Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Itzhak Nozyk)


N. was born on 23 April 1889 in Warsaw, Poland. His mother was a business woman, a home seller, his father a teacher, a constant(?), was active in the Zionist movement. He learned Tenach and Gemora with religious teachers, a little Russian with a Lithuanian religious teacher and privately a little German and calculations, then in Beit HaMedrashim and in the yeshivas of Suwalki, Lomza and in R' Itshe's yeshiva in Warsaw. Due to his reading socialistic literature, he grew out of the yeshiva in 1903, entered into the Jewish Socialist Movement, read for the worker's circles literature, and  he sang worker's songs for them.

In 1915 by chance he attended the opening of the Yiddish Bagatela Theatre in Warsaw, and from then on he became an errand boy for the stage workers and for the actors, then he became a stand-in. Several months later, N. prompted for "amateurs" in Otvotsk, then in Skernievits, where he also once had to improvise extemporaneously representing the role of "Shlomo" in "Kbtenzon un hungerman".

During Sukkos 1906 N. was engaged in a small role in Warsaw's Jardin d'Hiver, where he later also had to prompt. Here N. rewrote the Germanic repertoire, made many of them "more Jewish", strengthened some, and wrote his own scenes. From Chanukah 1906 until Shavuos 1908, N. prompted and acted part-time in small roles in Genfer's troupe, then he acted in main roles in George Beker's provincial troupe. Due to the ban on Yiddish in Proskurov, N. in September 1908 joined in as an actor for Kompaneyets in Warsaw's Muranov Theatre ,then to Sam Adler

(Warsaw, Mokotovska 137), and a half year later as an actor and stage director in small Yiddish provincial troupes.

In 1909, finding himself in White Russia, N. due to the ban on Yiddish theatre, acted with several Yiddish actors (Director: Dzhukova) in five productions in Russian (Russian one-acters and plays), just as he was forced in 1915, due to the same situation, to act in Yiddish operas in Russian.

From 1913-19 -- N. by himself directed a provincial troupe, and in 1919-20 was a director in Vilna.

N. acted in several films, also "Der gabai" in Opatoshu's film "In the Polish Woods".

N. wrote the following plays:

  • "Dvoshe di sufrazhistke", a form in three acts with singing (staged on 3 October 1913 in Lodz's "Grand Theatre", Director: Y. Zandberg).

  • "Khayke in Odessa", an operetta in three acts (staged on 16 December 1915 in Odessa's Bolgarov theatre, Director: L. Rappel, and in 1915 under the direction of Nozyk in Russia in Kiev under the name "Khayke in Odessa"; on 11 March 1921 the operetta (with music by H. Wohl), staged in Yiddish in New York's Liberty Theatre".

  • "Mlkhle soldat", an operetta in four acts (staged on 12 February 1916 in Odessa's Bolgarov Theatre), [published: "Mlkhle soldat, a folksshtik in four acts, Warsaw 1927, price 1 gilden, publisher and book seller T. Yakubson, M. Goldberg, 75 pp., 16". The play also was performed under the Bolshevik's regime in a modified form].

  • "Geshefts-makher" ("Shpekulantn"), a comedy in three acts with singing (staged in August 1918 in Warsaw's Central Theatre").

N. also wrote the play "Der shvartser lts", "Derzapesner soldat", "Sonke dos goldene meydl", "A kbtsns khlum", "Sheyndele di printserin", "A khasunah oyfn mars", "Yidl, vos shlofstu?", "Sha, sha, der khasan geyt!", and "Di shtot un dorf", which were performed.

N. wrote many theatrical songs and one-acters, which often were sung and performed in his name.

Since 1926 N. also has written tens of revue numbers and two revue plays: "Zlate di rebetsin", "Gvald, dirh-gelt", and "Vu nemt men a khasan" for the small arts stage "Sambatyon", which he helped found and directed. In March 1932 in Warsaw's "Skala" Theatre there was staged N.'s revue "Alts vert ge?shrt". A part of these numbers were printed in special theatre editions, and a part in the Friday issues of the Yiddish press in Poland.

Under his name and under the pseudonym Nozhikov, Skin and Yitkhaki, N. published many articles about theatre generally and professional matters about Yiddish theatre in "Our Life" (Odessa), Vilna's "Di tsayt", "Literarishe bleter", in Zylbercweig's weekly "Theatre and Art", in the Yiddish theatre professional organs, and together with M. Nodelman edited one-time editions of "Sambatyon".

N. once was chairman, vice-president and secretary of the Professional Yiddish Actors Union in Poland, and helped his professional organ respond.

N. was a member in the Polish Publication Committee of (first volume) the "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre".

G.'s printed plays in Yiddish:

[1]    Yitzhak Nozyk, Reyzele dem rbins, a folks-shtik in four acts, Warsaw, 1926, [60 pp., 16]

[2]    Yitzhak Nozyk, Mlkh'le soldat, folks-shtik i four acts, Warsaw, 1927, publisher and book seller T. Yakubson, M. Goldberg, [73 pp., 16].

Sh. E.

  • Yitzhak Nozyk -- Vi azoy ikh bin gekumen tsu der bine, "Teats"t", Warsaw, 2, 1928.

  • [see bibliography of "Sambatyon".






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1394.

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