Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Leib Drucker

Leib Drucker was born on 23 September 1902 in Czernowitz, Bukovina. His father was a tailor. He studied in the Israelite-German School and in the Czernowitz Real School.

During the First World War he studied in Czechoslovakia (Prague, Arnoy? and Troytenin?), but he did not finish his studies due to a lack of funds. Before the end of the war he returned home, joined the Socialist Party and started to travel around Rumania, working at all kinds of hard work. On his own he learned to read, write and speak the Yiddish language.

He started in a small Yiddish theatre in a hall in Iasi, on the Red Bridge (street in Jewish Quarter, ed.). He was arrested one year because of his political views. After he was set free he started to write in the "Czernowitzer bleter", "Oyfgang" (Marmaros-Sziget), and other periodicals in different places within  greater Rumania.

Julian Schwarz informs us that in 1926 in the "Kultura" Hall in Iasi, he and his friend performed the two main characters in the play "Brider" (Brothers).

On 4 July 1928 he was in Iasi in the "Pomul Verde" (Rumanian for "The Green Tree") which was represented by Adolf Tefner Drucker's dramatic play "Der lezter dor" ("The Last Generation"), a play in three acts.

Drucker became a leader of the dramatic section performances, and on 6 October 1929, in Iasi in the "Kultura" Hall was performed by the independent dramatic circle "Yung yidish" ("Yiddish Youth") , his "Fun mentshn bis shigun" ("About People and Obsession"), a dramatic play with eight "images," a work of Ivangoe's biography.

Here H. was involved as a prompter in the Yiddish theatre, and he wrote the operetta "Dem arendors tokhter" ("The Landlord's Daughter") (with music of Sh. Prizament), which was performed on 3 April 1930 in the Czernowitz State Theatre. It had a great success in Rumania and later was performed in Warsaw as "Die ungarishe kreitsheme" ("The Hungarian Bar [Saloon]"). Later the operetta was performed as "Shrhle"? (music of I. Zon-Poliakov).

On 26 August 1932 there was staged by Sh. Prizament and Gizi Heiden in Czernowitz Drucker's three-act operetta "Leikes mazel" ("Leike's Luck") (Music by Sh. Prizament) that later would be presented as "A lid fun libe" ("A Song of Love").

On 3 August 1934 with Dina König, Adolf Tefner and Zalmen Kroyn?, Drucker's "Dem shnaiders bat Iechide" ("The Tailor's Only Daughter"), a musical comedy in two acts (Music by Oigen Yoshe Singer), was performed.

D. also wrote the songs for the musical comedy "Reizel makht cariere" ("Reizel Makes a Career ") called "Orem vi a kirchenmois" ("Poor Like Church Mouse").

In 1934, in an issue of the "Czernowitzer bleter" there appeared: Leib Drucker. Twenty-seven songs (page 48) in the "Lexicon of the New Yiddish Literature", in which it is said about the songs: "His songs, mostly of the English lyric, sometime show a rebellious note."

D. also wrote articles in "reviews" for Yiddish theatre in the Yiddish press in Rumania and also in the Rumanian language, the journal "Aventul".

D. also wrote a book "Fun soflior kasten".

Julian Schwarz writes about it:

-"The author used the poetic style from "Jungle Theatre", if it allowed him to characterize the once-wandering Yiddish province theatre. Often he touches on such hearty theater items as "starrism", willing "impressions" or "directoren", the situation of the Yiddish actors, theatre-repertoire, the theater saloons, work and play facilities, and other related things.

The aim may have been a good one, but the author Leib Drucker has used his will to serve the truths and showed him a way to a better literary theatre.

This is why he starts with the simple, rude and ignorant person, the ignorance of the actors and audience, but with a sense of subjectivity. Even quarrels and bitterness are involved."






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4162-3.

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