Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Liza Barska-Fisher


Born in 1888 in Odessa, Ukraine.

Her parents were enlightened and well-to-do.

She learned in a gymnasium.

She trained her voice through a Ukrainian singing teacher, and was recommended as a chorus singer to a Ukrainian troupe. Soon thereafter she came to act in Odessa in the Yiddish troupe of Kaminski, where she performed  singing solos with them, and soon she switched over to small roles. Here she was introduced to prompter and assistant director Herman Fisher, with whom she married, and from there she followed the same path to the stage (as he did).

In the span of her stage career, she played in all the old and modern repertoires. She excelled in the character roles of Gordin's plays or in the operettas, where she often, in a little caricaturist way, portrayed various women types.

Jonas Turkow writes:

"Liza Barska Fisher had a beautiful voice for singing and also had a capacity for the stage. She had been, in her beginnings (soon after her arrival to the stage) given roles, and over time she became a useful character actress in the Yiddish theatre. Liza Barska was very much a lively and friendly person.


Collegial, cheerful and always with a smile on her face. All who worked with her had loved her very much."

The Fishers had three children: The eldest -- Luba Fisher, had acted for a certain time in the Yiddish theatre and in Yiddish films. After finishing her studies (she was in the university and in the Polish drama school), she went away to the Polish theatre. She was the wife of the prominent Polish artist Jacek Woszczerowicz.

Fisher's youngest daughter, Anka, had continued to study, and was first in the Warsaw Ghetto. She began to perform on the stage. Fisher's only son, Boris, had some years before the (Second World) War, traveled to America (where he graduated as an engineer and worked with airplanes). "Writing about the acting in Sackler's "Yizkor", Dr. M. Weichert writes especially about the acting of B.:

"But one of them is more. She has this time elevated the performance above the average. Certainly a large part in this is the role itself. However the main part in it was the performer. On the Yiddish stage she is not a new face, Madame Barska-Fisher. She is always acting big, pithy, with a loud mouth. This time she was given a role of a frail, often terrified and blind woman, sparse of movement and most important, of speech. Not once does Madame Fisher fall out of this difficult character, not only when she speaks, but also, and this difficult character, not only when she speaks, but also, and this is much harder, when she is silent. The entire time that she is on stage, her face shines with that inner light with which the blind see all. This is the kind of performance that elevates a mere performer to the plateau of a gifted artist".

   photo: Barska-Fisher in "The Seven Who Were Hanged" by Leonid Andreyev.


When the [Second World] War broke out, the entire family was in Warsaw with the Nazis, and B. passed away from typhus.

  • "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre", New York, 1931, Vol. I, p. 130.

  • Michael Weichert -- "Theatre and Drama", Vilna, 1926, Vol. II, p. 119.

  • Jonas Turkow -- "Farloshene shtern", Buenos Aires, 1953, Vol. I., pp. 122-128.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4212.
You can also read Liza's initial Lexicon biography in volume 1, by clicking here.

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