Schechter, Joel 1947-

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SCHECHTER, Joel 1947-


Born June 21, 1947, in Washington, DC; son of Henry (an economist) and Ruth (a writer; maiden name, Lindauer) Schechter; married Diana Scott (a writer), 1995. Education: Antioch College, B.A., 1969; Yale University, M.F.A., 1972, D.F.A., 1973. Politics: Green Party. Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Bicycling, hiking.


Office—Department of Theater Arts, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway, San Francisco, CA 94132. E-mail—[email protected].


State University of New York—Stony Brook, lecturer in theater, 1974-77; Yale University, New Haven, CT, professor of theater, 1977-92; San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, professor of theater, 1992—. American Place Theater, literary advisor, 1973-77. Green Party candidate for office in New Haven, CT.


American Society for Theater Research, Workmen's Circle.


Woodrow Wilson fellow; Danforth fellow; Fox fellow at University of Moscow.


Durov's Pig (essays), Theater Communications Group (New York, NY), 1985.

Satiric Impersonations: From Aristophanes to the Guerrilla Girls (essays), Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL), 1994.

The Congress of Clowns (essays), Kropotkin Club (San Francisco, CA), 1998.

(Editor and author of introduction) The Pickle Clowns: New American Circus Comedy (interviews), Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL), 2001.

Popular Theater: A Sourcebook (essays), Routledge (New York, NY), 2003.

Contributor to books, including Extraordinary Actors, 2003. Editor of the journal Theater, 1977-92.


Research on the history of Yiddish theater.


Joel Schechter told CA: "I have written several books about circus clowns and political satirists. My interest in these subjects developed when I read about certain stage artists and comedians, and in some cases saw them perform.

"The satire of Dario Fo, Franca Rame, Vladimir Durov, Brecht, and the Guerrilla Girls led me to write essays about their achievements. The essays turned into books.

"A number of the performers and theater ensembles I wrote about were engaged in political and cultural criticism, as well as war resistance and struggles for justice and equality. I would like to think that my writing has enlarged the audience for these artists by bringing new attention and understanding to their creations.

"I have also endeavored to preserve cultural history by collecting interviews with some of these artists and by editing collections of essays about them."



American Theatre: New American Circus Comedy, January, 1995, Jonah Seth Disend, review of Satiric Impersonations: From Aristophanes to the Guerrilla Girls, p. 61; February, 2002, Chelsea Peretti, review of The Pickle Clowns, p. 73.

TDR (Cambridge, MA), fall, 1996, Amy Seham, review of Satiric Impersonations, p. 192.

Theatre History Studies, June, 2002, Daniel J. Water-meier, review of The Pickle Clowns, p. 216.

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Schechter, Joel 1947-

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