Yiddish Plays for Reading and Performance (Kobo eBook)
Yiddish theater was first and foremost fine theater, with varied repertory and actors of high quality. The three stage-ready plays and nine individual scenes collected here, most of them well-known in Yiddish repertory but never before translated, offer an introduction to the full range of Yiddish theater. Fresh, lively, and accurate, these translations have been prepared for reading or performance by award-winning playwright and scholar Nahma Sandrow. They come with useful stage directions, notes, and playing histories, as well as comments by directors who have worked in both English and Yiddish theater. In the three full-length plays, a matriarch battles for control of her business and her family (Mirele Efros; or, The Jewish Queen Lear); two desperate women struggle over a man, who himself is struggling to change his life (Yankl the Blacksmith); and, in a charming fantasy village, a poetic village fiddler gambles on romance (Yoshke the Musician). The nine scenes from selected other plays are shaped to stand alone and range in genre from symbolist to naturalist, operetta to vaudeville, domestic to romantic to avant-garde. In her preface, Sandrow contextualizes the plays in modern Western theater history from the nineteenth century to the present. Yiddish Plays for Reading and Performance is not nostalgia—just a collection of good plays that also serves as an informed introduction to Yiddish theater at its liveliest.