egypt although I came into the world in Elberfeld in the Rhineland.” This is how Else Lasker-Schüler characterized her background, indicating the separation between imagination and reality, artistic and bourgeois existence that marked her life. To speak for her she created the persona of Jussuf, Prince of Thebes, her alter ego who appears in her writings and drawings and with whose name she often signed her letters. This figure has an important Jewish component. Her Egyptian Jussuf is in fact the biblical Joseph with whom Else Lasker-Schüler identified already as a child. He is Joseph the dreamer and poet, ridiculed by his brothers, betrayed and sold.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Plays." (Viewed on October 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/plays>.

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