Queer Places:
Neighborhood Playhouse, 340 E 54th St, New York, NY 10022

Alice Lewisohn (1883–1972) was the founder of the Neighborhood Playhouse with her sister Irene Lewisohn. Alice was also an actress.[1]

She was the daughter of Rosalie Jacobs and Leonard Lewisohn.[1][2][3] In 1905 she and her sister, Irene Lewisohn, began classes and club work at the Henry Street Settlement House in New York. They produced performances with both dance and drama. In 1915, they opened the Neighborhood Playhouse on the corner of Grand and Pitt Streets.[4] There they offered training in both dance and drama to children and teenagers. Irene was in charge of the dance training and production, with the assistance of Blanche Talmud. Alice Lewisohn was in charge of the dramatic arts.[5]

In 1924 she married artist, cartoonist and designer Herbert E. Crowley.[6] In 1927 Lewisohn closed the Neighborhood Playhouse after a dozen years of success, including landmark productions such as 1925's The Dybbuk.

She resided in Zurich, Switzerland for many years and was part of the Carl Jung inner circle,[7] along with Crowley.[8] The notion of a hermaphroditic God, drawn from Kabballah, was suggested to Jung by Alice Lewisohn, and commented on by Jung in a dream analysis seminar.[9] Jung urged Alice Lewisohn to flee Europe at the onset of World War II in a letter in which he suggested that suicide would be a better option than for her to be "sent to Poland."[10] After the Second World War, Lewisohn settled in Zurich with her husband.[11] She died in Zurich 1972 as Alice Lewisohn Crowley.[12][13]

Alice Lewisohn in A Sunny Morning (1917), Photograph provided courtesy of The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre

Neighborhood Playhouse, NYC

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