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Directors

Rebecca Taichman

Rebecca Bayla Taichman’s success as the Tony award-winning director of Indecent is a reflection of her lifelong celebration of plays by and about women.

Indecent is Here to Stay! (Sort Of)

For the first time, ever, I decided to watch the Tony Awards earlier this month. This is unusual for me; even Rachel Bloom hadn’t convinced me to be interested. I know next to nothing about theater, but having studied Yiddish and been fascinated by how we tell the stories of Jewish immigration to the United States, I had tickets next month to see Indecent, a drama about a Yiddish play that featured Broadway’s first on-stage lesbian kiss in 1923. I was excited to see how this play would fare at the awards show.

Rokhl Holzer

Rokhl Holzer earned a reputation as an actress with a talent for transforming herself to suit any role, but her most remarkable transformation may have been her shift from Poland to Australia’s Yiddish theater.

Hilde Holger

Hilde Sofer Holger’s choreography incorporated her interest in religion, politics, and the natural world, and provoked important discussions about the role of dance in the public sphere.

Amy Sherman-Palladino

Amy Sherman-Palladino has based her television career around telling women’s stories, most memorably in the beloved series Gilmore Girls.

Letting go of Woody Allen with the help of Claudia Weill

Woody Allen’s name is synonymous with New York City Jewry and avant-garde art; he is the poster boy for the guilt ridden, philosophically burdened, emotionally stunted kvetcher that we are all familiar with. Allen’s characters are recognizable—carrying pieces of our relatives, our community members, and ourselves. Annie Hall, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Manhattan, and Fading Gigolo, to name a few, place a strong emphasis on Jewish culture and idiosyncrasies, connecting to both a broad, general audience, that responds to the novelty, and to the specific tastes of Jews.

Elizabeth Swados

One of the youngest playwrights ever to have a play produced on Broadway, Liz Swados was unafraid of tackling heavy subjects like politics, racism, and mental illness.

Ilene Chaiken

Ilene Chaiken was a successful screenwriter and television producer for years before she had the chance to develop material close to her heart into a successful show, The L Word.

The Return: A Filmmaker Discovers Modern Jewish Poland

How did I end up spending four years traveling across three continents to track the lives of four young Polish women as they explored their newfound Jewish roots?

Because that’s what I do. I’m a documentary filmmaker. I try and get into the lives of people and make sense of their various turns and choices: the stories of how people change over time. It’s a combination of being an anthropologist, journalist and a therapist, all in the service of storytelling. It’s difficult, challenging, maddening—but it’s also the greatest thing in the world.

Amy Heckerling

Amy Heckerling’s quirky directorial style and her knack for discovering fresh angles on classic stories led to her popular and critical successes with films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Directors." (Viewed on July 24, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/directors>.

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