Plays

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Collection

Dorothy Rothschild Parker

Writer, poet, critic, and screenwriter Dorothy Parker became known for her fierce wit as Vanity Fair’s drama critic in 1918 and as a founder of the “Algonquin Round Table.” She wrote multiple successful volumes of poetry and short stories and co-wrote the screenplay for the original A Star Is Born (1939). Parker was also committed to activism and numerous political causes.

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. Resisting expectations of women writers, Morton took a firm hand in production, often casting and directing her own work.

Clara Lipman

Clara Lipman based her long and successful career as an actress and playwright on her ingénue performances and her gift for light comedy. She wrote or co-wrote twenty-two plays, such as the 1912 hit Elevating a Husband, and was also active in the women’s suffrage movement.

Lazarus, Nahida Ruth

Nahida Ruth Lazarus was a German-Jewish cultural and literary critic, author, journalist, and essayist who was born in Berlin to a German-Christian family and converted to Judaism in 1895. She is best known for her published source book, The Jewish Woman (1891), a product of her fundamental interest in both feminism and Judaism that remains an important text for women’s and gender studies.

Shulamit Lapid

Shulamit Lapid is an Israeli-Jewish novelist and playwright born in 1934. Her literary work focuses on feminism, social consciousness, and immigration to Israel.

Else Lasker-Schüler

Else Lasker-Schüler was a German-Jewish poet, short story writer, novelist, and playwright. Born in Elberfeld (today part of Wuppertal, Germany) in 1869, Lasker-Schüler is best known for her dream-like, bohemian poetry.

Gertrud Kolmar

Gertrud Kolmar was a prolific German-Jewish poet. Kolmar published three collections of poetry during her lifetime, primarily detailing the experiences of women as mothers, childless women, lovers, mourners, travelers, and the persecuted. Kolmar’s work is a vehicle for readers of the early twenty-first century to come to terms with the events of the Shoah.

Rashel Mironovna Khin

Rashel Mironovna Khin hosted salons that made her the toast of Imperial Russia, and, with the help of the novelist Ivan Turgenev, became the first Jewish woman to publish major literary works in the Russian language. As an affluent member of the Jewish merchant class, she received a first-class European education and portrayed the anxieties of the Russian-Jewish elite in her fiction.

Beatrice Kaufman

Regarded as one of the wittiest women in New York during the 1930s and 1940s, Beatrice Kaufman edited important works of modernist poetry and fiction, published short stories of her own in the New Yorker, and saw several of her plays produced on Broadway. Her life demonstrated that a perceptive, ironic, and acculturated Jewish woman could become a valuable contributor to New York’s literary subculture.

Fay Kanin

Over a sixty-year career as a writer, actor, co-producer, and activist, Fay Kanin was awarded several Emmys and Peabodys, the ACLU Bill of Rights Award, the Crystal Award from Women in Film, the Burning Bush Award from the University of Judaism, and nominations for Oscar and Tony awards. She was the second female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Miriam Kainy

Miriam Kainy, Israel’s first established woman playwright, won the Israel Prime Minister’s Literary Prize in 1997. All sixteen of her plays were written in Hebrew and produced by Israel’s established theater companies. Kainy has also written manuscripts for radio and television and adapted dramas from English and Yiddish into Hebrew.

Helen Joseph

An internationally renowned puppeteer and author on marionettes, Helen Haiman Joseph made a career entertaining and educating audiences of all ages with the performance of puppetry. She created the Pinocchio Players in 1924, writing and producing plays for clubs, schools, and hospitals. Joseph also wrote several children’s books.

Anna Maria Jokl

Author, psychoanalyst, and scriptwriter Anna Maria Jokl was greatly influenced by the many places she lived: Vienna, Berlin, Prague, London, Zurich, and Jerusalem. Forced to flee countries twice because of Nazism, Jokl is best known for her German children’s books. Her prolific career includes accomplishments in radio broadcasting, psychoanalytic writing, and autobiographical prose.

Janie Jacobson

Combining her Jewish background with her skill and penchant for writing, Janie Jacobson succeeded as a biblical playwright in the early twentieth century. The children’s plays she authored were performed nationally. In addition to being an accomplished writer, she was a talented musician and involved in Jewish social activism.

Edith Somborn Isaacs

Edith Somborn Isaacs made an impact on New York City both through her own volunteerism and by successfully running her husband’s campaigns for public office.

Holocaust Literature

Literature by and about women and the Holocaust explores the impact of the Nazi genocide on women during and after the war, its impact on subsequent generations, and the reflections of women on the implications of the Holocaust. Encompassing a range of literary genres, including fiction, poetry, drama and memoir, women’s Holocaust writing explores the intersection of history, imagination, Jewishness and gender.

Judith Herzberg

Judith Herzberg is a Dutch Jewish poet, essayist, screenwriter, and professor who has been hailed as one of the greatest living Dutch poets for her ability to imbue everyday objects with unexpected meaning. Making her debut as a poet in the early sixties, Herzberg has written poems, essays, plays, film scripts, and television dramas, with many translations and adaptations to her name.

Hebrew Theater: Yishuv to the Present

Of all the theatrical professions, only actresses were truly partners in the enterprise of reviving Hebrew culture in the early twentieth century, and only in the 1980s did women writers and directors begin to work in Israeli theater. In the last few decades of the twentieth century and the first few decades of the twenty first, howeverwomen playwrights and directors have taken on increasingly prominent roles.

Hebrew Drama: Representation of Women

Prior to the 1980s, there was an almost total absence of women-related topics and women’s voices in Hebrew theater, but many talented women have fought for their voices to be heard on the Hebrew stage. Today, active women playwrights whose plays are presented in mainstage and fringe theaters have a significant impact on Hebrew theater.

Sophie Von Grotthuss

Born in Berlin, Sophie von Grotthuss grew up with a mother who resented her Judaism and who married her off at fifteen into an unhappy relationship. In her later years she became a prolific author, but only a few of her works, including a story and a play, have survived.

Luba Robin Goldsmith

In 1902, Luba Robin was the first woman to graduate from the school of medicine at the Western University of Pittsburgh (later the University of Pittsburgh). Her career combined private medical practice, teaching, writing, lecturing, and active participation in educational, social, and public health work.

Lea Goldberg

Lea Goldberg was a Russian-Israeli poet, author, playwright, literary translator, researcher, and professor. One of the great poets of modern Israeli literature, Goldberg used the forms of Eastern European folk songs to capture the world lost in the Holocaust.

Nora Glickman

Argentine-born Nora Glickman is a prolific dramatist and short story and non-fiction writer, translator, editor, and professor of Latin American literature.

Natalia Ginzburg

Natalia Ginzburg was an Italian novelist, short story writer, essayist, and political activist. Ginzburg is considered one of the greatest Italian writers of the twentieth century, and her award-winning literary work is recognized for its exploration of family relationships and politics throughout fascism in modern Europe and during World War II.

Rose Franken

Rose Franken was a celebrated Broadway playwright and director, a Hollywood screenwriter, and a popular novelist whose fiction touched a sympathetic chord in American women. After much success as both a playwright and a novelist, she ventured into more problematic subject matter, exploring antisemitism and homophobia in her works.

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