Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Noreen Barnes


This thesis aims to analyze the ways many Jewish victims of the Holocaust used comedic theatre to help them overcome their dire circumstances by exploring the high demand for comedic performance in both the ghettoes and concentration camps and analyzing the numerous comedic works that were penned amidst the terror and catastrophic loss surrounding the Jews at this time. The second portion delves into the therapeutic values of comedy and explores the ways laughing may have benefitted those who partook in comedic theatre events. The final chapter investigate whether or not laughter should still be used to help cope with the calamitous events of the Holocaust. Many Jewish victims chose to laugh about their circumstances, but should we, those far removed from the actual events, be able to use comedy without facing a dilemma of morals?


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2013