2024 Season

Mirele Lernt Zich Yiddish

A Special Event at Bridge Street Theatre

March 1 - March 3 Friday and Saturday at 7:30, Sunday at 2:00

2024 SoloFest 1
March 1 – 3

MIRELE LERNT ZICH YIDDISH (Mirele Learns Yiddish)
Written and performed by Miryam Coppersmith

Note: The Saturday March 2 performance will be followed by a Klezmer dance party!

Photo: Johanna Austin

A One-Woman Cabal! Bringing in different stories every night, this semi-improvised dance/theater show journeys through Miryam Coppersmith’s reclamation of Yiddish and the whitening process that squeezed it out of Ashkenazi Jewry in the first place. Go beyond schlep and kvetch! Mirele Lernt Zich Yiddish premiered in Philadelphia’s Cannonball Festival in September 2023. After the standing-room-only final show, Cannonball invited Miryam back to present an encore performance. The Philadelphia Dance Journal lauded the show as “a must-see performance.”

The inspiration for creating Mirele Lernt Zich Yiddish came before Miryam began learning Yiddish at all. She describes the moment, which took place on a trip to Germany in 2016: “In a small museum was a piece of Nazi propaganda, a sketch of two profiles. The distant face was dark, grotesque, and misshapen, with an enormous nose and lips. The forward profile: white, feminine and delicate. At first, I didn’t understand. What was this image even trying to convey? After staring at it a while, I understood. The grotesque belongs to the Jew. The beautiful belongs to the Aryan. My initial confusion sparked my interest. Has so much changed that I can’t even identify antisemitic tropes? How much has not changed at all?”

Through open dialogue with the audience, movement, song, and a bisl Yiddish, Mirele Lernt Zich Yiddish processes through the Jewish experience of becoming white in real time. Come join the conversation.

About the Artist

Photo: Johanna Austin

Miryam Coppersmith (she/they) is a Philadelphia-based performance artist and educator who aims to create spaces for transformation for her collaborators, audience, and greater community. She works with movement, speech, and sound coming from her own body, drawing on training in Contact Improvisation, Six Viewpoints, acting, Black American social dance, and other influences. Miryam holds a BA in Dance and Creative Writing from Oberlin College. She is 2023 Mitsui Collective Kollelnik, a 2020 Get What You Need artist in residence and has presented work at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, You Can’t Fail, Fresh Juice, and more. Miryam is a writer/editor for the online dance journal thINKingDANCE. un zi red a bisl Yiddish. MiryamCoppersmith.com