Henry Bial's Acting Jewish: Negotiating Ethnicity on the American Stage PDF

By Henry Bial

ISBN-10: 047206908X

ISBN-13: 9780472069088

ISBN-10: 0472099086

ISBN-13: 9780472099085

The background of the yank leisure and the background of the Jewish humans within the usa are inextricably intertwined. Jews have supplied Broadway and Hollywood with a few of their such a lot enduring expertise, from writers like Arthur Miller, Wendy Wasserstein, and Tony Kushner; to administrators like Jerome Robbins and Woody Allen; to performers like Gertrude Berg, John Garfield, Lenny Bruce, and Barbra Streisand. Conversely, exhibit company has supplied Jews with a method of upward mobility, a version for a way to "become American," and a resource of cultural pride.Acting Jewish files this background, taking a look at the paintings of Jewish writers, administrators, and actors within the American leisure with specific awareness to the ways that those artists supply behavioral versions for Jewish-American audiences. The ebook spans the interval from 1947 to the current and takes a detailed examine a few of America's favourite performs (Death of a salesperson, Fiddler at the Roof, Angels in America), motion pictures (Gentleman's contract, Annie Hall), and tv exhibits (The Goldbergs, Seinfeld), picking out a double-coding through which performers enact, and spectators learn, Jewishness in modern performance-and, via extension, enact and skim different minority identities. The e-book therefore explores and illuminates the ever-changing courting among Jews and mainstream American culture."Fascinating and unique . . . Bial's command of resources is notable, and his inspiration of 'double-coding' is convincing . . . the booklet should not have any difficulty discovering a wide audience."-Barbara Grossman, writer of humorous lady: The existence and occasions of Fanny BriceHenry Bial is Assistant Professor of Theatre and movie, college of Kansas. he's editor of the functionality stories Reader and co-editor of the Brecht Sourcebook.

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Additional resources for Acting Jewish: Negotiating Ethnicity on the American Stage and Screen

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65 His parents or grandparents or neighbors might consider him a bad Jew, and strangers might assume that he is a Christian, but he is still a Jew. Moreover, he may still be visually identifiable as aJew, depending on who's looking at him. How can we tell thatJerry Seinfeld is Jewish? His beard is missing. Knowing the Codes In the early r 96os,Jewish American comedian Lenny Bruce performed a routine in which he divided the world intoJewish and goyish (Yiddish for "notJewish"): Dig: I'm Jewish. Count Basie's Jewish.

The absurdity of this scene-with Green, who passes as a Jew, "coming out" as a Christian to Miss Wales, the Jew who passes as a Christian-highlights the film's contention that neither Jewish nor Christian are fixed, essential identities. rS Green's Jewishness is not something that he is, nor is it something that he does; it is something that he calls himself. But this self-appella­ tion is not without meaning. If there were no difference between Jews and gentiles, Green wouldn't have had to "be Jewish" in order to understand the emotional response of the Jew to anti-Semitism.

I935) and Elmer Rice's Street Scene (I929) and Counsellor-at­ Law (I93I), and a few less notable plays targeted at New York's large Jewish audience, such as Silvia Regan's Morning Star (I94I). In the aftermath of World War II, the importance of cultural differ­ ence began to reassert itself. For American Jews, this movement was given added impetus by the Holocaust, which annihilated most of European Jewry, and rising intermarriage rates, which threatened to dilute the American Jewish community beyond recognition.

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Acting Jewish: Negotiating Ethnicity on the American Stage and Screen by Henry Bial

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