Members of the Vilner Trupe in Protsentnik (The Loan Shark), Poland, 1920. Photograph by Dager. (YIVO)

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This entry surveys the history of East European Jewish theater, including the emergence of a Jewish theater audience; the rise of professional Jewish theater in Yiddish, Hebrew, and non-Jewish languages; Jewish theater’s social context; and amateur productions by schools, youth groups, and theater societies. It begins with an overview, which treats the historical development of Jewish theater, followed by articles on theater in Hebrew and Yiddish and continuing with articles on Jewish participation in the theater in Poland, Russia, Romania, and Hungary, respectively. The entry concludes with an article on criticism and scholarship, which focuses on the Yiddish theater.