Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


"Baveglekher (Mobile)
Yiddish Dramatic Theatre"

"The Baveglekher (Mobile) Dramatic Theatre" was founded in 1921 by Jonas Turkow and Dina Blumenfeld.

Jonas Turkow writes:

"In the year 1921, when I had acted in Danzig with the 'Baveglekhe Yiddish Dramatic Theatre', a telegram arrived from Bernard Hart, [saying] that he wanted another entire troupe organized for Galicia. The troupe of the 'Baveglekhe Yiddish Dramatic Theatre' consisted of only young actors who were put together for the purpose of playing a better repertoire. They staged the following plays:

  • 'Puste kretshme (The Idle Inn)'

  • 'A farvorfener vinkl (A Faraway Corner)'

  • 'Di neveyle (The Carcass)' (All of the three by Hirshbein)

  • 'Der dorfs-yung' by Leon Kobrin

  • 'Got fun nekome (God of Vengeance)' by Sholem Asch

  • 'Tsezeyt un tseshpreyt (Scattered Far and Wide)'' by Sholem Aleichem

  • 'Tsulib glik' by S. Pshibishevski

  • 'Ganovim (Thieves)' by F. Bimko

  • 'Di yuden (The Jews)' by Chirikov

The troupe was made up of the following actors: Marco Milner, Tsesie Sarno (Hirshfeld) -- quite a talented young actress, Sholom Tsikornik, Hadassah Helfgot, Hanke Floum, Sh. Levental, Alex Berman, Diner, Sheftel, Dzhivotsh, Hirsh Glovinsky, the author of these lines, and Chaim Frankel -- as business manager.

The 'Baveglekhe Dramatic Theatre', due to both the serious attitude of its members and the selection of the repertoire, had a great success in every city and town where it had just performed. The troupe had a serious material failure in Danzig, where then there was more of a smaller Jewish immigration, the German Jews themselves with contempt bore witness to everything that tasted of Yiddish. We simply didn't have the draw from that town. Regarding the proposal that came from Hart, it was literally a deliverance for the troupe.

The 'Bavegelekhe Theatre', under the new direction of Ber Hart, began to perform further in Kolomea (by the Romanian border). From the beginning, business was very bad, it never existed properly. When business however had a streak of bad luck, the "peace at home" was destroyed. Afterwards we had visited a series of cities, including Przemyśl, Yaroslav, Reishe, Tarnow, where it ended in a concert with Hart, and we all [then] decided to return home. The troupe disbanded. Hart had hired a pair of actors for our troupe and decided to perform Anski's 'Dybbuk' in Tarnow, which until then had never been performed in Tarnow."

And about another opportunity, Jonas Turkow writes:

"In the troupe then there were: Tsesha Sarno, Hadassah Helfgot, Miriam Weiter, Hanka Floum, Sholom Tsikornik-Davidow, M. Milner, Ziner, Levental, Alex Berman, Sheftel and Chaiml Frankel - the business manager. We performed a reduced repertoire: plays from Sholem Aleichem, Sholem Asch, H. D. Nomberg, Peretz Hirshbein, Osip Dymov, Leon Kobrin, Fishl Bimko, A. Weiter, S. Pshibishevski, Sh. Anski, Chirikov et al.

Our tour had begin in Danzig. ...Our performance in Danzig hadn't had the expected material success. The local German Jews, who in the later years under the Nazi government alone were brought down, maintained a Yiddish theatre for Yiddish, [though it] had still not manifested the necessary interest for Yiddish theatre productions. No large Eastern European Jewish immigrants, even in that time were in Danzig, and so there simply was not [a population] you could count on. When we then performed in the large 'Kaiser Wilhelm' Theatre Hall for the leydike benk.... we weren't able to depart from there, because we simply could not meet our expenses. Sarno received money in the mail from her husband. However, it was not used for the entire troupe. There I had to truly remember the Yiddish writer Dr. L. Zhitnitzky, who had then lived in Danzig and worked for the local magistrate, who had given to our membersand helped us once in a time of trouble.

From Danzig -- on the way to Eastern Galicia -- we performed in Vlotslavek, Ripin, Dobzhin, Kolo, Konski, Kutne, Siedlce, Lukatch, Mezritsh, Biala Podlaska, where our success was extraordinarily great. ...In several small towns, such as Kolo, Ripin, Mezritsh, Biala et al, they constantly applauded our performances."

  • Jonas Turkow -- "Farloshene shtern", Buenos Aires, 1953, Volume II, pp. 34-37, 162-164.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 4993.

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