Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Yitzchok Norinsky


N. was born on 12 December 1890 in Zhitomir, Ukraine. His father was a carpenter. Until age nine he learned in a cheder, then enrolled, due to his alto voice, in the local choral school. In 1903 he was taken in as a yubiler, and at the same time sang with a prayer leader. After a pogrom he went away, without the knowledge of his parents, with a Cantor Naftali, with whom he toured across the cities and towns, praying on the Sabbath in the shuls, and during the weekdays giving "concerts", which consisted of Russian, Yiddish and Ukrainian songs and theatre scenes. From there he went away with Cantor Leib Shapiro to Tultshin.

At the age of fourteen, in mutim the vocals, he returned to Zhitomir and again worked for two years with a yubiler, then as a tenor he sang with cantors. In the choral school and together with a Brit singer Shmulik, he performed in Zhitomir and the nearby communities with singing numbers and theatre scenes. Later he entered into the chorus of the Ukrainian troupe under the supervision of Sukhodolsky, where he was for eight months, then a soloist in a Berdiansk choral school. In 1912 he sang for a short time as a chorus singer in the Yiddish troupe of Genfer, then he served in the military, participating in the world conflict, and in 1917 in Zhitomir he entered into the chorus of Moshe Lipman's troupe, then in a theatre collective under the supervision of Grossman and Nathanson, where he also acted in roles, later as an actor in the troupe of Volfson and Kazhdan (Homel).


In 1919 he went into a collective of Misha Apelboym and Kalmanovitsh (Poltava), and in the same year across into the collective of Rudolf Zaslavsky. Then he entered into the Poltava "Kunst-vinkl (Artist's Corner)", and he traveled with the troupe back to Zhitomir and founded there a movable theatre of an amateur circle, from which he became artistic director  until 1923. He was invited to Kiev into the troupe of Libert and Rakitin. At the end of 1923 he acted in Kharkov with the director Dymorsky. In 1925 he toured with various itinerant groups across the Ukraine and greater Russia.

In 1927 he was in the newly founded Leningrad Yiddish theatre "Let", under the artistic supervision of the Russian theatrical director Stroyev and the theatre critic Kugel, which existed only for eight months until 1930, when he was active in various itinerant collectives. Then with a collective in the Crimea and, due to family conditions, he remained in Melitopol, where he directed with an independent circle.

In 1931 he passed the ibergreytungs courses (in Kiev's Lisenko Institute), Jewish facultat) as a director of an independent dramatic circle.

In 1927 he participated in Odessa in the film "Benye kenig" (scenery -- Babel, director -- Vilber).

Sh. E. from Mark Leiptziker.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1411.

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