The 1800s

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Modern Theatre in Context: A Critical Timeline

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Dora Wasserman founds the first Jewish stage company in Canada: Théâtre Yiddish. Initially performing in ad hoc spaces in Montreal, the company will eventually find a home in the Saidye Bronfman Centre in 1967, where their opening production is the musical A Shtetl Wedding, which will become one of their frequently revived pieces together with Fiddler on the Roof. They continue to operate out of there still today.

Renamed the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre, the company define their mandate as being "To sustain and dramatize the Jewish experience" through reflecting "the entire panorama of Jewish life as lived in Yiddish: the language, the literature, the traditions, the turbulent history, humour, folk wisdom and music". The only company permitted to adapt the work of Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer for the stage, their repertoire combines drama by Yiddish authors with translations of plays about Quebec such as Tremblay's Les Belles Soeurs, or from Jewish dramatists writing in English and other languages, such as Arthur Miller. Although remaining a theatre for amateur actors, the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre wins the 2000 Montreal English Critics Circle Award for best production, amateur or semi-professional with their production of The Great Houdini.