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Yiddish Theater

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.

Yiddish Musical Theater in the United States

Jewish women on stage in America took on a variety of musical roles and performed all kinds of songs, including religious hymns and liturgical chants.

Vaudeville in the United States

It would only begin to tell the larger story of how and why Jewish women and vaudeville came to intersect as they did in the early decades of the twentieth century.

Sophie Tucker

Sophie Tucker was an international star of vaudeville, music halls, and later film, performing in both Yiddish and English in a career that spanned over fifty years.

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.

Molly Picon

A drunk’s dare to a five-year-old on a trolley car initiated the career of Molly Picon, the petite darling of the Yiddish musical theater.

Miriam Shomer Zunser

Miriam Shomer Zunser, journalist, playwright, and artist, was an important promoter of Jewish culture in America during the period before World War II.

Dora Wasserman

Dora Wasserman’s love of Yiddish theater accompanied her from the Soviet Union where she was born in 1919, to Montreal, Canada where she lived from 1950 until her death on December 15, 2003.

Bessie Thomashefsky

Bessie Thomashefsky, Yiddish actor and comedian, delighted audiences for over thirty years with leading roles in New York, and later on tour throughout the United States, in London and in Toronto.

Rose Shoshana

The journey from Lodz, Poland, where Rose Shoshana was born on June 25, 1895, to New York was not an unusual one for an Eastern European Jewish woman of her time. This was, however, only one of many journeys Rose Shoshana made in her long career as a Yiddish actor, theater director, dramatist, writer, and translator.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Yiddish Theater." (Viewed on October 1, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/yiddish-theater>.

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