Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Alexander Granovsky
[Abraham Azarch]


Born in 1890 in Moscow, Russia. Several days after his birth, his family was sent away, due to their divorce, and she carried him across to Riga (Lettland, then Latvia), where G. zapt one in the German and in general Western European culture. After finishing in Munich (Bayern), the art academy, G. studied in Peterburg and traveled back abroad to study.

After the October Revolution, G. returned to Russia, and in the beginning of 1918 attempted through several chances productions to proclaim on the stage boards his artistic "ani-mamin". The productions were principally arranged with "amateurs".

In the beginning of 1919 he was appointed to the Yiddish section of the folks-komisariat for educational matters in the Soviet Union in order to open a Yiddish theatre studio. In the studio students were taken in not older than twenty-seven years of age.

After attempting for six months to begin the studio's activity under G.'s direction, on 28 June 1919 in the former Suborin Theatre in Petrograd with a prologue, written by G., Maeterlinck's "Di blinde (The Blind)" and Asch's "Der zindiker (The Sinner)".

On 31 June 1919 there was staged by the studio in the same theatre under G.'s direction Asch's "Amnon and Tamar" and "Um vinter (Around Winter)".


After performing several productions in Vitebsk, the studio, broke from its public performances after one-and-a-half years, on 20 November 1920 it, as a troupe, traveled over to Moscow, where it began to perform under the name "Yiddish Camera Theatre" or "Moscow Yiddish State Theatre" [Mi"mt] with G. as the art director.

Since then the troupe has staged under G.'s direction: Sholem Aleichem's one-acter "Agentn (Agents)", "Der farshterter pesakh (The Ruined Passover)" (monologue) and "Mazel Tov (Congratulations/Good Luck)", Veyter's "Fartog", Asch's "Got fun nekome (God of Vengeance)", Sholem Aleichem's "S'align (A Lie)", Gutzkov's "Uriel Acosta", Goldfaden's "Di kishufmakherin (The Sorceress)", Sholem Aleichem's "200,000" ("The Big Winners"), "Carnival of Yiddish Comedians", Sholem Aleichem's "Der get (The Divorce)", "Drey pintlekh" (by G., and published abroad), Peretz's "Beynakht ofyn altn mark (Night at the Old Marketplace)" (adapted by G., printed in "Ney-Erd", Moscow, 1925, 1), Goldfaden's "Dos tsente gebot (The Fifth Commandment)", Vevyorke's "137 Kinder-hoyzer (137 Children's Homes)", Jule Romen's "Trudadek", Mendele Mokher Sefarim's "The Wanderings of Benjamin III", Lipe Reznik's "Oyfshtand (Uprising)" and Sholem Aleichem's "Menakhem mendl".

G. also had with the members of "Mim"t" directed the film "Yidishe glik (Jewish Happiness)", according to Sholem Aleichem's "Menakhem Mendl".

G. had with the troupe made several tours across the Soviet Union, and in 1928-29 visited Western Europe, where he is temporarily associated.

M E.

  • M. Litvakov -- "Finf yor mlukhisher idisher kamer-teater", Moscow, 1924.

  • Mendel Elkin -- Meyn letste bagegnish mit bel-mkhshbus, "Tealit", N. Y., February 1924.

  • N. Rost -- Granovsky, "Vilner tog", 2 October 1926.

  • A. Gurshtein -- Fun goldfaden biz granovsky, "Literarishe bleter" 96.

  • Y. Dobrushin -- Goldfadn un granovsky, "Der hamer", N. Y., December 1926.

  • Der sovietisher teater in "teatr-bukh", Kiev, 1927.

  • Mark Chagall -- Meyn arbet in moskver yidishn kamer-teater, "Yidishe velt", 2, 1928.

  • Nachman Mayzel -- Granovskym Mikhoels and Zuskin -- a yisar koakh oykh!, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, 20, 1928.

  • "Das Moskauer Judische Theater," Berlin 1928. [see history of the Yiddish State Theatre in Moscow.]

  • Herman Svet -- Meyerkhold un granovsky, "Literarishe bleter", 19, 1030.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 516.

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