Paula Strasberg demands a Method reading. Wife of Lee Strasberg, coach to Marilyn Monroe, and victim of the Hollywood Blacklist, Paula Strasberg's life is only detectable through the stories of other (more famous) people, epitomizing the historical record’s indifference to women’s work. Those extant, conflicting traces of Strasberg—as crone, as radical, as overbearing Jewish mother—reveal how conceptions of art, femininity, and ethnicity circulated in the shadow of the postwar culture industries. In response, this speculative account, rooted in theatricality and play, reinstates Paula Strasberg into the history through critical-creative means.
Paula Strasberg’s Private Moment: A Play in Five Acts
Annie Berke is the film editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books, a host at the New Books’ Network podcast, and author of Their Own Best Creations: Women Writers in Postwar Television (2022), the first volume in the University of California’s “Feminist Media Histories” series. Dr. Berke’s scholarship and criticism have been published in Camera Obscura, Washington Post, Public Books, Ms., and the Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television.
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Annie Berke; Paula Strasberg’s Private Moment: A Play in Five Acts. Feminist Media Histories 1 July 2022; 8 (3): 35–60. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2022.8.3.35
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