Andrew Heinze-1

Andrew R. Heinze is an American playwright, non-fiction author, and scholar of American history. Growing up in New Jersey in a close-knit Jewish family, he left home at fourteen to attend Blair Academy, graduated from Amherst College in Massachusetts, and moved to California. He did his graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, training in American history, with an emphasis on the history of race, immigration and the history of American Jews. During his academic career he taught both American and Jewish history at several American universities and was a tenured professor of history at the University of San Francisco, where he was director of the Swig Judaic Studies Program, holding the Mae and Benjamin Swig Chair and creating several new programs including an Ulpan and a Judaic studies lecture series.

He has written extensively about the American Jewish social, intellectual and cultural experience, and is the author of Adapting to Abundance (1990), the first full-length study of the impact of American consumer culture on an immigrant group, as well as Jews and the American Soul (2004), which hypothesizes that Jewish intellectuals provided a framework that came to shape the American psyche. He co-authored two books that deal with race and ethnicity, and he has contributed to a wide variety of scholarly journals as well as to popular newspapers, periodicals and online publications. His books and articles have been widely reviewed, praised in the scholarly community, and cited extensively.

In 2006, feeling creatively stifled by the confines of academic writing, he left his tenured full professorship at USF and moved to New York City to begin playwriting. He has written one-act as well as full-length plays, many of them focusing on the historical and Jewish themes that had absorbed him in his former career; these include a comedy about Moses and his family, a drama about a New York Jewish family adjusting to life after World War II, and a drama about an Israeli Russian immigrant who, in desperation, has turned to prostitution. His plays have been produced Off-Broadway in New York City and around the United States; several have won awards in national playwriting competitions.