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Eleanor J. Bader

Yes She Can

FOREST_DYAN-HIGH-RESWatch for “A Broad Abroad,” the one-woman show by bawdy, 81-year-old actor-singer-comedian D’yan Forest. It debuted in February in New York City and comes to the Orlando Fringe Festival in May and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. Forest, née Diana Shulman, still smarts from the anti-Semitism and sexism she has faced during her career:

“One agent told me that I couldn’t be a singer if I looked Jewish, so I had a nose job. Another told me that I couldn’t perform if I had a Jewish name, so I became D’yan Forest, and still another told me that I couldn’t be a comedian because I wasn’t ugly. He said that only ugly women became comics. I wish I’d been born 50 years later. There were so many limitations on young girls when I was growing up. I hated being told, ‘no, girls don’t do that.’ I hated having to wait for boys to call me. Then, when I was a teenager, in 1950 or 1951, I asked my parents for a guitar. They got me a ukulele instead because they thought that guitars were only for boys.”


Eleanor J. Bader, from The Lilith Blog, March 9, 2016.