Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Yitzhak Brestovitsky


Born on 19 January 1886 in Kremenchug, Ukraine, to merchant parents. Learned in a cheder then in a city school. At the age of ten, his father died, and he became a choir boy with a cantor in the large synagogue.

At the age of twelve he fled from home to Odessa, and he also sang there in a synagogue with Cantor Sheinberg.

At the age of sixteen he went away to Smolensk and joined a Russian troupe as a stage director. After two years he was, due to living rights (voyn-rekht), sent back to his town of birth and here he happened upon the troupe of David Sabsey, where he was taken in as a butafor. In 1904 he received his first role as "Katerinshtshik" in the troupe, in Goldfaden's "Bobe yakhne".

After a pogrom in 1905, the troupe cast off to Austria, where the actors suffered in great need, B. returned to Russia. He migrated then over to various troupes as an actor until in 1907, when he arrived in Warsaw in the troupe of Kompaneyets-Rappel as an assistant regisseur and actor. From there he joined Zandberg's troupe in Lodz, and in 1910 he was engaged to Rappel and Epelberg's troupe in Warsaw, later he acted in various Yiddish troupes in Russia, in 1920-1 he managed across Russia with Yiddish folk concerts. In 1922 he became manager of Zaslavsky's troupe, at the end of 1925 he came to Argentina, where he acted in a local theatre, and from there he went in mid-1926 to America

of the actors Zaslavsky and Epbelbaum.

In wartime, when in Russia it was forbidden to perform in Yiddish theatre, B. staged Yiddish dramas and operettas in Russian.

Since 1928 he has directed under the name Brest with a Yiddish theatre in Buenos Aires, from where he engages from time to time American Yiddish guest-stars.

B. was a member in the Argentinean Publishing Committee of the "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre".

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 250.

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