On the 29th of April 1923
the "Yidishe teater-gezelshaft (Yiddish Theatre
Society)" was founded in New York. The Organization
Committee was headed by Peretz Hirshbein, H. Leivick,
Menachem, M. Elkin, Dr. Y. Kling, Dr. Sh. Faks, M. Ktn
and A. Shein. For the Founders' meeting a committee was
chosen of: David Pinski, Peretz Hirshbein, H. Leivick,
Menachem, M. Elkin, Dr. Y. Kling, Dr. Sh. Faks, M. Ktn,
R. Merlis and Dr. Gdun. The committee had divided into
[two parts], an organizational committee and [also] a cultural committee.
The tasks of the society
were such: to produce an artistic Yiddish theatre,
dramatic studios, a theatre organ, etc. ("Tealit",
November 1923). The society, which in November 1923
already had two hundred and fifty members, had issued
the monthly journal "Tealit" (published five issues from
November 1923 until March 1924).
negotiating with Maurice Schwartz, the society took over
his theatre and engaged him as one of the directors,
with the society founding a theatre studio with M. Elkin
as its manager and Richard Boleslavsky, Lazariev,
Aleksander Koriansky, Prof. Aaron, Sh. Niger, Y. Yaffe,
Dr. Mukdoni, Dr. Y. Shatzky, Leo Liov and M. Elkin as
its instructors. In the studio which existed for three
semesters, more than thirty students learned. On the 3rd
of December 1925, it was known as the "Unzer teater", on
Boston Road and 180th Street in the Bronx, News York, an
intimate theatre for experimentation.
The troupe was composed of:
Chaim Shneyer, Miriam Elias, Esther Mendel, Bella
Bellarina, Vita Lina, Yoalit, Lisa Varon, Jacob Bleifer,
David Vardi, Egon Brecher, A. Pecker, Joseph Greenberg,
Jacob Bergreen, V. Eisenberg and Yitzhak Rotblum (the
last three of the troupe), and afterwards many students
of the studio. The theatre produced an art council of
David Pinski, Peretz Hirshbein, H. Leivick, M. Elkin and
The first play that the
theatre performed was "Tog un nakht (Day and Night)", a
tragedy in three acts, according to the fragment of Sh.
Anski; the first and third act was worked over by David
Pinski, the second act was written by Mendl Elkin (and
published as "Smals mmshlh [Small? Government]" in "Shriftn",
N. Y., 8, 1925-6), Director M. Elkin with the
participation of Egon Brecher and Peretz Hirshbein,
scenery by B. Aronson, music by Lazar Weiner.
The play was performed
The second offering was
David Pinski's "Der letster skh-hkhl (The Final
Balance)", Director Egon Brecher, scenery B. Aaronson
(performed twenty-one times).
The third offering was
Raboy's "Shtekhik drot (The Prickly Wire)", directed by
Peretz Hirshbein, performed eleven times in an intimate
theatre and afterwards in Bremhol (sp) Playhouse, 27th
Street, New York.
After a deficit of about ten
thousand dollars, the theatre closed in the summer of
1926, and at the same time thereby the activity of the
"Yiddish Theatre Society" was also halted.
-- Sh. E. from
November-December, 1923; January and February 1924.
Dr. A. Mukdoni -- Es vet
zeyn unzer teater gevisn, "Literarishe bleter", 48, 1925.