Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Celia Pearson
(Zisl Pirsonski)


Born in Vitebsk, White Russia. After her father's passing, she immigrated in 1911, together with her family, to Toronto, Canada.

As a child she acted in Russian children's roles in the Vitebsk Russian Municipal Theatre, where her uncle was manager.

In 1914 she debuted with David Levinson in the children's role in Libin's play "Gots shtrof". Later she acted from time to time in roles for adolescents, and initially in 1920 she entered into the profession in Yiddish theatre in Montreal. 1921-22 -- she acted in Boston, 1923-24 -- in Chicago, 1925 -- as a soubrette in the Bronx's "McKinley Square Theatre", and since 1926 several years with Max Gabel.

In 1933 she became manager of Williamsburg's "Lyric Theatre" (under her name), where she performed in the main roles of the operettas which were performed there, earlier as a partner with "Der payatz" (Chaim Yablokoff), then with William Schwartz. 1934-1936 -- she acted in "Littman's People's Theatre" in Detroit, and in the summer of 1936 she performed as a gueststar in Buenos Aires, where she acted in the main roles of the operettas "Dem kholum fun glik" by Simon Wolf, "Feygele fun poyln" and "Libe fun himel" by Isidore Lillian, "Inm rbins hoyf" and "Zisele fun rumenye" [dos freylekhe shtetl" by William Siegel], as well as the time piece "Deytsland heynt", and in the melodrama "Gasn fun farbrekhn".


She returned to the United States, where P. acted. 1936 -- 1937 in Chicago's "Eighth Street Theatre" (manager Charles Nelson), 1938-1939 -- as leading lady in Toronto's "Spedeyna Concert Hall" (manager M. Shapiro), 1939-1941 -- in Cleveland's "Manhattan Theatre" (manager Hirschberg), 1941-1942 -- in New York's "Jolson Theatre" with Molly Picon, 1943-44 -- in Maurice Schwartz's "Yiddish Art Theatre", and in the 1944-1945 season, in vaudeville, then with Michal Michalesko across the province and finally with Maurice Schwartz's troupe in Benjamin Ressler's "Drey veltn".

On 3 February 1931 P. became a member of the Yiddish Actors Union.

M. E.

  • L. Flamstein -- "Dos lid fun leben" -- di neye piese in lirik teater, brooklyn, "Der tog", N. Y., 6 October 1933.

  • T. Beilin -- "A kholem fun glik", "Di prese", Buenos Aires, 21 June 1936.

  • Max Karper -- Germany in 1933, is timely Yiddish play in Brooklyn, New York American, 21 October 1933.

  • Walter Hartman -- Legend Drama at the Lyric, Daily News, N. Y., 7 November 1933.

  • [--] -- Fulfill Dying Woman's Wish After Bride's 40-Mile Race, Toronto Daily Star, 17 December 1938.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 3, page 1827.

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