Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Leyb Altshuler


Born on 7 June 1904 in Vilna, Polish Lithuania, into a poor, myu-Chasidic family. Grandfather was a rabbi in Smargon (called "the Broder Gaon"), and the father, Betsalel Moredchai Altshuler -- one of the prominent Vilna kollel activists. Larned in the best cheders and with his aunt -- secular subjects.

In his autobiography he wrote:

"From my early youth I had a desire to nakhtsurikrimen and imitate how to speak well and move. Not once did I used to receive sufficiently... from my parents for practicing "actor-like shtik". I often used to take advantage of the opportunities and created a "theatre" when they used to leave the house. When they used to return and find our happy band on tables and under the tables, on the bed and under the bed, and seeing that the Shabbes holiday doors were farnutst on a curtain, the lokshn board for a stage, coal for gris, and a plate, glass to break, used to dress up as Jews. The valued public used to have to bmkhilh start out from their place and left the hall... The money was paid out, understand, not for me (I have long been farnasht), but for my parents, I had still refused to act in theatre, even though two weeks..."

In 1922 A. arrived in the "First Vilna Yiddish Dramatic Studio", founded by Mrs. Jedwabnik under the leadership and direction of Hungarian Jewish regisseur Bela Daniel, and A. became the

private secretary of the Yiddish literary field (?). Here he participated in the programs staged by the studio, until, under the direction of Avraham Sloodski, the studio took to performing on the professional stage. A. acted then with Avraham Morevsky, and A. remained active there in various Yiddish literary dramatic undertakings.

After being in Vilna, A. there staged on 1 February 1924 in the hall of the tradesmen, "Libe un toyt", a mystery in three scenes by A. Shteynbukh, translated and staged, adapted by A.; on 17 May 1924 in Vilna's commerce hall, his one-acter "Asada", and on 16 April 1925 "Nekamah fun gevisn", a drama in 3 acts by Chaim Bregman.

A also wrote the play "Salomea un hurdus", which was performed in Vilna and other cities.

During his visit in 1928 to Vilna, he printed there his book of songs "Ershte blitn", and in 1931 published his song book "Fun yuni-nekht".

Sh. E. and Sh. E. by Chaim-Leyb Fuks.

  • "Lexicon of the New Yiddish Literature", New York, 1956, Vol. I, pp. 100-101.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 5026.

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