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Book Cover
Author Caplan, Debra, author

Title Yiddish Empire : the Vilna troupe, Jewish theater, and the art of itinerancy / Debra Caplan
Published Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, [2018]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource : illustrations
Series Book collections on Project MUSE
Contents Prologue : the sun never sets on the Yiddish stage -- Spectacular failures : Jewish theater as cultural frontier -- Jargon art : from refugees to artistic visionaries -- Interlude I : rogues and rebels -- Between two worlds : The dybbuk goes global -- Interlude II : love and romance on the road -- Nomadic chutzpah : the Vilna Troupe's accidental avant-garde -- Interlude III : a family affair -- The Vilna Troupe nexus -- Interlude IV : The dybbuk in Auschwitz -- Epilogue : Jewish theater, world theater
Summary Yiddish Empire tells the story of how a group of itinerant Jewish performers became the interwar equivalent of a viral sensation, providing a missing chapter in the history of the modern stage. During World War I, a motley group of teenaged amateurs, impoverished war refugees, and out- of- work Russian actors banded together to revolutionize the Yiddish stage. Achieving a most unlikely success through their productions, the Vilna Troupe (1915-36) would eventually go on to earn the attention of theatergoers around the world. Advancements in modern transportation allowed Yiddish theater artists to reach global audiences, traversing not only cities and districts but also countries and continents. The Vilna Troupe routinely performed in major venues that had never before allowed Jews, let alone Yiddish, upon their stages, and operated across a vast territory, a strategy that enabled them to attract unusually diverse audiences to the Yiddish stage and a precursor to the organizational structures and travel patterns that we see now in contemporary theater. Debra Caplan's history of the Troupe is rigorously researched, employing primary and secondary sources in multiple languages, and is engagingly written
Notes Issued as part of book collections on Project MUSE
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 287-310) and index
Notes Description based on print version record
Subject Ṿilner trupe.
Theater, Yiddish -- History.
Traveling theater -- History -- 20th century.
Form Electronic book
Author Project Muse, distributor
Project Muse.
ISBN 0472123688 (electronic bk.)
9780472123681 (electronic bk.)