Dora Wasserman created a place for Yiddish theater in Canada by founding a theater and adapting great works of Yiddish literature for the stage. Wasserman graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in Moscow in 1939, briefly working in a children’s theater in Kiev before Stalin closed all Yiddish theaters in 1940. After the war, Wasserman immigrated to Montreal in 1950 and found work with various Jewish organizations, singing, acting, and creating children’s theater workshops. In 1956 she formed the Yiddish Drama Group, producing plays like Aaron Megge’s Hanna Szenes and Sholem Aleichem’s The Lottery. In 1967, the new Saidye Bronfman Center for the Arts became the permanent home of Wasserman’s Yiddish theater. She began producing musical comedies there in 1968 and in 1974 began working with Isaac Bashevis Singer to adapt his short stories into stage plays. Over the course of her career, Wasserman was awarded the Order of Canada, made a Chevalier of the Ordre National du Quebec, and given a lifetime achievement award of L’Académie québécoise du theatre.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Dora Wasserman." (Viewed on June 23, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/wasserman-dora>.