for the founding of a stable
Yiddish theatre, helping put together troupes and
arrange the first productions of Yiddish Theatre.
When in Iasi there was
organized (in 1878) a troupe in Pomul Verde, under the
name of Joseph Lateiner, L. dramatized Izik Meir Dik's
story "Di tsvey kleine katerintshikes", as a play in
four acts under the name of "Di derfilte libe", which
was staged there.
Due to the Russian-Turkish
War a newspaper began to be published, from which L.
became the main agent. He threw the names -- and -- on
the stage of Goldfaden -- he became for him manager of
the troupe. Soon after he became a peddler in Bucharest,
and then he again joined Goldfaden and arranged one of
the first Yiddish theatre productions in Odessa.
During the first ban on
Yiddish theatre in Russia, L. directed with Goldfaden's
troupe in Romania, then he again managed with the troupe
in Russia. After an unsuccessful attempt to manage with
Naftali Goldfaden, L. put together (with Lateiner,
Mogulesko and Spivakovski) a troupe for Odessa, but he
soon went back., founding again a troupe of Goldfaden's
former actors from Romania.
In 1879 L. issued in Odessa
Goldfaden's play "Di bobe mit'n eynikel, in three acts
with singing", and (together with E. M. Werbel)
Through the printed texts,
there was facilitated the founding of new troupes, which
earlier was difficult due to a lack of repertoire.
In 1880 L. went on tour with
a troupe to Galicia, and for the first time Yiddish
theatre was performed in Lemberg. Remaining with the
repertoire, L. went to Odessa, in order to from there
bring new plays, returning with prompter Leon Berger to
Galicia, and they founded in Bordy a new troupe (with
Broder Singer Chaim-Shmuel Lukatsher at the head), with
whom L. studied one Goldfaden's "Di shtume kale".
The troupe under the name
"Romanian-Yiddish Theatre under the direction of Izak
Libresko and Leon Berger" staged there their entire
repertory, which consisted of Goldfaden's six plays, and
then again they had to wander.
At the end of December 1880
L. arrived in Berlin and soon there brought the troupe,
which began to perform in a variety on Aleksander Platz,
under the name "German-Yiddish Theatre"., but during the
first production of Goldfaden's "Recruits", a scandal
broke out (by German anti-Semites), and the production
was not completed.
Thereby L.'s completed
mitvirkung in Yiddish theatre. L. later wandered
around across Europe, ghettos, various trades, and took
up with various businesses, until in 1901 when he
arrived in New York and also here remained to expand
Avraham Goldfaden mentioned
very often in his autobiography of L.'s service as his
assistant and secretary.
In November 1926 L. told
Zalmen Zylbercweig in his memoirs of the Yiddish
theatre, which Zylbercweig wrote up and published in his
book "Hinter forhang" (Vilna, 1928), under the name "The
Memoirs of Yitzhak Libresko, the Initiator of
Goldfaden's Theatre"" (117 pp.).
In his introduction to the
memoirs Zalmen Zylbercweig writes:
"..As was entirely often
with the old people, he remembered this is with the
smallest details ever, which he recounts, and on how
much I have compared some things in later conversations
with older actors and with the well-known operetta
writer Joseph Lateiner, who also lived in that epoch,
matched exactly, so that I knew with a quiet conscience
that Libresko's memoirs were true history, as to how
much were subjective memories, although it can generally
be considered as subjective (?) -- and later -- "...the
number of times that he had attended the Yiddish theatre
within the span of twenty-five years was three times.
The entire new generation of Yiddish actors knew him...more
Dr. A. Mukdoni writes about
"The first time....
more to translate..."
L. also wrote his
autobiography, which he left to his son, the writer Dr.
On 11 June 1930, L. passed
away in New York, and, according to his wish, was
B. Gorin -- "History
of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. I, pp. 203, 208, 209, 221,
Y., 1926, p. 80.
Zalmen Zylbercweig --
"Hinter forhang", Vilna, 1928 (the memoirs of
Yitzhak Libresko, the initiator of Goldfaden's
theatre), pp. 1-117.
Zalmen Zylbercweig --
Ufelikeytn beym yidishn teater, vos zenen gevorn
vikhtike faktorn "Arbeter-tsaytung", Czernowitz, 19
Jacob Botoshansky --
Tsvishn bikher un mkhbrim, "Prese", Buenos Aires, 13
Dr. A. Mukdoni -- A
bintel bikher, "Morning Journal", 13 October 1929.
Elkhanan Zeitlin --
Interesante goldfaden-un gordin-meterialn, "Literarishe
bleter", Warsaw, 41, 1929.
A. Almi --
Teater-zikhrunus un anekdotn "Fraye arbayter shtime",
N. Y., 17 March 1930.
M. Osherowitz --
Geshtorbn yitzhak libresko, einer fun di ershte
grinder fun dem idishen teater, "Forward", N. Y., 13
N. B. Linder -- Bay
dem ofenem kbr fun yitzhak libresko, dem faktishen
grinder fun idishen teater, "Tog", N. Y., 13 June
[--] -- Yitzhak
libresko, pioner fun idishen theater, geshtorben,
"Morning Journal", N. Y., 13 June 1930.
Zalmen Zylbercweig --
Der letster fun an epokhe, "Literarishe bleter",
Warsaw, 32, 1930, "Fraye arbayter shtime", N. Y., 8