Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


A.F. Nuger

Y. Lyubomirski characterizes him as such [1931]:

Nuger's unjustifiable action in the play with opposition (for example with the umbrella) is truly a Kuni Leml--he is slovenly. This slovenliness is present, actually, as an essential characteristic of Kuni Leml, though what is lacking is the sense of moderation. For example, we see this in the play with the little egg and the salt, etc. The same occurs in the scene where he arrives appearing with the item, is too long. (The director) had a great influence upon the formation of Nuger's theatrical principles. At the same time Nuger does not lose his critical attitude in a string of moments in Norvid's directorship. Nuger inherited from Norvid the principles of circumstantial theatre. He said, "I love playing with a bang, making a theatrical movement from a word, jumping together with the same word, from one syllable to the other." And what's more, "Graphically aspiring through a sharper portrayal and by gesture, posing the innermost straight edge of the plot."

Certainly, take a look at the scene of the merchants in "Zagmuk," when they are talking with one another about the presentation of the central figure. Here we see Avimelekh-Nuger. It appears that he does this with his hand, holding onto a stick, and with what kind of violent expression he brings out with each word. Then you will understand the true meaning of his aforementioned expression. Nuger possess a rich arsenal of methods for the genres where the peak moments were built upon eccentricities. Nuger has a bent towards a greater idea, to hyperbole.


He sings and dances exceptionally well. Altogether, the best of his methods are present in the musicality. For him the music plays a large role in building the sound of the dialogue. One of his roles show him building upon the principle of musical phenomenon, from delivering the prosaic story in a recitative way. He does, for example in Kam ("The Last"), and in the role of the miner Truba (Down the Mountain), where Nuger started shaping Truba. First of all, he started to look at his social position. he reminded himself that the playwright drew people, most importantly from the village. Informing us that faster than anything Truba is a common man, perhaps even a farm boy. The first sharp stroke with which Nuger introduced him was 

with a Ukrainian accent. The second stroke was Truba in his old age, when as an old worker, already having toile for many years in the mines. Mostly he appears bent over. Over the years a special imprint appears on Nuger's figure--a sloping shoulder.

  • Y. Lyubomirski -- "Melukhisher yidisher ukrinisher teater," Kharkov, 1931, pp. 82-84.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 7, page 6343.

Translation courtesy of Paul Azaroff.

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