Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Chaim Podlias


Born on 16 January 1894 in Shavel, Kovno Gubernia, Russia. He learned in the Yiddish governmental school, then in a gymnasium.  Due to material difficulties and a protsent-norme, he
had to withdraw from further studies and left for Russia in a "search for happiness".

In 1910, he was associated with Bernstein's troupe in Libove and toured with him for a year, then with the troupes of Shravner, Guzik, Zhitomirsky, Genfer, Sam Adler, Abraham Fishzon, Warsaw's United Yiddish Theatre, Yiddish Folks Theatre [under the leadership of Lipovski], taking up from time to time the work of prompter, actor, stage director, business manager and writer of "German" tsenzurkes. For a certain time he was also associated with Russian theatre and with Saygadetshini's (sp) Ukrainian troupe.

With the outbreak of the first World War, he was taken into the military, was wounded at the front, and then again was associated with Yiddish theatre, arranging troupes on his own, later entering into Libert's dramatic troupe, with whom he toured across Central Russia, the Volga and Ural regions, until the February Revolution in 1917, when he became a delegate to the First Congress for the Yiddish actors in Kiev and later as a member of the Presidium of the first Yiddish actors union "Kifsotrid" and associated with the troupe "Unzer vinkl" in Kiev. Shortly thereafter he put together the first theatre collective with Esther Rukhl Kaminska and went with her around Russia, White Russia, Lithuania, then in Warsaw and across the Polish province, and later entered into the Warsaw Kaminska Theatre. Here he also became a member in the management of the Yiddish Artists Union.

In 1924, he immigrated to America and became engaged by Nestor and Goldstein (then by Sam Auerbach) in Los Angeles. In 1932, he settled in Detroit and was associated with Littman's Yiddish theatre, until 1936 when he retired from the theatre, changed the family name to Hyman and was associated with the John Hancock Insurance Company.

Sh. E.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 3, page 1607.

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