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Acting Jewish documents this history, looking at the work of Jewish writers, directors, and actors in the American entertainment industry with particular attention to the ways in which these artists offer behavioral models for Jewish-American audiences. The book spans the period from 1947 to the present and takes a close look at some of America's favorite plays (Death of a Salesman, Fiddler on the Roof, Angels in America), films (Gentleman's Agreement, Annie Hall), and television shows (The Goldbergs, Seinfeld), identifying a double-coding by which performers enact, and spectators read, Jewishness in contemporary performance-and, by extension, enact and read other minority identities. The book thus explores and illuminates the ever-changing relationship between Jews and mainstream American culture.
"Fascinating and original . . . Bial's command of sources is impressive, and his concept of 'double-coding' is convincing . . . the book should have no trouble finding a large audience."
-Barbara Grossman, author of Funny Woman: The Life and Times of Fanny Brice
Henry Bial is Assistant Professor of Theatre and Film, University of Kansas. He is editor of the Performance Studies Reader and co-editor of the Brecht Sourcebook.
|Ch. 1||Performance, studies, mass culture, and the Jewish problem||1|
|Ch. 2||Acting Jewish, 1947-1955||30|
|Ch. 3||Fiddling on the roof, 1964-1971||59|
|Ch. 4||How Jews became sexy, 1968-1983||86|
|Ch. 5||The desire to remember, 1989-1997||107|
|Ch. 6||You know who else is Jewish? : reading and writing Jewish in the twenty-first century||137|