1 Morgan Pl, Yellow Springs, OH 45387, United States
Joel graduated from Antioch College in 1969, receiving a Bachelor of Arts.
New Haven, CT 06520, United States
Joel got a Master of Fine Arts in 1972 and a Doctor of Fine Arts in 1973 from Yale University.
Photo of Joel Schechter
(Joel Schechter has rediscovered the funny and often polit...)
Joel Schechter has rediscovered the funny and often politically-charged plays of the American Yiddish theatre of the 1930s. In Messiahs of 1933, he celebrates their satire, their radical imagination, and their commitment to social change. He introduces readers to the once-famous writers and actors - Moishe Nadir, David Pinski, Yosl Cutler, and others - who brought into an artistic form their visions of peace, social justice, and satire for all. Messiahs of 1933 greatly enlarge our understanding of Yiddish theatre and culture in the United States. It examines the innovative stage performances created by the Artef collective, the Modicut puppeteers, and the Yiddish Unit of the Federal Theatre Project.
(Bertolt Brecht turned to cabaret; Ariane Mnouchkine went ...)
Bertolt Brecht turned to cabaret; Ariane Mnouchkine went to the circus; Joan Littlewood wanted to open a palace of fun. These were a few of the directors who turned to popular theatre forms in the last century, and this sourcebook accounts for their attraction. Popular theatre forms introduced in this sourcebook include cabaret, circus, puppetry, vaudeville, Indian Jatra, political satire, and physical comedy. These entertainments are highly visual, itinerant, and readily understood by audiences. Popular Theatre: A Sourcebook follows them around the world, from the bunraku puppetry of Japan to the masked topeng theatre of Bali to South African political satire, the San Francisco Mime Troupe's comic melodramas, and a 'Fun Palace' proposed for London. The book features essays from the archives of The Drama Review and other research.
Joel graduated from Antioch College in 1969, receiving a Bachelor of Arts. He also got a Master of Fine Arts in 1972 and a Doctor of Fine Arts in 1973 from Yale University.
Joel Schechter started his career as a literature advisor at the American Place Theater, New York from 1973 to 1977. He also was an assistant professor at the State University of New York, Stony Brook from 1974 to 1977. In 1977 he became a professor of School Drama at Yale University, New Haven, as well as an editor of Theater Magazine, New Haven.
In 1992 Schechter took a position as a professor of Theatre Arts at San Francisco State University, where he also served as the graduate studies program coordinator for the Master of Arts in Drama. He taught courses in theater history, dramatic literature, and popular theater. Schechter retired in 2019.
He is the author of Durov's Pig, The Congress of Clowns, The Pickle Clowns, Satiric Impersonations, Messiahs of 1933: How American Yiddish Theatre Survived Adversity through Satire, and Eighteenth-Century Brechtians: Theatrical Satire in the Age of Walpole.
(Joel Schechter has rediscovered the funny and often polit...)2008
(Bertolt Brecht turned to cabaret; Ariane Mnouchkine went ...)2993
Joel is a Judaist.
Schechter is a member of the Green Party.
"I have written several books about circus clowns and political satirists. My interest in these subjects developed when I read about certain stage artists and comedians, and in some cases saw them perform."
"The satire of Dario Fo, Franca Rame, Vladimir Durov, Brecht, and the Guerrilla Girls led me to write essays about their achievements. The essays turned into books."
"A number of the performers and theater ensembles I wrote about were engaged in political and cultural criticism, as well as war resistance and struggles for justice and equality. I would like to think that my writing has enlarged the audience for these artists by bringing new attention and understanding to their creations."
Schechter is a member of the American Society for Theater Research and Workmen's Circle.
In 1995 Joel married Diana Scott.