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Yiddish Theater

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.

Bessie Thomashefsky

With suffragette spirit and comedic skill, Bessie Thomashefsky adapted great American and British plays for Yiddish-speaking audiences, from Uncle Tom’s Cabin to Oscar Wilde.

Mary Moss

Despite living at home with her parents for much of her life, Mary Moss lived a vivid existence through the lives she investigated as a journalist and the ones she invented in her fiction.

Birth of Adrienne Cooper, Performer and Interpreter of Yiddish Song

September 1, 1946

Adrienne Cooper was in a way the mother of the Yiddish revival.

Irene Lewisohn

Irene Lewsohn co–founded the Neighborhood Playhouse, known for producing experimental plays by writers like James Joyce and Sholem Asch.

Miriam Kressyn

Miriam Kressyn was that rare talent known as much for her performances as for her work offstage as a historian of the Yiddish theater.

Jennie Goldstein

Jennie Goldstein won the hearts of her audiences playing tragic roles in Yiddish melodramas, but when tastes changed, she showed her versatility by playing comic roles with equal skill.

Berta Gersten

Regal and soft-spoken, Berta Gersten graced the Yiddish stage for decades, playing a wide range of leading roles to great critical acclaim.

Glika Bilavsky

Glika Bilavsky’s activities ran the gamut of secular Yiddish culture, from her political activism to her theatrical career.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Yiddish Theater." (Viewed on June 25, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/yiddish-theater>.

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