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Avrom Goldfaden & Rise of Modern Yiddish Theater
March 27 , 7:00 pm
Alyssa Quint’s new book on modern Yiddish theater examines its origins, from roughly 1876 to 1883, through the works of one of its best-known and most colorful figures, Avrom Goldfaden.
Goldfaden (né Goldenfaden, 1840-1908) was one of the first playwrights to stage commercially-viable Yiddish-language theater, first in Romania and then in Russia. Goldfaden’s work was rapidly disseminated in print and his plays were performed frequently for Jewish audiences. Sholem Aleichem considered him as a forger of a new language that “breathed the European spirit into our old jargon.” Goldfaden’s theater provides a rich view into the conduct, ideology, religion, and politics of Jews during an important moment in the history of late Imperial Russia.
Join us for the launch of this new book with a discussion of this rich theatrical tradition as well as the broader social life that its study sheds light on. The evening will include an introduction by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, a short presentation from author Alyssa Quint, and a brief performance of songs composed by Goldfaden.