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DISCUSSION | The Global Reach of the Yiddish Theater—The Vilna Troupe, God of Vengeance, and Yiddish Performance the World Over, with Caraid O’Brien and Debra Caplan | Thursday, March 2 @ 7 p.m. EST
Professor Debra Caplan and performer Caraid O’Brien discuss where Yiddish theater was performed throughout the world during its heyday in the twentieth century. Debra follows the many branches of the world-famous repertory company the Vilna Troupe, tracing where they performed. Caraid discusses the evolution of Sholem Asch’s Yiddish classic "God of Vengeance" from its 1907 debut in Berlin to eventual Broadway scandal in 1923.

Presented as part of the Yiddish Book Center’s 2023 Decade of Discovery theme, Yiddish around the World.

This live event will be presented via Zoom. Space is limited. If you’d like to reserve a virtual seat in the Zoom audience—registration is required.

Mar 2, 2023 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Caraid O'Brien
A writer, performer, translator, and director, Caraid O’Brien has translated seven plays by Sholem Asch from Yiddish into English. Her debut translation of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance “set Show World aflame” according to the Village Voice. A three-time recipient of a new play commission from the Foundation for Jewish Culture, her translation of Sholem Asch's Underworld Trilogy is forthcoming from White Goat Press. Her audio performance and translation of Klara Klebanova's memoir about the Russian Revolution, The Last Maximalist, as well as The Dead Man, Sholem Asch's drama about the flu epidemic of 1919, are available on the website of the Yiddish Book Center. Her latest Asch translation, On the Road to Zion debuts as a radio play with the Yiddish Book Center this Spring. Presently, Caraid is working on a new play commission for Theater J in Washington DC. She spent ten years studying theater with Luba Kadison, the last surviving member of the Vilna Troupe.
Debra Caplan
Associate Professor of Theater at Baruch College @City University of New York
Debra Caplan is Associate Professor of Theater at Baruch College, City University of New York, where she teaches courses on theater history and Jewish culture. Her first book, Yiddish Empire: The Vilna Troupe, Jewish Theater, and the Art of Itinerancy (University of Michigan Press, 2018), was the recipient of awards from the Modern Language Association and the Theatre Library Association. She is currently working on a forthcoming co-edited collection of essays, with Rachel Merrill Moss, entitled The Dybbuk Century: The Jewish Play that Possessed the World and a new biography on the Yiddish actress Molly Picon.