Theater

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Ellen Greene

While actress Ellen Greene has played a variety of roles, she is best known for her performances as Audrey in both the live and film versions of the cult classic, Little Shop of Horrors.

Oshra Elkayam-Ronen

One of the most important choreographers of Israeli movement theater, Oshra Elkayam-Ronen distinguished herself by approaching stories from unusual angles, such as a feminist retelling of the story of Adam and Eve.
A Scene from the Play "dry bones rising"

An Interview with Playwright Celia Raker

by Etta King Heisler

Over Boston’s long winter, I shared Shabbat dinner with a friend-of-a-friend who, unbeknownst to me, is a talented poet and playwright. In addition to winning a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship this spring, Cecelia Raker’s play dry bones rising made its first full-length, professional debut in May at the Venus Theatre in Laurel, MD.

Topics: Theater, Plays

Claire Bloom

From her first film role in Charlie Chaplin’s 1952 Limelight to her performance in 2010’s The King’s Speech, Claire Bloom has remained a favorite of many acclaimed directors.

Lisa Edelstein

An actress with a long history of activism, House star Lisa Edelstein organized her first protest at age sixteen as a cheerleader for Donald Trump’s New Jersey Generals, outraged that the cheerleaders were forced to flirt in bars.

Sarah Jessica Parker

While she is best known as the iconic Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker’s roles in theater, television and film have run the gamut from instant classics like 1984’s Footloose and 1991’s LA Story to cult favorites like 1994’s Ed Wood and 1996’s Mars Attacks!

Judith Light

In her four decades as an Emmy- and Tony-winning actress, Judith Light has repeatedly taken on challenging and unconventional roles, from a housewife-turned-prostitute on One Life to Live to ex-wife of a transgender woman on the acclaimed Transparent.

Deborah Bertonoff

From her debut at age nine through her performances in her late seventies and teaching into her late eighties, Deborah Bertonoff made dance her life’s work.

Sabina Berman

A Jewish writer exploring her outsider identity in largely Catholic Mexico, Sabina Berman was the first writer to win the Mexican Theater Prize four times.

Elisabeth Bergner

Playfully titling her 1978 memoir Greatly Admired and Often Cursed, Elisabeth Bergner was famed both as the actress whom writers felt best captured their characters and as a former spy who helped other actors escape Nazi Germany.

Fania Mindell

After co-founding America’s first birth control clinic with Margaret Sanger in 1916, Fania Mindell was arrested and convicted of breaking the Comstock Act for her efforts to make birth control available to women.

Beate Sirota Gordon

Through diplomacy and ingenuity, twenty-two-year-old Beate Sirota Gordon wrote unprecedented rights for women into Japan’s post-war constitution.

Shulamit Bat-Dori

Shulamit Bat-Dori defied widely held notions about the inappropriateness of theater in the kibbutz, creating popular and acclaimed plays for the masses.

Michal Bat-Adam

Michal Bat-Adam, the first Israeli woman director of feature films, has been hailed for her sensitive and nuanced portrayals of mental illness and women’s inner lives.

Viola Spolin

Searching for play therapies that could reach at-risk children, Viola Spolin created the “Theater Games” that gave rise to improv theater.

Mia Arbatova

Told first by her parents that dancing was immodest and then by Israeli settlers that dancing was bourgeois, Mia Arbatova defied her critics and became a pioneer of ballet in Israel.

Gila Almagor

Gila Almagor earned acclaim as a writer, actress, and filmmaker for her autobiographical Summer of Aviya in 1988, but when critics questioned details of her story, she embraced the criticism and went on to create a sequel, 1995’s Under the Domim Tree.

Julie Schonfeld

In 2009, Rabbi Julie Schonfeld became the first female leader of an American rabbinical organization, serving as executive vice president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly.

Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor’s bold, experimental style in directing plays and films has led to two Tonys (including the first Best Director Tony won by a woman) and an Emmy.

Sydney Taylor

Sydney Taylor’s famous and beloved All-of-a-Kind Family series of children’s books were almost left unpublished and forgotten.

Idina Menzel

A longtime star of the Broadway stage, Idina Menzel became the first person ever to claim both a Billboard Top 10 slot (for Holiday Wishes in 2014) and a Tony Award (for Wicked in 2003).

Sophie Okonedo

Sophie Okonedo credits her heritage as a “North London, working-class, black, Jewish girl” with giving her the range to act in roles ranging from Hotel Rwanda to Doctor Who.

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal has garnered critical acclaim for her performance in difficult roles in 2002’s Secretary, 2009’s Crazy Heart, and 2014’s The Honourable Woman.

Irene Mayer Selznick

The daughter of Hollywood magnate Louis B. Mayer, Irene Mayer Selznick went on to help her husband, David O. Selznick, run his movie production company before becoming a theater producer in her own right.

Vivienne Segal

Actress Vivienne Segal was best known for creating the role of Vera Simpson in the 1940 Rodgers and Hart musical Pal Joey, for which she sang what would become her signature song, “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered.”
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