Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Yehudis Lares
(Rivka Hanenzohn)


Born in 1882 in Vilna, Polish Lithuania, where she completed the Marinskaya gymnasium and entered into a Russian itinerant troupe with whom she acted for several years until the outbreak of the World War, when the theatres had to cease performing. Then L. returned to Vilna and joined "Fad'a" (later known as the "Vilna Troupe"), which was just founded, and soon she became one of their devoted members.

Due to her poor Jewish expression, she was for the first time given only small episodic roles, but with the betterment of her expression, she soon went over to larger roles.

L.  -- according to L. Kadison -- was the "fanatic" of the troupe: ten years of umdermidlekhe work, L. submitted to the theatre so she may join the itinerant life of the troupe, leaving her family life and going on tour across Lithuania, Poland and Romania, and wandering across Transylvania, she became sick. The troupe, which had to keep on performing, left the sick, accompanied by Luba Kadison, in the town of Arad (Transylvania), where she passed away on 24 July 1926. "The Vilna Troupe" erected a gravestone there for her.

L.'s best roles were: "Freyde" in Anski's "Chiene" in Hirshbein's "Di puste kretshme", "Frume" in Korin's "Der dorfsiung", "Knertsye" in Heyermans' "Farloyrene hafnung", "Ester" in Gutzkov's "Uriel Acosta", "di mume" in Pinski's "Yenkel der shmid", "Di hiner-farkoyferin" in Dymov's "The Singer of his Sorrows", and "Nastya" in Gorky's "Opgrund".

About that role, L. once declared to a reporter of the Vilna "Tog": "I have love for the role of "Nastya", because the hero is a cleansed soul. She also always has the passion for such roles and I can say, that what once was this passion, was for me ever larger."

The critic of the Warsaw "Heynt" writes about L.: "The figure that Lares has created were as oysgehemert. Her "Yiddish mothers" in "Dybbuk" and in Hirshbein's pieces have a special grace. Her mothers were filled with eloquent beauty. She did not have flash on the stage; however, she always was one of the pillars. This theatre was on her geshtitst. It has almost not been the case, that she may farfklahn a role. The stage was her life. Thanks to her intelligence and routine, she in all her roles created something that was faithful and honest."

M. E. from L. Kadison.

  • [--] -- Geshtorben di aktrise fun der vilner trupe, "Neyer heynt", Warsaw, 26 July 1926.

  • Avraham Morevsky -- Lares -- in shotn fun fargengenheyt, "Vilner tog", 30 July 1926.

  • Yehudis Lares (necrology), "Arbeter-tseytung", Czernowitz, 30 July 1926.

  • Ktgur -- Der toyt fun yehuda [yehudis] lares, "Vilner tog", 8 August 1926.

  • David Licht -- Beym kbr fun yehudis lares, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, 50, 1929.

  • Yakov Steinberg -- Yehudis lares, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, 32, 1931.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1008.

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