Schwartz was not only one of the world's foremost Yiddish
actors, he was also the founder and leader of the Yiddish
Art Theatre of New York. Under his leadership, the talented
theater troupe performed in many high quality Yiddish
productions, always striving to maintain Schwartz's high
Schwartz was born in the town of Sedikov (Zhidachov),
Ukraine on June 18, 1890. He immigrated to the United
States in 1902.
A renowned Yiddish actor and director, Schwartz began his
life in the Yiddish theatre by performing with a number
of Yiddish theatrical troupes. Even at this early stage
in his career, he had the desire to introduce Yiddish
versions of popular European plays to the American
audience, many of whom were immigrants like himself.
did not succeed in this venture, Schwartz in 1918 formed
"The Yiddish Art Theatre" in which he produced and
performed in many Yiddish plays for more than three
decades. The Theatre was located in New York City,
though the troupe, over the years, would move their
different locations within the New York metropolitan
than a thirty year period, Schwartz and his acting
troupe performed nearly two-hundred works in Yiddish to
audiences in New York City alone.
Maurice Schwartz has left his mark on the Yiddish
theatre, and those who read about him will discover much
about the man, both personally and professionally. The
Museum of Family History also makes available to you
here the only
biography written about Schwartz, "Once a Kingdom: The
Life of Maurice Schwartz and the Yiddish Art Theatre, "
written by the late Martin Boris.
Yiddish Art Theatre is dedicated to Maurice Schwartz and
all the wonderful Yiddish actors and actresses and
behind-the-scenes personnel that were ever part of a
Yiddish language production. At the YAT, you will see photographs of some of his
productions as well as some of the many who were part of
the Yiddish Art Theatre--not only the acting troupe, but
those behind the scenes as well.