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Talented Jewish Theater Artists Are Thriving

The importance of Jewish life in the United States as portrayed in American theater was the focus of a meeting of T Magazine’s editorial team in November 2022. The meeting discussed how the stage provides a vivid and nuanced expression of Jewish life in the U.S. This view was backed by the fact that much of what is considered canonical American theater has been written, performed, and directed by Jewish individuals. Theater has always played a crucial role in the American Jewish experience, dating back to the late 19th century with the emergence of Yiddish theater, and has continued to evolve as a means of cultural expression and representation.

The exploration of how theater responds to antisemitic hate crime was also part of the discussion during the editorial meeting. The fear of offense or habit of disguise prompted by antisemitism has led to a sometimes enforced invisibility of Jewishness, both on and offstage. Additionally, the essay pointed out that theater serves not only to entertain but to tap into the art of empathic imagination, allowing us to better understand and empathize with the experiences of others. The aim of the editorial meeting was to emphasize the importance of empathic imagination as a means to combat hate and intolerance, as well as to provide a broader understanding of the human experience.

The editorial meeting aimed to bring focus to these important issues and to encourage more empathic imagination in the arts and in society at large. In an age of widespread intolerance and bigotry, empathic imagination and the universality of the human experience as portrayed through the medium of theater are invaluable tools. The significance of theater in promoting empathic imagination, understanding, and tolerance cannot be overstated and was the main point of discussion at the editorial meeting. These are topics the magazine aims to continue exploring and promoting, as they are more relevant than ever in our contemporary society.

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