Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Mordecai Mazo


M. was born in 1880 in Borisov, Minsk Gubernia, White Russia. His father was a storekeeper. He learned in the yeshivas of Berezin and Mir, and he was an extern and he received an a certificate as a home teacher.

In his early youth he participated later in Minsk as a Bundist in the struggle against the "Zubatovtses" and settled then in Vilna, where he dedicated himself to societal matters and cultural work, and is the co-founder and teacher of he first Yiddish evening school, co-organizer of the first illegal Yiddish teachers conference (after which he was arrested together with Israel Lichtenstein), and he is the cofounder of the Yiddish "Kinder-farzorgungs-gezelshaft", where he staged children's plays and children's excursions. Here he also became interested in physical education, and after completing a course of children's gymnastics (in 1913 he went to Germany and Scandinavia), he became a gymnastics teacher. M. also was a member of "Maccabee", worked on Yiddish terminology for gymnastics and directed gymnastics in a Talmud Torah and early school. At the same time M. was the manager of the Hebrew girl's school "Yehudit".

After the outbreak of the World War, M. traveled around as a "Yepoka" representative [working] in the interest of the refugees, in southern Russia, and in August 1915 he returned to Vilna as the secretary of an aid committee for war refugees in Vilna.


When that committee took over the leadership of the economic-cultural Yiddish life in Vilna, M. was invited into the Yiddish theatre group "FADA (Ferein idishe dramtishe artisten)", which later became the Vilna Troupe, where he became the first [ern] director (without pay), and then the de facto director and [geshekhtn] leader, where he has been active until today.

M. has translated, under the pseudonym of M. M., the following plays, which were performed by the Vilna Troupe: "A geshleg fun shmeterlingen" by Herman Zudermann, "Oyfn tsofgrund" by Maxim Gorky, "Di untergegangene hofnung" by Herman Heyermans, "Der sh?ym-tsug" by Ridlo, "Periferye" by Frankshisek Langer, "Man, veyb un revolutsye" (di kvad?atur fun krey) by V. Katayev, "A milyon tsrus" by V. Katayev, and "Shrey khina" by S. Tretyakov.

M E.

  • Daniel Charney -- Idishizt, "Tsukunft", N. Y., January 1929.

  • Avraham Morevsky -- Vemes yubiley ?, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, 18, 1931.

  • L. Kadison -- A bisl zkhrunut, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, 42, 1931.

  • "Vilna Troupe" (zamlbikh), Lodz, 1932.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1287.

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