Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Miriam Lifshits


L. was born on 10 January 1887 in Grodno, Polish Lithuania. Her father was a klezmer musician. She learned in the Marinska gymnasium. In 1903 she entered into the Bialystok Polish dramatic school under the direction of Stanislav Zavadszky. In 1905 she traveled to Warsaw to continue learning, but due to material conditions she had to stop her learning and become a hat milliner. In Warsaw she became a member of  the Yiddish dramatic circle and debuted as "Malka" in Sholem Aleichem's "Tsezeyt un teshpreyt".

In 1909 she traveled out to Vitebsk and there joined Sam Adler's troupe, where she acted until 1912, while also going on a tour with the troupe across Lithuania and White Russia. In 1912 she settled in Minsk and here joined Nachum Zemach's "Habima hebrit", with whom she toured across russia to act in Hebrew in Dymov's "Der eybiker vanderer" (role of "Leah"), and Sholem Aleichem's "Mazel tov" (role of "Freydl"). In 1913 she joined Esther Rukhl Kaminska's troupe and there acted until the outbreak of the World War.

In 1914 she went back to Minsk and directed with drama circles, with whom she often put on productions to benefit various professional organizations. In 1919 she joined "Unzer vinkl" in Minsk, which was under the direction of M. Rafalski, then she worked in the "Yidishe front-troupe" under the Bertanov, which performed in White Russia and the cities b the war front. In 1920 she returned to Minsk and joined in the first Yiddish White


Russian State Theatre under the direction of Bertanov, where she acted until 1922.

In 1922 she joined Zaslavsky's troupe and participaed in a tour across White Russia and Leningrad and there was the first "Golda" in the offering of Sholem Aleichem's "Tuviya der milkhiker (Tevye the Milkman)", 1923 -- she acted with the Leningrad collective for two seasons in Simferopol (Crimea). From 1925-27 she acted in the 1st All-Ukrainian Yiddish State Theatre in Kharkov. In 1927 she was in the Kiev Yiddish State Theatre "Kunst vinkl", and she was associated in 1931 with the same reorganized theatre, which was under the auspices of Lazar Veyn. In 1931 L. joined the first [alfarbandishn] Polish State Theatre, where she acts until today.

Besides many monologues, songs, novels, declamations and one-acters, L. has translated the plays: ""Ven epl blyen" by Dneprovsky, "Furga" by Shtsheklov, "Moral fun der rulska" by Gabriela Zapolska, "Tsvey fera" by Rostan, "Der lts oyfn tron" by Lotar, "Gezets" by Vinitshenko, "Grine hoyzn" by Mulini, "Der vos krigt di petsh" by L. Andreyev, "Herbst-fidlen" by Surgutshav and "Ir veg" (from the Russian), and "Di froy in 40 yor" (by Deutsch). The entirety of the translations were staged by various Yiddish troupes in the Soviet Union.

L. is the sister of the deceased actor Wolf Shumsky. Her daughter Esther, is a member in "Mim"t".

Sh. E.  from Mark Leyptsiker.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1129.

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