Foundation for Jewish Studies Speakers

Dr. Alisa Solomon

Alisa Solomon teaches at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she directs the Arts & Culture concentration in the MA program. A theater critic and general reporter for the Village Voice from 1983 to 2004, she has also contributed to The New York Times, The Nation, Tablet, The Forward,,, American Theater, TDR – The Drama Review, and other publications. Her first book, Re-Dressing the Canon: Essays on Theater and Gender, won the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism.

Dr. Solomon has also edited several books: The Reverend Billy Project: From Rehearsal Hall to Super Mall with the Church of Life After Shopping by Savitri D and Bill Talen; Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (co-edited with Tony Kushner); The Queerest Art: Essays on Lesbian and Gay Theater (co-edited with Framji Minwalla), and a special issue of the journal Theater on theater and social change.

Wonder of Wonders draws on her expertise in Theater Studies as well as on her study of Yiddish language and literature, long-standing interest in the relationship between artworks and their social contexts, and unbridled love of great musicals. That  connection, combined with extensive research in English and Yiddish archives in Poland, Israel, and across the US, and with interviews with more than 100 people involved in dramatizations of Sholem Aleichem’s masterful Tevye stories, made working on  Wonder of Wonders a thrilling process of both personal and scholarly discovery.

Born in Chicago, she earned her BA (double-majoring in Drama and Philosophy) at the University of Michigan’s Residential College, and her MFA and Doctorate (in Dramaturgy and Criticism) at the Yale School of Drama.  She likes to cook and has been practicing Seido Karate since 1983. She lives in New York City.

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