In 1915, he was finally admitted to the law school
at Petersburg University, where he graduated in 1918
and began to prepare himself to embark on a law
career. However, his love for the theatre was
strong, and when by chance he came across a notice
by Granovsky who was looking for young actors and
actresses to establish a Jewish actors studio, he
immediately applied and was admitted. On 29 January
1919 he made his debut in Petrograd in "The Blind"
by M. Meterlink and "The Sin" by Sholem Asch.
On 31 June 1919 M. played Yehonadav in the play,
also produced by the studio, "Amnon and Tamar" by
Sholem Asch, and the symbolic character Nechten in
his own one-act play "The Builder." On 3 July 1919
the same studio performed "Uriel Acosta," with M. in
the title role.
M. remained with the studio. In time the studio
became a professional theatre, with its home-base in
Moscow. Here, on 1 January 1921, M. played Menachem
Mendel in Sholem Aleichem's "The Agents" and Alter
in Sholem Aleichem's "Mazel Tov." On 13 March 1921
he played Zeide in A. Weiter's "Fartog" [At Dawn]
and on 6 June 1921 – Yekl Shapshowitz in "The God of
Revenge" by Sholem Asch.
On 9 April 1922 he appeared as Uriel Acosta, under
the "new concept" direction of Al. Granovsky, and on
2 December he played Hotzmakh in Goldfaden's "The
On 28 June 1923 he played Shimele Soroker in Sholem
Aleichem's "200,000" and on 7 February 1925 – the
entertainer in "At Night in the Old Market" by Y. L.
On 17 January 1926 he was the "Yetzer Hara"
[temptation] in Goldfaden's "You Shall Not Covet"
and on 8 June he played Sheindl in Wiewiorka's "137
On 9 January 1929 he played the key role in the play
"Le Trohuadec" by Jules Romains, on 20 April 1927 he
created the role of "Benjamin" in "The Travels of
Benjamin the Third" by Mendele Moykher Sforim, and
on 7 November 1927 he played the main role in "The
Revolt" by Reznik.
On 12 March 1928 he played Menachem Mendel in "Luftmenschen"
[People of the Air] (Sholem Aleichem-Dobrushin).
After that he went with his company on a tour of
Europe, and upon his return 11 October he acted
in "The Court of Justice is Coming" by Y. Dobrushin.
On 5 January 1930 he went on stage in Bergelson's
"The Deaf One."
February 1931 he produced, together with S. E.
Radlov, "Not to Worry" by Peretz Markish. He also
acted in the play. on 7 November 1931 that he produced,
also together with S. E. Radlov, Daniel's "Four Days."
M. arranged the text for the stage and acted as
March 1932 he produced and acted in the play "Spetz"
by Dobrushin and Nussinov. He also participated in
all tours of the company in the cities and towns of
the Soviet Union.
In 1926 he received the title "The most accomplished
artist in the country's academic theatres."
He also played Menachem Mendel in the movie
"Yidishe glikn" [Jewish Luck] (based on Sholem
Aleichem), and as the father of Nathan Baker in the
acclaimed film "Nathan Baker Comes Home" by Peretz Markish.
The Russian publishing house "Kino Petchat"
(Moscow-Leningrad 1927) published a brochure in the
Russian language "Mikhoels" by M. Zagorsky, which
contains biographical data, critical appraisals and
photos of Mikhoels' characters.
M. Zagorsky - "Mikhoels", "Kinopechat", Moscow -
Alexander Granach-Granovsky. To
Mikhoels and Zusskin – Congratulations! "Littblatt,"
Ch. Aronsohn – Mikhoels and the
Granovsky theatre, "Frmorgen," Riga, 25 July 1928.
Nachman Meyzil – Mikhoels, "Littblatt,"
Sh. Shamis – Mikhoels, Menachem
Mendel, "Emes," Moscow, 12, July 1929.
B. Orshansky – "Theatre Battles,"
1931, pp. 94-95,