Open Wounds

Holocaust Theater and the Legacy of George Tabori
Edited by Martin Kagel and David Z. Saltz
Explores the irreverent theater of George Tabori and its enduring legacy within Holocaust theater


This volume collects original essays on Hungarian-German playwright and screenwriter George Tabori (1914–2007) and his remarkable contributions to the stage. Tabori, a Jewish refugee and a truly transnational author, was best known for his work in New York theater that irreverently explored the Jewish experience, particularly the Holocaust. Although his illustrious career spanned a century, two continents, several languages, and a variety of literary genres, Tabori’s work has received scant attention in American letters, in spite of its significance for U.S. theater and Holocaust studies.

Until Tabori, most dramas about the Holocaust were either rooted in American domestic realism, striving to create a strong empathetic connection between the audience and Holocaust victims, or featured an unembellished documentary style. Tabori staked out a third position, beyond realism and documentation. The volume brings together the voices of international scholars to provide a comprehensive introduction to Tabori’s theater as well as in-depth analyses of his work, discussing all of his major plays. Individual essays address Tabori’s postdramatic theater in relation to sacrificial ritual, performance studies, and post-humanist approaches to the contemporary stage, as well as performance aspects of his productions, questions of ethics and aesthetics raised by his theater, and his plays’ relation to Holocaust representation in popular culture.

Martin Kagel is A. G. Steer Professor of German and Associate Dean in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia.

David Z. Saltz is Professor and Head in the Department of Theatre and Film Studies at the University of Georgia.

Praise / Awards

  • “By situating Tabori critically within the ever-expanding landscape of what is called, for better or worse, ‘the theater of the Holocaust,’ this book offers a richer accounting of the genre’s history as well as thoughtful reflection on its current efficacy and future potential. The book fills a gap both in our understanding of Holocaust representation broadly conceived and in contemporary theater studies. It will be welcomed by scholars and students alike.” – William Collins Donahue, University of Notre Dame

Product Details

  • 208 pages.
  • 4 illustrations.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2022
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-12966-9

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  • posthumanism; postdramatic theater; Holocaust theater; Shoah; Italian theater; musical theater; Holocaust musical; memory play; adaptation; humor; grotesque; sacrificial ritual; performance; performative body; Holocaust witness; Holocaust remembrance; Holocaust representation; cultural memory; trauma; site specific performance