Lisa Grunberger

Lisa Grunberger

Lisa Grunberger is the author of two books – Yiddish Yoga: Ruthie’s Adventures in Love, Loss and the Lotus Position (Harper Collins) and a poetry book, Born Knowing (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have been translated into Hebrew, Slovenian, Russian, Polish, and Yiddish.

She is an Associate Professor in English at Temple University. She is currently working with David Winitsky founding...
Lisa Grunberger is the author of two books – Yiddish Yoga: Ruthie’s Adventures in Love, Loss and the Lotus Position (Harper Collins) and a poetry book, Born Knowing (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have been translated into Hebrew, Slovenian, Russian, Polish, and Yiddish.

She is an Associate Professor in English at Temple University. She is currently working with David Winitsky founding director of The Jewish Plays Project to adapt her book Yiddish Yoga for the stage to be titled Yiddish Yoga: The Musical. Her play Almost Pregnant, about infertility, motherhood, IVF, egg donor, and Jewish identity, was in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival in 2018. Infertility affects one in seven people the play addresses the longing for a child in the face of infertility in a poignant, funny, satirical way with two live puppets, Lucky and Estrogen, cast as the main character's alter ego and chorus. She is currently working on a play about Jewish refugees, adoption and dybbuks.

Lisa is the Arts and Culture Editor at the Philadelphia Jewish Voice and lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

Plays

  • Evidence, Or Moon Immigrants
    A sparse set, suggestive of a moon-scape, finds a family transported to a new place. Are they adventurers, refugees, immigrants? Everything is slightly off-kilter as the world as they knew it yesterday has been radically disrupted. The Father shares a newly discovered memory; the daughter reveals a secret; the mother has undergone an ineffable transformation as she attempts, with difficulty, to comfort her...
    A sparse set, suggestive of a moon-scape, finds a family transported to a new place. Are they adventurers, refugees, immigrants? Everything is slightly off-kilter as the world as they knew it yesterday has been radically disrupted. The Father shares a newly discovered memory; the daughter reveals a secret; the mother has undergone an ineffable transformation as she attempts, with difficulty, to comfort her daughter.

    The Father’s whimsical creation of clocks/time provides a kind of evidence of what? The persistence of imagination, of memory, of creation, in the midst of suffering.

    These characters have been stripped, physically, existentially and they tell stories through each other, passed each other. Then they are shot.
  • Almost Pregnant
    In Almost Pregnant you will meet Becca, a 40 something woman who must creatively adapt to her condition of infertility. Joined by her alter egos, Estrogen and Lucky, two live puppets, who serve as the chorus, wise fools, and comic relief, the play is full of stories, tragic and funny, about motherhood, fate, the transmission of identity, nature vs. nurture and God. Almost Pregnant gives you an unexpurgated...
    In Almost Pregnant you will meet Becca, a 40 something woman who must creatively adapt to her condition of infertility. Joined by her alter egos, Estrogen and Lucky, two live puppets, who serve as the chorus, wise fools, and comic relief, the play is full of stories, tragic and funny, about motherhood, fate, the transmission of identity, nature vs. nurture and God. Almost Pregnant gives you an unexpurgated insider's view of the art and science of, what's been called, "sex without reproduction and reproduction without sex.”

    Becca re‐imagines her identity and how she adapts to her situation in a very Jewish, very human way, through humor, self-reflection, and soul-searching. From the Hebrew Bible to the present, “assisted reproduction” is, in truth, about much more than a technology of biological intervention. Through telling her story, Becca makes Midrash out of her life and, through the act of memory and storytelling itself, she is transformed from a genetic island to a bridge. Becca’s story is accompanied by improvised music performed live by a violinist muse-of-the moment who, so to speak, “pulls the strings.”