Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Itzhak Arco


A. was born in 1889 in Ivye, Vilna Gubernia, Polish Lithuania. His father was a lumber merchant, who took him over to Yekaterinoslav, where A. became educated. There he completed his education at home.

At the age of ten he became a choir boy for Cantor Kartonski, and a year later he traveled on his own as a cantor, and in 1901 he became a chorus singer in Fiszon and Spivakovski's troupe in Kremenchug. His first role was as "Di heyse bobkelekh" in "Koldunye." At age sixteen he began to act in dramatic roles, and at age nineteen and possessing a tenor voice, he became the "lover" in Fiszon's troupe.

In 1909 he married Fiszon's adopted daughter, and two years later he became a partner in its management. For ten years he was the head of the management, while at the same time also being an actor.

In 1916, due to the mobilization, he fled to Harbin with Lebedeff, Iris, Kushtshinsky and wife and there put together a troupe with them and Peretz Sandler, Nadya Neroslavska, Shumsky and wife, whom he had found there.  For three years he acted in Harbin, and during Koltshak's mobilization he fled to China, where he acted for two years in Yiddish theatre. From there he went away to Canada, where he acted for two years, then he organized a cooperative troupe for the province of the United States, until he


was engaged by Elias Glickman in Chicago. For two seasons he acted in Detroit for Abraham Littman, then a season in Baltimore.

In 1927-8 A. acted again in Detroit, and in 1928-9 he was in Montreal. In 1929-30 he was at Brooklyn's Hopkinson's Theatre.

For a short time A. acted in Russia on the Russian stage, and he participated in the local motion picture "Got fun nekome (God of Vengeance)" (as "Yankel Shapshovitsh") and "Khasye di yesoyme (Chasia the Orphan)" (as "."Vladimir)

Sh. E.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 103.

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