L. was born in 1889 in
Tukkum, Latvia. He learned in a cheder, then with his
uncle, the Tukkum rabbi, and completed a six-class
progymnasium. Seeing several Yiddish productions in
Tukkum, he developed a strong desire for the stage and
his success came with the Sam Adler-Spivakovski troupe
in Riga. After several attempts with "amateur" circles
in Vilna, he entered into Bergstein's troupe as a
prompter and soon switched over to acting roles. In 1908
he acted with Sabsey in Riga, then he went away to
Vilna, then he studied in a Russian dramatic school and
acted in Russian theatre.
In 1910 he acted with
Fishzon, then went on a tour with Sharavner across Kovno
Gubernia and joined up with Lipovski in Bobruisk, 1913
-- he acted with Lipovski in Vilna and was the first to
act as "Tudrus" in Peretz Hirsbein's "A farvorfener
vinkl" under the direction of the author. In the summer
of the same year L. acted with Julius Adler-Lipovski in
Lodz's Circus, and he participated in the first "Hamlet"
production on the Yiddish stage in Europe.
In 1915 he toured with
various Yiddish troupes across Russia, during the ban on
acting in Yiddish, he joined the troupes, which
performed Yiddish repertoire translated into Russian. In
1916 he acted and directed in Baku, Astrakhan, Nizhniy
Novgorod and Samara.
In 1917 he was in Oriol,
1918 -- in Homel, 1919 -- in Poltava in the dramatic
troupe of "Narobraz" ([folksbildung]).