Josephus on Stage in New York (1933)


Maurice Schwartz as Josephus

In November 1933, the Yiddish Art Theater of New York staged Josephus, a dramatic adaptation of Lion Feuchtwanger’s Josephus (Der jΓΌdische Krieg). This two-act, 22-scene play was scripted and directed by Maurice Schwartz, who also acted the lead role of Josephus. The news reportage regarding the play implies that Feuchtwanger was involved to some extent in the adaptation. Reviews were mixed, some heaping lavish praise upon a spectacular pageant, while critics thought that perhaps Schwartz attempted to cram too much detail (there were over 100 actors) into a stage production, resulting in choppy cutting from scene to scene in order to exploit the lengthy and complex novel.

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JRA entry contributed by Jim Bloom