The Dybbuk Century

The Jewish Play That Possessed the World
Debra Caplan and Rachel Merrill Moss, Editors

How a hundred-year-old play about spiritual possession beyond the grave continues to engage and fascinate

This title is open access and free to read on the web A free online version is forthcoming


A little over a hundred years ago, the first production of An-sky’s The Dybbuk opened in Warsaw. In the century that followed, The Dybbuk became a theatrical conduit for a wide range of discourses about Jews, belonging, and modernity. This timeless Yiddish play about spiritual possession beyond the grave would go on to exert a remarkable and unforgettable impact on modern theater, film, literature, music, and culture. 

The Dybbuk Century collects essays from an interdisciplinary group of scholars who explore the play’s original Yiddish and Hebrew productions and offer critical reflections on the play’s enduring influence. The collection will appeal to scholars, students, and theater practitioners, as well as general readers.
Debra Caplan is Associate Professor of Theatre at Baruch College, City University of New York.

Rachel Merrill Moss is Lecturer of Dramatic Literature at Boston University.

Praise / Awards

  • “Offers new insights into The Dybbuk and of some of its noteworthy productions and adaptations…The book augments earlier scholarship that situates the play squarely among the great achievements of 20th-century Western theater, astutely probes its complicated and nuanced gender politics, walks us through numerous examples of how it was received in its early years, and takes us on a tour of how it has inspired, and continues to inspire, artists and audiences.”

    —Joel Berkowitz, University of Wisconsin

  • “The essays in this volume, like The Dybbuk and its performers themselves, roam across Europe, the United States, and the Middle East as they examine the play’s origins, incarnations, and the controversies it has raised. The scholarship is not only sound and well-written, but also engaging and often moving.”

    —Barbara Henry, University of Washington

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 296pp.
  • 11 images.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2023
  • Forthcoming
  • 978-0-472-07643-7

  • $90.00 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2023
  • Forthcoming
  • 978-0-472-05643-9

  • $44.95 U.S.

  • Open Access
  • 2023
  • Forthcoming
  • 978-0-472-90385-6