Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Moritz Norvid


Born on 4 July 1895 in Warsaw, Poland to well-to-do parents -- merchants. He received an assimilated education. 1912 -- completed the state Russian real school in Warsaw. Still in school, N. excelled as a role player and was the director of the frequent student production sin Russian and Polish, for which he dramatized a story from "1,001 Nights".

After completing the real school, he entered into the Polish dramatic club with the musical society in Warsaw, which he completed in 1914, and had to due to the outbreak of the World War, interrupting his practical work.

Through the recommendation of Zygmunt Turkow, he entered into David Herman's Yiddish dramatic studio with "Hazamir", where he debuted as "David" in I. L. Peretz's "Es brent". Foreign to the Yiddish language, he learned his first role in Latin characters, which, however, did not free him from this strange dialogue in Yiddish. Then he participated in Herman's offering of David Pinski's "Family Tsvi" (acting in the role of "Lipman"), Yerushi Dzhulavski's "Literatn un di shoyshpilerin" (acting in the role of "Der ferter literatur"), and in 1916 as "Abrush" in Peretz Hirshbein's "Di navla (nevila)".

Now he entered into the Polish theatrical academy to fulfill is theatre education, and he took the opportunity taken lessons in Yiddish with David Herman

1917 -- joined the "Vilna Troupe", where he debuted as 'Seriozha" in Artsibashev's "Eyferzukht", and acted in the troupe until 1919. He had the opportunity to direct with dramatic work in various workers' clubs in Warsaw.

Then he left Poland and traveled to the Soviet Union, where on 1 January 1920 he joined the "Moscow Jewish State Theatre", and acted there until 1925, working at the same time as a regisseur-laborant with the play "Di kishufmakherin" by Goldfaden, "Der get", and "200,000" by Sholem Aleichem.

At the end of 1925 -- invited to Minsk as a director of the drama circle with the central Jewish workers' club, under the name of N. Lenin, where he directed his dramatizations of Sholem Aleichem's "Mentsn" in two acts (exploited by Sholem Aleichem's "Datshes", et al.), and "Amerikaner geter", according to Siegler.

1926 -- invited to Odessa, where he created a theatrical studio as a section of the general musical dramatic institute.

1928 -- joined the "State Jewish Theatre in the Ukraine", together with his Odessa studio, as a permanent regisseur and actor. Here N. staged in the 1927-29 seasons "Ristokratn (Aristocrats), a comedy in three acts, literary montage by D. Volkenshteyn and M. Norvid, settings by M. Epstein, choreography by G. Ganges, music by Steinbeg" [the play was put together from Sholem Aleichem's "Mentshn", "Datshes", "Farbitn di yutsrut", et al, and a similar play with the same name by F. Arones in 1929 published in Minsk].

In the 1928-29 season there was staged there "Amerikaner geter, a social drama from Siegler [ from the novels "Di geshikhte fun a milyoner" and "Kenig koyl"], literary montage -- David Hoffstein, director -- M. Norvid, composer -- M. Milner, settings -- Tishler", and "Hirsh Lekert", by A. Kushnirov, director -- M. Norvid, settings -- Kroll, music -- Milner".

In the 1929-30 season in the same theatre, there was staged "Barg aroyf, from Z. Tshalaya. Translated by H. Kozakevitsh, director -- M. Norvid, settings -- Weiner, and (completed) Norvid, construction -- Rudi, music -- Milner".

In 1931, N. was appointed to the folkombild of the Ukraine as an artistic director and main regisseur for the same theatre.

In the 1931-32 season there was staged there on 29 December 1931 "Roman tsat, fun alberton, director -- M. Norvid, artist -- Mandelberg, music-- Titz".

N. organized for the theatre a theatre seminar (to develop the young actors), and founded a discussion club, where artistic questions were discussed, which where related to the production, and had created with the theatre a regisseur staff from his own theatre ensemble.

N. published many articles about theatre in Minsk's journal "Stern" (N' 1, 2936), "Emes" in Moscow's "Naye vegn" (Kharkov, 1930), "Odeser arbeter-tsaytung", and "Teater front" (Kharkov, 1932-33).

Sh. E. from Mark Leyptsiker.

  • Z. Lyubomirsky -- "Melukhisher yidisher teater in ukraine", pp. 24-66.

  • B. Orsansky -- Teater-shlakhtn, Minsk 1931, pp. 98-99.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1409.

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