Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Itzhak Laks


L. was born on 2 October 1888 in Lipno, Plotz Gubernia, Poland, to Chasidic parents. He learned Gemorah and received a secular education, then he studied painting. In 1903, due to his involvement in the revolutionary movement, he left his studies and for several years made his way across Western Europe. In 1911 he debuted with skits and dramatic scenes in the New York "Fraye arbeiter shtime", Reyzen's "Naya Land", "Di velt", and "Areyter-freynd" in London.

L. participated in the "Fraye yidishe folks-bine" in Paris, and then he became a co-founder of the "Literary Dramatic Union", where he was also a prompter. In 1912 he became a professional prompter in the troupe of Jenny Keyzer, Izikovitsh et al. In 1913 he worked for six months in Jacob Spivakovski's troupe in Switzerland, then again in Paris with Morris Axelrad, for whom the troupe performed Zola's "Theresa Raquin" and Hieronymous' "Ghetto", which was staged.

After a short break, due to the war, the Yiddish theatre in Paris reopened in 1915 with L.'s adapted play "Di umshuldike leydn" (according to Ostrovski's "Bez vini vinovati"). 1918-L. directed his drama "Di libe" with "amateurs". Then Rasin's "Esther" in a Yiddish translation.

After a short time L. withdrew from the theatre and dedicated himself to journalism. In 1923 he was a prompter in Blumental's  

troupe -- he edited there the small theatre script "Unzer teater" -- "Unzer lebn" [Paris, twenty-seven issues, 19 September 1923-21 April 1924]. Later he was a prompter in Burstein's troupe -- he organized and edited the weekly page "Parizer bleter", and then for a short time the monthly journals "Der templ" and "Der gedank".

In 1925 L. staged in the Glock Theatre his dramatization of Hugo's "Der gbur in keytn", and in 1926 in the "Di tampl" theatre his own drama "Oygn blut".

L. in his last years was a prompter in the Yiddish troupes in Paris.

On 6 September 1930, L. passed away in Paris.

Sh. E.

  • N. Frank -- Yitzhak Laks, "Parizer heynt", Paris, 8 September 1930.

  • [--] -- Di loyh fun an eynzamen menshen, "Parizer heynt", Paris, 10 September 1930.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1006.

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