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Yiddish Theatre

My Life in Jewish Theatre:A Coming-Out Story
By Kayla Gordon
I am not now nor have I ever been a particularly observant Jew, but my Jewish identity has been a constant. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, my parents gave my brothers and me Hebrew names. We went to a conservative synagogue on high holidays and to Jewish camps in the summer
Association for Jewish Theatre Conference:Imagining Jewish Theatre for The 21st Century JUNE 2-5, 2013
By Erin Dugan
The conference will be upon us before we know it and it is important that we get a count of people needing hotel rooms in the Twin Cities. We need to reserve a block of rooms by the end of December.
The Association for Jewish Theatre (AJT) supports the Globe Theatre
The Association for Jewish Theatre (AJT) supports the Globe Theatre in rejecting calls to cancel Habimah Theatre's inclusion in the Globe-to-Globe, World Shakespeare Festival. The AJT, a United States-based organization that networks with Jewish theatre makers worldwide, believes that the Globe’s statement, excerpted below, is particularly appropriate:
Association for Jewish Theatre International Conference:Presentations of solo and set performances ,Deadline, Friday December 15, 2011
By David Y. Chack
February 5-8, 2012, Los Angeles, Dortort Center for the Arts at UCLA Hillel
Presentations of Solo and Set Performances
Join AJT to make it the most comprehensive and supportive organization of its kind
Join AJT to make it the most comprehensive and supportive organization of its kind. Your membership in AJT actively puts you at the forefront of Jewish theatre and affirms the continuity of Jewish culture.
Yiddish theatre celebrates history and culture
By Kathryn Greenaway
More than 80 events featuring more than 150 artists from Canada, Romania, France, the United States, Israel and Poland gather to celebrate Yiddish in and through theatre, music, film, poetry, lectures, workshops, plus a symposium, at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, from Monday to June 22.
2010 AJT International Conference in Chicago will feature a "speed-schmooze" [deadline 25.10.2010 ]
By Elayne LeTraunik
We are pleased to announce that the 2010 AJT International Conference in Chicago will feature a "speed-schmooze" session for playwrights, directors and producers on Friday, November 12th at 1:15 p.m. at Lookingglass Theatre. The 90-minute event is an opportunity for AJT-member writers, directors and producers to introduce their work to each other. In addition, Chicago-area directors have been invited to join us.
Call for Submissions of Short Scenes, Solo Performances, Original Adaptive Work, or Non-Traditional Theatre
By David Y. Chack
As part of the AJT Conference 2010, the host ShPIeL-Performing Identity - a Chicago based multicultural and identity theatre project – seeks submissions for a showcase of pieces reflecting Jewish identities and Jewish multicultural narratives, submitted by AJT members or those who become AJT members before the 2010 November conference.
The 2010 Association for Jewish Theater conference November 11-14
By Edward Einhorn
One of America's leading theatrical cities, Chicago is also the home of two AJT member theaters, The Piven Theatre Workshop and Northwestern University's Jewish Theatre Ensemble. Both of those organizations join in hosting the conference with AJT President David Chack and his new theater project, ShPIel - Performing Identity.
Jewish American Heritage Month :A Proclamation
By Barack Obama
In 1883, the Jewish American poet Emma Lazarus composed
a sonnet, entitled "The New Colossus," to help raise funds for
erecting the Statue of Liberty. Twenty years later, a plaque
was affixed to the completed statue, inscribed with her words:
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to
breathe free…." These poignant words still speak to us today,
reminding us of our Nation's promise as a beacon to all who are
denied freedom and opportunity in their native lands.
A National Jewish Theater, Sans Stage?
By Stewart Ain
If the fledgling National Jewish Theater were telling its own story on stage, it might bear a striking resemblance to the one about that idealistic Spaniard tilting at windmills.

Start a theater company specializing in Jewish fare at the height of the Great Recession — and with the fresh memory of the Broadway revival of Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs” shuttering after only a week of performances?
Michael Nathanson Winnipeg playwright named literary award finalist
By Rebeca Kuropatwa
Winnipeg – Michael Nathanson, born and raised in Winnipeg, was thrown for a loop when he heard that he was nominated to be a Governor General’s Literary Awards (G-G) finalist, for his play Talk.

Talk is a humorous, thought-provoking, touching play about the dissolution of a friendship when the wrong word is introduced suddenly one night. It is now being considered by eight Canadian theatres.
Motti Lerner: Playwriting in Wartime
By Motti Lerner
From the dawn of history human beings have fought each other, and despite the social, cultural and scientific progress they have made with the development of human civilization, they still go on fighting. For reasons that so far have not been thoroughly investigated, human beings have not managed to develop the skills that will enable them to resolve conflicts by peaceful means and they continue fighting, despite their knowing that the majority of wars have not resulted in stable political solut
AJT's 2009-10 membership
By David Y. Chack
Our 2009 conference, held in conjunction with UTC61's Festival of Jewish Theater and Ideas, was very successful this year. Its success was the fruit of the labor of lots of people in our organization. These events required thoughtful planning, partnerships, execution and money! It is your membership fees that help finance that and the many other activities of our organization.
Association for Jewish Theatre (AJT)
The Association is dedicated to promoting the interests of its members in North America and Worldwide whose primary mission is the development and production of plays relevant to Jewish life and values. The functions of the Association include advocacy, coordination, cooperative programming, communication and the publication at regular intervals of a newsletter....
Festival of Jewish Theater & Ideas (May 20- June 14 ) and Conference (June 6 – 10, 2009) NY
By David Y. Chack
This year’s International Conference, Jewish Theatre of Ideas and Beyond from June 6 – 10, 2009, is looking AMAZING! The Festival of Jewish Theatre and Ideas sponsored by UTC#61 will run in conjunction with the conference from May 23 – June 14 (SEE BELOW).
Jewish Theater of Ideas and Beyond: The Association for Jewish Theatre Conference NY June 6 - 10, 2009
In partnership with Untitled Theater Company #61’s Festival of Jewish Theater and Ideas
May 23 - June 14, 2009
Seeking New Members & Renewals for The Association for Jewish Theatre (AJT) in it's 29th Year
By David Y. Chack
Without your membership we would not be able to support our amazing and increasing network of Jewish theatre artists and producers around the world. This year’s AJT Conference: Jewish Theatre of Ideas and Beyond is being held in New York, June 6-10, 2008. It will be hosted by Untitled Theatre Company #61, which will also presenting the International Festival of Jewish Theatre and Ideas, May 20-June 14, 2008. We have been working hard together to create these events, which are shaping up to be th
Long Live Jewish Theatre
By David Y. Chack
I write this piece while I wait for my flight to Israel to participate in the Mandel Teacher Educators Institute, where I will be doing a workshop with Moti Sandak and Motti Lerner on the complexities of Israel as seen through theatre. I arrived at O’Hare Airport in Chicago early so I could chill and mentally prepare for my journey. I am reading a book about the history of journeys in England going back to the Roman period. As you can imagine, journeys in the past were difficult, made mainly by
Jews, Theater, Performance in an Intercultural World
By David Y. Chack
On remarking about the 1988 premiere of his play Speed-the-Plow on Broadway and the acting performance of the late Ron Silver, David Mamet remarked that Silver's performance was like "exploding synagogues." I don't know if that is what Edna Nahshon, Associate Professor of Hebrew at JTS had in mind when she organized the conference on "Jews, Theater, Performance in an Intercultural World" February 22 - 24, 2009. But by having it at the Jewish Theological Seminary she was indeed exploding a taboo,
Jewish creativity in the theatre
By Theodore Bikel
I am sure most of you will appreciate the mixed feelings I have as I address you in this, the city of my birth. While I can never rid myself of those memories of my childhood that are suffused with pain and grief, I am also acutely aware of the fact that this was the place where I had my first taste of high culture and where youthful inclination turned into a lifelong passion for theatre. It was also the place where I first experienced Jewish theatre, specifically Yiddish theatre and where my fa
Call for submissions: Festival of Jewish Theater and Ideas NY [20.5-14.6.2009]
By Edward Einhorn
Untitled Theater Company #61 (UTC61) is seeking submissions for our Festival of Jewish Theater and Ideas to be held May 20 through June 14, 2009 in New York City. The festival will be held in conjunction with the annual conference of the Association for Jewish Theatre (AJT), to be held June 6 through 10, an international conference of theater professionals in the area of producing and creating Jewish theater. Our main theater space will be Theater Three (home of the Mint Theater), a 99-seat thea
Towards a mission of progressive transport
By Ari Roth
We have a vital role to play in helping to mold a community’s collective
character, while at the same time, like the sculptor who shapes, be
the artist who breaks open, allowing new stone to emerge from old
slab. In an age of media hegemony and historical amnesia, it is
more important than ever to treasure the reservoir of work that
reinforces a specific sense of who we are and where we come from.
By Motti Lerner
As we must admit, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict has dominated our life in
Israel most of the years of the last century. It affected us in all the levels of
our existence, from birth to death. It has shaped major parts of the political
and ideological discussion. It has shaped our conscious and subconscious
fears and hopes. It has shaped many of the images of power, of danger, of
helplessness, of courage, of manhood, even images of love, which we live
The Nation's Leading Organization of Jewish Theatre Artists selects new leaders
The Association for Jewish Theatre (AJT), the nation’s largest and leading organization of Jewish theatres, playwrights, producers, and performers, announced the election of its new executive board members for 2008-2009.
Great blossoming of American Jewish playwriting
By Julius Novick
After the First World War there was a great blossoming of American playwriting that has not stopped yet. And lo and behold, many of the playwrights doing that playwriting were Jewish, and some, not all, of those Jewish playwrights were writing about American Jews: Jewish characters, Jewish experience, Jewish concerns. As you know better than I do, plays by and about American Jews are only part of the vast expanse of Jewish theatre, but they do form a central element of Jewish theatre, and for us
Association for Jewish Theatre: Call for Play Synopses [deadline 23.6.2008 ]
By Norman J. Fedder
As you know, the AJT does a number of things for its member playwrights. One longstanding feature is the synopses of member playwrights' plays and solo scripts that we print in the newsletter. So we now ask you for them again. These are the guidelines:
The Way of the Jewish Theater
By Susan F. Lodish
We gathered together to talk, to interact, to heal. We came from six continents, 16 countries, and 20 U.S. states, representing Jewish theaters from around the world. As a theatrical community we were stronger than the individual theaters we represented. It was a week I will never forget.
AJT 2008 International Conference May 17 - 21, 2008 Detroit :Transformation & Renewal- Creating Jewish Theatre Today
By Kayla Gordon
2008 International Conference : Transformation & Renewal Creating Jewish Theatre Today
May 17 - 21, 2008 Hosted by Jewish Ensemble Theatre Detroit
Highlights Day by Day – Subject to Change*
AJT conference 2008 The Wondrous Month of May [17 –21] Detroit
By Evelyn Orbach
Last year in Vienna was fabulous. Join us here this spring and we will find the very doors that conference opened towards a new respect and appreciation for the viability and versatility, contribution, perseverance and vitality of Jewish theatre; for the scope of what we are presenting; and finding that our colleagues on this journey literally embrace the planet earth.
The Politics of Jewish Theatre
By Motti Lerner
This discussion is intended to examine the politics of Jewish Theatre in the 21st century against the backdrop of the macro-political changes that have taken place in the world from the mid-20th century to the present day, and mainly against the backdrop of the phenomenon known as ‘globalization’, or more precisely, cultural globalization. Cultural globalization is usually defined as the standardization of world culture that enables different cultures to acquire cultural products from one anothe
Phoenix :Arizona Jewish Theater in Residence at PVCC
The Governing Board of the Maricopa County Community College District has approved a license agreement with the Arizona Jewish Theater Company (AJTC). The theater company will be in residence at the Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC). Through this agreement, AJTC’s upcoming 2007-2008 season will take place at PVCC.
Jewish Theatre Down Under : 'Jewish Theatre' in Australia
By Deborah Leiser-Moore
An ancient Aboriginal country discovered by the Western world only 237 years ago - (there were at least eight Jews on the First Fleet in 1788), it took until 1830 for the first 'free ' Jewish settlers to arrive and 1841 when an organized Jewish community was finally formed in Melbourne. Then, how did Jewish theatre emerge in this particularly foreign and remote landscape?
World Congress of the Association for Jewish Theater (AJT) March 18– 24, 2007 Vienna, Austria
By Kayla Gordon
t’s time to prepare for the Jewish Theatre event of the decade. The Association for Jewish Theatre in conjunction with the Jewish Theatre of Austria will be hosting an international conference March 20 – 23, 2007 for Jewish theater professionals, artists, and aficionados. The forum will be filled with exciting performances, riveting lectures and engaging panel discussions, and will run concurrently with Jewish Theatre of Austria’s Tikun Olam International Theatre Festival, which is expected to a
International Jewish Theatre Conference Vienna March 20 – 23, 2007
By Kayla Gordon
5767 promises to be a year of great achievements for the Association for Jewish Theatre. Membership is increasing and we are making plans for an incredible international conference in Vienna this coming March. Conference planning has already brought together a wide and developing network, not only of Jewish theatre artists, producers, and friends from many countries around the world, but also equally many embassy partners, several distinguished venue partners in Vienna, and key supporters.
Jewish Theatres Season 2006-2007
The Association is dedicated to promoting the interests of its members in North America and Worldwide whose primary mission is the development and production of plays relevant to Jewish life and values. The functions of the Association include advocacy, coordination, cooperative programming, communication and the publication at regular intervals of a newsletter
AJT Conference Next Year in Vienna
By Warren Rosenzweig
Congress of the Association for Jewish Theatre in Vienna, March 20 to 23, 2007 Tikun Olam Repair the World :Festival of International Jewish Theater in Vienna and Graz, March 18 to 26, 2007
Producers Tackle Tough Issues
By Kathleen Sitzer
About 20 participants in the Producers’ Affinity Group tackled a number of tough issues at this year’s conference in Phoenix. Sitting in a circle in the sun in the warm February air was a pleasant way to approach a discussion of a variety of shared issues and concerns.
Dynamic exploration of ideas and issues on The International Jewish Conference in Washington DC
By Irene Backalenick
It was a giant leap for Jewish theatre all around the world! Some 150 theater people among them, directors, producers, actors, playwrights, scholars, journalists- met in Washington (Mar. 8- 12) for a five- day Conference. Fueled by the attendees’ dynamic exploration of ideas and issues, as well as numerous performances, play- readings, and full productions, the Conference took on a high- powered, sizzling life of its own.
In The Beggining
By Norman J. Fedder
“A lady never tells her age” was our fearless president’s response to

recent questions addressed to her regarding how old this association

is. “But that,” she later admitted, “was to cover the fact that I

really don’t know.” What Deborah did know, however, is that I had

been an “early pioneer,” as she put it, in the Jewish Theatre

and (never having been a lady) might be willing to come move-ment up

with an article about AJT’s origins and a reflection on how we have

AJT 2006 Annual Conference will feature Special Guests Arizona February 18-22, 2006
By Mira Hirsch
Twenty-five wonderful, organized people have already registered for this not-to-be-missed event.
If you're not one of them - Don't Worry! We've extended the registration deadline just for you!
Attached, you will find another copy of the registration form - Open it, fill it out and send it back by JANUARY 20th to secure your spot at this great event.
A Message from the President
By Mira Hirsch
This question has arisen at every AJT Conference I have attended in the past and I hope it continues to come up at every conference I attend in the future. For our resident scholar and conference presenter Ellen Schiff, Jewish Theatre (in America) is, in part, theatre, that encompasses “the competing impulses” of what it means to be a Jew in this country.
Ancient Stories, Future Visions, New Voices
By Ellen Schiff
Do you remember the beautiful passage in which Proust describes how the taste of a cookie dipped into a cup of tea
evokes a whole series of cherished memories? Well, the AJT conference has long been my cup of tea, but this last
one provided a genuine Proustian moment. Standing at the mike on that first June morning, I realized that sixteen
years before—almost to the very day—I’d addressed this gathering of theatre practitioners for the first time in the
very same space. The 1989 conference h
New Horizons at AJT 2006 Conference in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona - Feb. 18-22, 2006
By Janet Arnold
Please join us in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona - Feb. 18-22, 2006 – for the next annual AJT conference. We’re planning a comprehensive conference examining some of the array of choices and options available to those of
us involved in the Jewish Theatre world. We’ll include a playwright’s forum, a solo performers evening,
inspirational speakers and nuts and bolts workshops.
Ancient Stories, Future Visions : Jewish Theater Conference in New York
By Irene Backalenick
How do we define Jewish theater? What is our place in the larger theater world? How do we reach young audiences? How do we playwrights get our works mounted? The Conference had lighter moments, moving away from problem-solving--particularly the evenings when the gatherings took on more playful formats. In the first evening the improv troupe of Theatre Ariel (Philadelphia) pulled every one into participatory theater. And the final evening ended on a high note, with the Ribs ‘n’ Brisket Revue feat
AJT Conference goes to The Big Apple:New York City June 19th-21, 2005
By Debora Baer Mozes
The 2005 AJT conference is going to be in New York City June 19th-21, 2005, (Sunday through Tuesday). The executive of AJT is planning a conference that will include in-depth networking, theatre outings, discussion groups, a playwright's forum and AJT visioning sessions. The exact site(s) and costs for the conference will be announced shortly, as logistical issues are addressed and plans are finalized. Those members in NYC who would like to work with the executive on the planning and execution o
Jewish Drama on The New York Stage 1985-2004
By Michael Taub
This presentation is a summary of stage works of Jewish interest in various New York theatres spanning two decades. As in years past, playwrights and producers tackled the usual issues of concern to the Jewish community in this country: antisemitism, Israel, the Shoah, the East European shtetl, and the complexities of Jewish identity within the context of America's overall social and cultural life.
Conversations with our Fathers
By Ellen Schiff
Not long ago I had the pleasure of working once again with Odets's great play. I had most recently seen it in the Arizona Jewish Theatre's sensitive 2002 production, with Janet Arnold as a memorable Bessie Berger. Now, eagerly anticipating the revival scheduled for Lincoln Center this season, I've been fantasizing about an epilogue, set, say in 1995, sixty years after Awake and Sing! premiered. In it, Ralph Berger would comment on some of the dramatis personae that followed him on the American J
Association for Jewish Theatre members announce 2004-05 Season
The Association for Jewish Theatre , an international network whose members are committed to the enhancement of Jewish culture through the theatre arts(Members include theatres and other organizations of varying sizes from around the world and individual playwrights, directors, artistic directors, dramaturgs, critics and others interested in the furtherance of Jewish theatre) announce the 2004-05 Season
Jewish Theatre of the South : 10th Anniversary Season 2004-2005
Jewish Theatre of the South was created to meet the cultural needs of Atlanta's growing Jewish community by producing quality, professional theater with Jewish content, and to serve the community-at-large by producing regional premieres and seldom-produced plays that originate from a Jewish perspective, yet speak to universal audiences. JTS is committed to presenting plays which challenge, enlighten and entertain; plays which otherwise may not have been produced in this region; plays which conne
AJT goes Into the Woods (May 22 to 25, 2004)
By Debora Baer Mozes
This year's Association for Jewish Theatre Conference will be a relaxing, stretching retreat for learning and sharing. Join us May 22 - 25th, 2004 at Elat Chayyim, a Jewish Spiritual Retreat Center, in Accord, NY-- 2 hours from NYC. about 20 minutes for Woodstock. In this idyllic setting will we have workshops, panels, and affinity sessions to stretch our imaginations, hone our skills, and enjoy the company of fellow makers of Jewish theater. SAVE THE DATE!!!!
By Brenda Shoshanna
In these war-torn times, we look everywhere for answers, meaning and a way to approach the deepest issues of what it means to be alive, respond honestly, and walk the path of righteousness for all. On a deeper level these questions convert to the issue of what it means to be a Jew, to respond to the call of Torah and “be a light unto the nations.”
I’m Okay Now
By Brandon Marlon
Sitting back now in Montreal, listening to Tony Bennett and trying to repel the chill from outdoors, I can say I have recovered from the Association of Jewish Theatre’s 2003 Washington conference.Conference is hardly the most accurate word; Colossal Whirlwind,Tour or Monstrous Exhaustion Fest would be closer to the truth......

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