B. was born in 1897 in
Dmitriev, Kurland region, Russia.
Her father was a tailor in
In 1913 she completed the
Kursk women's gymnasium and traveled to Kiev to continue
her education in the local university.
Then she went over to Kharkov, where she took an active
part in concerts and spectacles for amateurs in Russia.
A little later she became a professional actress on the
Russian stage and changed her name from Dora to Irena.
In 1920 she immigrated to
Riga, where she had a priori participated in local
Russian dramatic theatre and crossed over to Yiddish in
the Yiddish theatre, early in the Meutis Theatre, then
in the other troupes.
Zalmen Zylbercweig, who saw
her act in Riga, remarked that as a [froyayshn khn]
that she was very well suited for her roles, in which
she had acted, that she also possessed a fine dramatic
talent that certainly was polished through her acting
on the Russian stage. It was evident in her acting an
intelligence, understanding and a conception of the
roles that she had embodied.
According to Max Perlman,
who had acted with her in the 1938-39 season in Riga,
she married there the Russian actor and director Barabanov, who had acted in Russian drama in Riga,