Harley Erdman is a translator, theater historian, playwright, and dramaturg with specialties in Jewish-American theater and Spanish and Latin American theater. He has published numerous articles on the history of Jewish representation on the American stage, as well as the book Staging the Jew. His article on the Yiddish play God of Vengeance won the Kahn Award for Outstanding Essay from the American Society for Theater Research.
His commissioned work as a translator of contemporary Latin American theater includes work from Mexico, Nicaragua, and Chile. On the more classical side, his translations of Tirso de Molina’s Jealous of Herself and Marta the Divine were recently published in companion volumes by Aris & Phillips. With Susan Paun de García, he is co-editing an anthology of essays on stage adaptation, to appear in 2014. He is currently working on a collection of translations of plays by 17th-century Spanish women. He is a winner of the Association for Hispanic Classic Theater's Translation Prize.
Recent dramatic writing projects focus on rebels and outsiders in local history. These include the opera librettos The Captivation of Eunice Williams (with composer Paul Kimper) and The Garden of Martyrs (with composer Eric Sawyer), as well as the screwball comedy Nobody’s Girl, to debut at the Northampton Academy of Music in October of 2014.
Projects in and around the UMass Department of Theater include Marta the Divine, with director and colleague Gina Kaufmann; Life is a Dream and Suitors, with director Kara-Lynn Vaeni; and Archipelago of Delight, a puppet-theater piece with colleague Miguel Romero.
Erdman has served as Editor of the journal Theatre Topics, and received the Outstanding Teacher Award from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. He chaired the UMass Department of Theater, 2002-2007.