Plays

Content type
Collection

Edna Ferber

Prolific writer Edna Ferber celebrated America in her many works, even as she exposed its shortcomings. Her novel So Big won a Pulitzer Prize in 1925, and the film Giant and the musical Show Boat were both based on her novels. Ferber’s work was shaped by her childhood experiences of antisemitism and frequently featured strong and talented women.

Ruth Fainlight

Writer and poet Ruth Fainlight’s work interweaves feminism and elements of Judaism, often using biblical imagery and reflecting on her own Jewish identity and the Holocaust.

Phoebe Ephron

Phoebe Ephron was not only a successful playwright and Hollywood screenwriter but also the mother of four daughters, three of whom achieved success in the film industry as well, thereby proving that women could have both a career and a family. Ephron's family life influenced her writing, and the lessons she learned at her job were also taught to her children.

Selina Dolaro

A determined and talented performer, Selina Dolaro raised four children alone while pursuing an illustrious acting and singing career in late nineteenth-century England and America. Dolaro performed in various London operas, most notably as the title role in the first English version of Carmen. She made her American debut as Carmen in 1879.

Esther Dischereit

Esther Dischereit, a German-Jewish writer living in Berlin, speaks for the second and third generation of children of Holocaust survivors. Her prolific production covers all genres, including prose, poetry, sound installations, and concept art. She uses her many talents to fight anti-semitism and racism and to give a voice to the persecuted and forgotten.

Helen Louise Cohen

Helen Louise Cohen, an educator and author, made the study of drama more accessible and vibrant to countless high school students in the first half of the twentieth century. Although Judaism seemed to play only a small role in her adult life, it is Jewish culture and values that contributed to her regard for education and helped to shape her life’s work.

Hélène Cixous

Jewish-Algerian-French writer Hélène Cixous published her first book in 1967 and approximately her eighty-seventh in February 2021. This “life writing” comprises poetic fiction and autobiography, literary and feminist theory, art criticism, and theatrical works. Cixous explores the myriad contradictions and consequences of loss and exile, of “being Jewish” and “being a woman.”

Children's Literature in Hebrew

Born in the Diaspora and continued in the Yishuv and the state of Israel, children’s literature in Hebrew participated actively in facilitating the construction of a national collective self. Female children’s book authors disseminated Hebrew as a secular language in both Palestine and the Diaspora and created a new prototype of the child as a native-born “child of nature.”

Esther M. Broner

A novelist, playwright, and ritualist, Esther M. Broner emerged on the literary scene in the early 1970s as a leading feminist writer. Her novels feature bitter, fearless, and funny characters. In other works, Broner has combined autobiography with feminist critique of Jewish tradition and created new rituals, such as her 1976 “Women’s Haggadah.”

Suzanne Brøgger

Suzanne Brøgger is a Danish journalist, cultural critic, author, and essayist. With more than twenty books to her name, Brøgger has received widespread acclaim for her novels, essays, anthologies, poems, and plays.

Jane Bowles

Admired for her darkly comic wit by writers like Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, and John Ashbery, writer Jane Bowles became the center of an avant-garde circle in Morocco with her husband, writer Paul Bowles. Her works have garnered critical acclaim long after her death.

Biblical Women in World and Hebrew Literature

The fate of biblical women in post-biblical times has been a reoccurring source of inspiration in world and Hebrew literature. With the rise of feminist criticism, there has been renewed vigor and excitement surrounding interpretation and retelling of biblical women’s stories.

Sarah Bernhardt

Named by her fans “the Divine Sarah,” the French actress Sarah Bernhardt is recognized as the first international stage star. She played some 70 roles in 125 productions in Europe and around the world and reinvented herself as a public icon, allowing the romances and tragedies of her stage heroines to reflect her own life.

Sabina Berman

Sabina Berman is a Mexican-Jewish playwright, screenwriter, film director, author, poet, and journalist. Considered Mexico’s most successful and critically acclaimed playwright alive, her plays have been staged internationally and her novels have been translated into eleven languages and published in over 33 countries.

Berthe Bénichou-Aboulker

Writer and artist Berthe Bénichou-Aboulker was born in Oran, French Algeria, in 1886. She published a number of collections of poems and plays. After publishing her first play in 1933, she became the first woman writer to be published in Algeria.

Shulamit Bat-Dori

Shulamit Bat-Dori defied notions about the inappropriateness of theater in the kibbutz, creating popular and acclaimed plays for the masses. Bat-Dori joined Ha-Shomer ha-Za’ir and made Aliyah in 1923, bringing her passion for theater, dance, music, and languages to Kibbutz B (later Mishmar ha-Emek). She wrote plays and founded the Kibbutz theater.

Liliane Atlan

Liliane Atlan (1932-2011) was a post-World War II French Jewish writer whose stylistically innovative plays, poetry, and narratives represent themes rooted in Jewish tradition. In a literary world shattered by the reality of the death camps, Atlan questions Messianic faith, patriarchal values, and humanistic philosophy.

Anglo-Jewish Writers: Twentieth Century

Virtually no Anglo-Jewish women were published in the interwar years of the twentieth century; writing by Anglo-Jewish women only flourished after the Second World War. By the end of the twentieth century, as it became no longer necessary for writers to be Jewish at home but English on the street, there was renewed space for the literary evolution and development of Anglo-Jewish women writers’ varied voices.

Amelia the Bard

Lily Rabinoff-Goldman

It goes without saying that Jewish women have so many accomplishments to be proud of.  A quick search through the Jewish Women's Archive's Discover pages reveals women both lauded and nearly forgotten who have made strides in business, medicine, philosophy and the arts. Telling their stories is our mission.  And this story is a big one.

Topics: Plays, Poetry

Where are her ovaries now? Chat with Rivka Solomon

Jordan Namerow

Jewesses With Attitude recently reconnected with Rivka Solomon, the founder and visionary of That Takes Ovaries (TTO) and recipient of the Jewish Women's Archive's Women Who Dared award. TTO takes many forms -- it's a book, an open mike movement, a play, and an organizing tool for women's and girls' empowerment. Most TTO events benefit women's and girls' causes -- women's shelters, Planned Parenthood, groups working to end human rights abuses around the globe, Amnesty International, and more.

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