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Generational Shifts In American Jewish Theatre

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the areas which Schiff's study and anthologies omit, particularly those social and cultural forces that may have shaped the works of specific Jewish playwrights and determined the writers' decisions to focus on, camouflage, or completely efface Jewish characters and ethnic markers in the worlds they create. Such omissions of Jewish elements in one period may be as telling of about ethnicity concerns as are the overt signs of Jewishness in another epoch, and thus central to the study of American Jewish theatre. The chapter presents specific examples, culled from American theatre practice since the middle of the last century, but these tendencies and trajectories have application for other international theatres and Jewish playwrights' deracinations or celebrations of Jewish elements in their writing. It finally talks about Arthur Miller, the most distinguished Jewish playwright America has produced, honored in his own country and abroad.

Keywords: American Jewish theatre; Arthur Miller; Jewish characters; Jewish playwrights; Schiff's study



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