Jew-Face: Non-Jews Playing Jews on the American Stage

Author: Merwin, Ted

Source: Cultural and Social History, 1 June 2007, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 215-233(19)

Publisher:

Buy & download fulltext article:

The full text article is temporarily unavailable.

We apologise for the inconvenience. Please try again later.

Abstract:

While the phenomenon of whites performing in blackface is well documented, comparatively little critical attention has focused on the spectacle of non-Jewish actors playing Jewish characters on stage. Yet the history of the American stage is replete with examples of non-Jews assaying Jewish roles, from early performances of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice to contemporary productions of Mel Brooks' The Producers. How non-Jews have impersonated Jews on stage reflects changing attitudes towards Jews in American society, as they have risen from poverty and discrimination to the enjoyment of wealth and status. Nowadays, non-Jewish portrayals of Jewish characters take place in a societal context in which the lines between Jews and non-Jews are becoming increasingly blurred, making Jewish culture accessible to Jews and non-Jews alike.

Keywords: JEW-FACE; JEWISH CULTURE; JEWISH THEATRE; KABBALAH; NON-TRADITIONAL CASTING

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/147800307X199056

Affiliations: Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Publication date: June 1, 2007

Related content

Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content

Text size:

A | A | A | A
Share this item with others: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. print icon Print this page