Stella Adler

Content type
Collection

Death of writer Sarah Brandstein Smith, “Queen of the shundroman"

April 29, 1968
“Sarah B. Smith is the most beloved Jewish newspaperwoman, the first who ever served as a reporter on a Jewish paper, and the one who has triumphantly overcome the misgivings of editors who mistrusted the abilities of a mere woman writer.”

Stella Adler

As an actress and a teacher, Stella Adler transformed a generation of American actors though her understanding of Method acting.

Stella Adler premieres Awake and Sing

February 19, 1935

Stella Adler premieres Awake and Sing.

Yiddish Theater in the United States

Women have always been important as both Yiddish theater audiences and actors. For a decade and more, most American Yiddish actors were immigrants, as were their audiences. Often families played in the same company, such as the famous Adler family. Now, as Yiddish theater has become attenuated, the loyalties and memories of women are important for its survival.

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. In its heyday, the Yiddish stage mirrored American Jewish life. An amazing range of women’s woes were highlighted, discussed, and often resolved across the footlights, presenting the reality that immigrant women faced to an extent not paralleled in the English-language theatrical world during those 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 lively comic actress, Molly Picon brought Yiddish theater to a wider American audience. She acted in the first Yiddish play ever performed on Broadway and insisted on performing in Yiddish on a 1932 tour of Palestine. Filming on location in Poland, on the eve of World War II, Picon captured a view of shtetl life soon to be erased by the Holocaust.

Film Industry in the United States

Jewish women have played crucial roles in the United States film industry. Despite sexism and sometimes anti-Semitism, they have worked both behind the scenes, as writers, directors, and producers, as well as on-screen as both Jewish and non-Jewish characters.

Stella Adler

As an actress, director,  and teacher, Stella Adler transformed a generation of American actors. After achieving stardom in films and on stage, Adler traveled to Paris to  rethink the possibilities of Method acting with Stanislavsky. She transmitted the new acting techniques to her students and energized a generation of younger actors who shared her passion for the theater.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox