Shandler, Jeffrey (2018). Enacting Ethnicity: Yiddishkeit Masked and Unmasked on the Contemporary American Stage. Jewish Social Studies, 23(2), 1-23. Retrieved from https://doi.org/doi:10.7282/T3BG2S26
AbstractTwo recent productions of American dramas employed provocative strategies for enacting Jewish ethnicity: National Asian American Theatre Company’s performance of Clifford Odets’s Awake and Sing! with an all-Asian American cast and New Yiddish Rep’s staging of Toyt fun a seylsman, a Yiddish translation of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Each production entails a different approach to performing Jewishness that exemplifies these companies’ respective artistic agendas regarding the enactment of ethnicity, resulting in complex performances of masking and unmasking Jewishness. Moreover, their analysis illuminates how ethnicity is conceptualized and realized in the United States in the early decades of the twenty-first century. Yiddish appears strategically, if often obliquely, in the histories of composition, production, and reception for both dramas, emblematic of shifting notions of enacting ethnicity.
SubjectsEthnic performance, American Jews, Asian Americans, Yiddish, Theater
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