Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Z. Levin


Born in 18 July 1877 in Kelem (Kelmy), Kovno, Lithuania. Father -- a merchant. He learned in a cheder, in Yeshiva Rameilis in Vilna, also attending a folkshul, and with a private teacher he learned Hebrew and German.

At the end of 1895 he immigrated to America. At first he settled in a small town in Wisconsin, where he was a peddler, then worked ina business in Philadelphia and again became a peddler. 1896 -- debuted in Philadelphia's "Der folksvekhter", and then from time to time printed sketches in "Abend blat", "Forward" and other periodic editions. From 1905 until 1912 he didn't print and then again published, mainly in the "Forward", where he worked as a compositor, many sketches, stories, gavelen and one-acters, which he had issued in several books.

On 13 December 1907 in Adler's Grand Theatre, there was staged by Jacob P. Adler, L.'s and Entin's play "Di shule fun lebn".

In 1920 in New York, there was published L.'s volume "Komedyen" (1917-20), 10 comedies which were previously printed in the "Forward", "Fraye arbeter shtime" (under the pseudonym Z. Leshts), and "Tsukunft", including the one-acters "Peozie un proze", which also in 1918 was translated into English by Izik Goldberg, was premiered by I. L. Peretz Writers Association, and on 4 May 1918 was staged in the bal of the same association, and "Dem doktors ershte oferatsye", which in 1932 was published in the English translation of Bessie F. White.


Besides that, L. published several original and translated one-acters and the play "Di teksi".

Almost all of L.'s one-acters were acted by "amateurs".

L. had handwritten the following plays: "Moshe lmdn" (a drama in four acts), "Di eybike kraft" (a drama in four acts), and "Veyt fun shtot" ( a drama in three acts).

L.'s printed plays in Yiddish:

  1. Di letste minuten fun akhmed abdulla; (a stsene fun shlakhtfeld), translated by Z. Levin ["Tsukunft", N. Y., February 1915].

  2. A veybel a bri (parizer komedye in eyn akt) by Alfred Kopus, freely adapted by Z. Levin ["Forward", N. Y., 19 May 1918].

  3. Dem tatens tokhter

  4. A shtreng baleboste [also called "Di nay-mashin"]

  5. "Fraye" menshen

  6. Fun dur tsu dir

  7. Punkt in tsayt

  8. A Man a "khokhem".

  9. Poezie un proze

  10. Dem doktor's ershte operatsye

  11. Der nayer galut [?}

  12. Beyde

  13. A gesheft; a romantic scene by Z. Levin ["Forward", N. Y., 19 January 1919.]

  14. Mame-loshen; (one-acter) by Z. Levin ["Forward", N. Y., 6 February 1921].

  15. "Getsetelt (a comedy) by Z. Levin ["Forward", N. Y, 15 October 1921].

  16. Di teksi, a play in three acts by Z. Levin ["Forward", N. Y., 1, 8, 15 March 1925].

L.'s printed plays in English:

  1. Z. Levin. Poetry and Prose, translated and edited by Isaac Goldberg, Ph. D. ["Six Plays of the Yiddish Theatre", second series, Boston, John W. Luce and Company [1918]).

  2. The Doctor's First Operation, a comedy in Z. Levin, translated by Bessie F. White ["Nine One Act Plays from the Yiddish", Boston, John W. Luce and Company [1932]).

M. E. 

  • Z. Reyzen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature", Vol. II, p. 223-24.

  • D. B. [Sh. Yanovsky] -- In theater, "Fraye arbeter shtime", N. Y., 28 December 1907.

  • S. Kozakevitsh -- Di shule fun leben, "Der arbeter", N. Y., 4 January 1908.

  • Hillel Rogoff -- A nayer bukh fun z. levin, "Forward", N. Y., 15 may 1921.

  • A. K. [Cahan] -- A naye ertselung fun z. levin, "Forward", 17 November 1929.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1144.

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