Blogging the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project, Second Anniversary Edition
Just over two years ago, Joel Berkowitz and I published the first blog post on yiddishstage.com introducing the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project. At the time, our readers consisted primarily of ourselves and a small group of fellow Yiddish theatre researchers, our website was a simple Wordpress blog, and our project was, as we wrote at the time, “an experiment.”
Two years later, the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project blog is thriving. We have a new custom-built, full-featured website beautifully designed by Familiar Studio, launched in 2016. Nearly 1500 people follow us on social media. Dozens of articles offer original content on a wide range of Yiddish theatre topics, including profiles of individual actors and directors, Kafka’s fascination with the Yiddish stage, Yiddish theatre in rarely-discussed places like Amsterdam and Cairo, Yiddish theatre at summer camp, contemporary Yiddish and Yiddish-related productions, and more. We interviewed playwright Paula Vogel and director Rebecca Taichman about the Off-Broadway production of Vogel’s Indecent (now coming to Broadway this spring). We asked Michael Ochs to tell us the story of how he rediscovered Di goldene kale (The Golden Bride) and brought it to a Drama Desk award-winning production at the Folksbiene. When the legendary Fyvush Finkel passed away this summer, Rokhl Kafrissen penned a memorable tribute detailing Finkel’s impact.
The DYTP’s activities have also extended beyond the blog, and we have exciting plans for the future. We are currently working to launch two new projects in 2017. The first will be a digital critical edition of the never-before-published seventh volume of Zalmen Zylbercweig’s seminal Encyclopedia of the Yiddish Theatre. The second project, Plotting Yiddish Drama, will ultimately make hundreds of plot summaries of Yiddish plays searchable and available on our site. We look forward to bringing beta versions of these projects to our readers soon, and to producing new blog content.
In the meantime, we’re continuing to spread the word about the DYTP. In July, Joel Berkowitz and I journeyed to Krakow, Poland and presented our project at the international DH2016 digital humanities conference. In October, we were interviewed by Bonnie North for Milwaukee Public Radio’s Lake Effect radio program. Listen to our interview here.
What’s next? Expect more articles coming your way soon, including a cluster of posts about the New Yiddish Rep’s upcoming production of God of Vengeance at La Mama in New York. Interested in writing for us or have an idea for a future post or project? Email us.