Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Naftali Buchwald


B. was born on 14 April 1890 in Laybun, Volin, into a family of an oil manufacturer. Until the age of ten he learned in a cheder and in a Hebrew school, then in a [kroynisher] folkshul, became an extern, worked in a pharmacy, became a teacher in Kalisz, and from there went to Paris. In 1910 he came to America, where he studied in a university in Georgia, and in the politechnium of Brooklyn. In 1918 he completed the University of the City of New York, while at the same time working for three years as a dyer, became employed as a docent in the chemistry department of New York's college, but instead dedicated himself to journalism, in the beginning in English, then in Yiddish, being associated for a long time with the "Forward" newspaper.

B. often wrote for the "Freyheyt" articles and critiques about the Yiddish theatre, and he had for a certain time also edited the theatre department in the local newspaper. According to B.'s initiative, he founded the "Freyheyt Dramatic Studio" (later "Artef"), which had in 1927 staged B.'s [fensters] "Streyk", a manshpil in two parts, decorations and costumes Fass, music Y. Shaefer, dance Sofia Bernzon. In 1928 B.'s "Meyners", a [tablas=tablet] by the American coal miner, decorations Y. Kotler.

In the summer of 1928 through amateur groups, directed by Jacob Mestel, there was staged in [kemp] "Nit-gedeyget" B.'s "Der traktor", a dramatization of Peretz Markish's poems "Nit gedaght",


"A meyner-shpil", the life and struggles of the coal miner in America, "Lebedike bilder fun politishn un sotsialn lebn in amerikye".

On 12 January 1929 in the Manhattan Opera House there was staged B.'s "East Broadway, Chrystie Street and Union Square", decorations by Y. Kotler and Z. Maud.

B. is a member in the [kunst-rat=art council] of the Freyheyt Dramatic Studio, and there he learned the theory of the theatre.

M. E. from Jacob Mestel.

Zalmen Reyzen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature", Vol. I, pp. 240-1.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 151.

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