Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Sore Fibich

Born 1893 in Warsaw, Poland, into a Hasidic family, which was supported by an inheritance. In 1906, she witnessed an amateur performance of Hirshbein’s Carcass [directed by] Mark Arnshteyn, in the Elyseum Theatre, and she decided to try her luck on the stage. She became involved in the Hazomir dramatic circle and on Chanukah 1909, she appeared on stage for the first time with great success, reciting declamations from Peretz and Frug, and Y.L. Peretz, who attended the performance, advised her to participate in the Peretz drama circle, where she debuted in People, followed by Soon Forgotten, Intelligent, and the Warsaw Yiddish press praised her highly.

The actor Rudolf Zaslavski, who was the head of the Muranow Theatre (director—A.G. Kompanents) in 1910, complained to a theatre critic, Dr. Mukdoni, that he would like to produce some literary plays, but he lacked the strong dramatic artists he needed to do so. Mukdoni succeeded in luring the amateur Fibich to the troupe. She read from the play People (the Polish noblewoman) for them, but the actors reacted with hostility, interrupting the recital and caused much disruption when she was performing her role, so she left the troupe.

In 1911, a provincial dramatic-operetta troupe was organized. F. traveled with this troupe and debuted in the role of Sheyndele in Mirele Efros. When the finances of the troupe went bad, she left it in Borisov, where she met a director from her hometown who took her with him to Polotsk, but she was not happy with his repertoire, so she went to Lodz, where she joined the troupe of 


Itsik Zandberg (1912) and debuted there as the leading lady in I.L. Boymvol’s operetta Dr. Zeyfnbloz. F. performed there for two seasons and until the outbreak of the First World War (1914) when she departed for Pinsk. In 1915, she participated in [appeals?] in Odessa. In 1917, she retreated, together with the troupe, to Baku and with Theatre Verita, (Veysblat), Zhelazo and Nozhik, they founded a professional Yiddish artistic union.

F. moved over to a cooperative troupe in Ekatarinoslav with Libert and Zaslavski as directors. In 1918, she departed for Kiev and performed there in the Operetta-Troupe with Pepi Litman in the greatest performances of the dramatic repertoire. From there, she went to the Kharkov “Our Corner” as the lead actress, and in 1920 she went with the theatre to Vitebsk, and after to Minsk. When the troupe fell apart in autumn 1921, she went to Moscow, where she tried out in the miniature Borokhov Club and song-evenings, and when she opened there in 1922, with the help of a patron, a comedy theatre, “Sholem Aleichem,” she performed there as Golde in Sholem Aleichem’s Tevye the Dairyman. The production was not a hit, and after three weeks, the theatre closed. Together with some others, she founded a theatre-studio with the name “Sholem Aleichem,” with A. Diki as director, which produced Purim in Kasrilevke according to Sh.E. (where she played two roles, Nechama the Black One and the Mistress of the Breadbox.)

F. was occupied with running the studio from morning to night, standing guard so that no revolt would, God forbid, destroy her one hope, but the studio fell apart because she had no state support, and a private undertaking in such circumstances could not exist.

F. performed solo in the Polytechnic Museum with adaptations that she created herself, and afterwards, she traveled around with that repertoire through White Russia. At the end of 1924, she was asked by the Kiev Commission, “Children’s Aid,” to give some miniature-evenings, which were extraordinarily successful. Thanks to that, she received an invitation from the Kiev (cultural program?) union to organize a theatre according to the model of her evenings. This theatre, which was named “Vezker,” under the direction of Strikovski, began productions in January 1925 in the Kiev club “Kompon,” and then traveled around the province, dissolving after six months due to lack of repertoire. F. traveled further around White Russia as a singer of art songs, and then to the bigger cities in Russia.

Dr. A. Mukdoni writes:

“There, in Lodz, (1912) plays were produced that we raised by hand, that is to say, in the dramatic section of the (Warsaw) Hazomir and that was Ms. Fibich. She was young and elegant and gave us, as they say, good hope. According to my notes that I took concerning her, she became a very popular Jewish actress of the better type. She is in Russia.”

Sh. Shneyfal writes:

“In Kiev, there was (1924) a mobile theatre of humor and satire (literary director—Sh. Sneyfal) where a leading actress was the recently deceased, highly talented artist, Sore Fibich.”

In her diary, In Fire and in Flames, the actress Shoshana writes (November 30, 1939):

“Today, the actress Sore Fibich arrived (in Bialystok) from Russia with a Russian troupe. Formerly, she performed in Warsaw. Our actors know her. I have only heard of her. She brought us many greetings from friends, and we celebrated with her.”

The theatre-lover Yehoshua Feyl writes:

"In the last fifteen years she performed as a singer in concerts of Yiddish song, she had great success, but then she died too soon, in 1947.”

F. translated Hamlet by Shakespeare, Johanna’s Fire by Zunderman, the operetta Boccaccio, Madame X, Autumn Fields, and Wings.

She died in 1947.

Sh.E. from Dr. Mukdoni, Sh. Sneyfal, Shoshana, Yehoshua Feyl.







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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 7, page 6184.

Translation courtesy of Beth Dwoskin.

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