Norman J. Fedder

Professor/Playwright/Drama Therapist

7966B Lexington Club Boulevard
DelRey Beach, FL 33446-3939
Phone (561) 499-5942

norman_fedderNORMAN J. FEDDER, Ph. D. is University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theatre, Kansas State University. An inductee into the Kansas Theatre Hall of Fame, he is the author of a book on Tennessee Williams; many articles on dramatic literature; and 25 produced plays, mostly on Jewish themes. He founded the Drama Network of the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education and was founder/director of TOV: Theatre Of Values and the Theatre in Israel Program. For a number of years he served on the Board of the Association for Jewish Theatre, which he was instrumental in founding. He selects and directs the winning scripts of the annual International Competition for Short Jewish Plays. A Registered Drama Therapist/Board Certified Trainer, he was honored by the North American Drama Therapy Association by receiving its initial Raymond Jacobs Diversity Award and its Gertrude Schattner Award, the highest honor the association can bestow. He founded Kansas State University’s renowned Drama Therapy Program and developed and directs a Drama Therapy specialization within the Interdisciplinary Arts Program of Nova Southeastern University, where he now teaches.


One Act

The Eternal Kick – A satirical farce about the Cuban missile crisis. (3 M, 2W)

My Old Room – An absurdist comedy involving two men, one young, one old, who are attempting suicide. (2 M, 1W)

We Can Make Our Lives Sublime – The tragicomic ordeal of Dr. Polly Blathers, “Specialist in Human Conflict,” who takes on the modest task of solving all the world’s problems. (3 W, 3 M)

PUBA – A satirical farce about an idealistic young woman who tries to induce a hooker to help the woman save the nation through PUBA (Prostitutes United for a Better America). (2 W)

The Betrayal – The pathetic attempt of Judas to justify his betrayal of Jesus by appealing to major figures in the life of the Galilean. (5 M, 5 W)

The Kansas Character – An interview show with seven famous Kansans from territorial days to the present. (4 W, 4 M)

A Jew in Kansas – The struggle of Jewish August Bondi to continue his allegiance to abolitionist John Brown despite Brown’s terrorist role in the “Pottawatomie Massacre.” The play moves back and forth from a contemporary debate on the subject to a dramatization of the historical conflict. (1 W, 2 M)

On Venus Have We Got a Rabbi (from a story by William Tenn) – A science fiction comedy, which takes place in the future during a “Neo-Zionist” Congress on the planet Venus. It is essentially about the “Who is a Jew?” question; in this case, a member of the tribe who much resembles a potato! (2 M, 1 W)

Next Thing to Kinfolks – An interview with Harry Truman and his Jewish haberdashery partner, Eddie Jacobson, conducted by Deborah Winters, “Devil‚s Advocate.” Deborah asks some hard questions about Eddie‚s role in persuading Harry to support and recognize the new State of Israel. (1 M, 1 W)

In Every Generation – A dramatization of the Passover seder where a contemporary family becomes the characters in the Biblical account of the Exodus from Egypt and then returns to the present to finish the seder. (4 M, 4W)

No Other Gods: A Midrash on Moses – A tragicomic dramatization of the exodus in story theatre style with contemporary dialogue. (2 W, 2 M)

The Reed and the Cedar – A satirical drama in story theatre style of a young rabbi‚s transformation from egotism to altruism with the help of the prophet Elijah. (2 M, 2W)

Custody – A bitter custody battle following a divorce results in a drug overdose by the teenage daughter of the couple. (2 M, 2 W)

Full Length

The Planter May Weep – At a Passover celebration with his family, a young man who is dropping out of college to work for the Civil Rights movement tries to save his parents‚ failing marriage, but end up doing just the opposite. (2 W, 2 M)

A Thousand at the Branches – A Jewish doctoral student in English, specializing in Thoreau, retreats from New York City with his wife to a cabin in the Catskill mountains after having failed his (oral) prelims. But his parents, in-laws, and two movers on opposite ends of the political spectrum try to get him to return in a culminating fantasy oral. (5 M, 3 W)

Some Events Connected with the Early History of Arizona – A Civil War veteran attempts to create one of the first (Apache) Indian reservations outside of Tucson, Arizona; but is accused of encouraging his charges to make raids on the city. The Apache Indians are massacred by Mexicans and Papago Indians, led by Americans; and the veteran is driven from Arizona. (1 W, 7 M, dance chorus of Indian men and women)

Earp! (music by Mark Ollington, lyrics by Norman J. Fedder) – A tragicomic musical play about Wyatt Earp as he actually was: a liar, thief, adulterer, and murderer; and about the women who sustained him, the true heroes of the saga. (12 M, 6 W)

Monks (story by Michael McCarthy, music by Mark Ollington, lyrics by Norman J. Fedder) – A musical comedy about a woman-fearing young man who wants to become a monk and a male-bashing young woman who leads a Women’s Lib group. They become a couple despite themselves, with a little help from a bungling devil and an oddball saint. (7 W, 14 M)

The Buck Stops Here! (music and lyrics by Richard Lippman) – A musical play about the life of Harry S Truman from childhood through his final days in the White House. (9 M, 9 W)

Abraham! Abraham! (music and lyrics by Richard Lippman) – A musical play about the Biblical figure based on the Torah and Midrash, but with contemporary language, theme, and situation. (5 W, 4 M)

A Light to the Nations – A tragedy of American Jewish life, based on an actual incident: the murder of a prominent Midwestern rabbi, on the bima of his synagogue, by one of his students, who then killed himself. (3 W, 3 M)

Never Let ‘Em Catch You At It: An Evening with Milburn Stone – A one person drama about the Kansas actor who played Doc on the TV show, Gunsmoke. (1 M)

Inbar (from the novel, From the Nile to the Jordan by Ada Aharoni) – A young woman tries to find meaning and hope in her life as she suffers the expulsion of her 2,500 year old Jewish community from Egypt, following the creation of the state of Israel. (6 M, 6 W)

Out of the Depths (based on the life of prominent American rabbi, Stephen Wise) – Rabbi Robert Fine struggles to convince the U. S. to rescue the victims of Hitler‚s genocide and induce the British to open up Palestine to Jewish immigration. Despite all his efforts, Wise is disparaged for not doing enough and ousted from the Zionist leadership. Nonetheless, he plays a significant role in the birth of Israel. (8 M, 2 W) (With doubling, can be played with 6M, 2W)

Awakening (story and songs by Kathy Amsden) – A musical play about a woman’s recovery from life-long trauma, resulting from sexual abuse in childhood, through song writing and performance. (4W, 4M)

Jacob and the Angel – Two docents, in an art museum, present the life and work of the American British artist, Sir Jacob Epstein – one of the world’s greatest sculptors and, arguably, the most controversial. As the docents present, the play flashes back to various scenes from Epstein’s life from young adulthood to old age in New York City, Paris, and London – with accompanying projections of his major work. The docents, a man and a woman, take on the roles of the various minor characters. (3W, 2M)


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