Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Lidia Pototska


Born in Usman, Tambov Gubernia, Russia. Her father was a well-known lawyer. Raised in Moscow, she then studied in a gymnasium in Tomsk, where she learned in the school of music and was a pianist. Later in Munich she completed a conservatory with a gold medal. Due to illness, she traveled back to Peterburg, where she studied singing and took to performing with concerts, which had great success.

However, soon she went across to the dramatic arts, and her first performance on the stage was with the role "Gut" in Grigori Go's (sp), "Kazan", in Svobodny Theatre in Peterburg. In 1912 she was engaged in Peterburg's dramatic theatre under the direction of Reyneke, from there to Nezlobin's theatre, and after the season she again entered into Peterburg's artistic theatre. 1913-18 -- she toured across the Russian province with theatre director Belayev, and from the Ukraine she traveled with a Russian troupe to Berlin. Here she became engaged by Max Reinhardt to act in German, together with Alexander Moissi in Tolstoy's "Der lebediker mt" [role of Liza]".

In 1921 she acted in Kovno (Lithuania) in Russian in the play "Romance" by Edwin Sheldon, and performed in a concert in which she also sang Yiddish songs. This created a scandal in the theatre, and she was forced to leave Lithuania.


She traveled to Romania, and she acted in Russia and in the Bessarabian region, also including Jacob Gordin's "Mirele Efros". Here she went to the Yiddish troupe of the Vienna "Freie yidishe folksbine", and they moved over to the Yiddish stage.

In February 1926 P. guest-starred in London's Pavilion Theatre, where she performed in Yiddish in Surguchev's "Harbst-fidlen", and Sheldon's "Romance", and in the same year she became engaged to L. Sniegoff for New York's Irving Place Theatre (Directors: Jacob Ben Ami and Max R. Wilner), where she performed in "Di shif mit tsadikim (The Ship of Saints)" by Yereynov, in "Samson and Delilah" by Sven Lange (role "Dagmar"), "Fun yener velt" by Y. D. Berkovitsh (role "Mira"), "Shop" by H. Leivick (role "Mina"), and the title role of Dymov's "Di kamelien-dame". After the season she returned to Europe and guest-starred in 1927 across Poland and Galicia. In 1928 she stood at the head of a Yiddish itinerant troupe across Galicia when she performed in her old repertoire, (changing the name of the play "Romance" to "Libe un leydenshaft") and also guest-starred across Romania. In 1929 she performed in Lodz, Poland, in that troupe as "Mirele Efros", returned to Poland and acted in 1930 in Warsaw as "Madam Alving" in Henrik Ibsen's "Di geyster (The Ghost)". Since then she became a constant wanderer across Poland and Romania, and she performed in 1933 in Warsaw's "Central" Theatre in the melodrama, "A harts vos benkt". Then she again traveled across Poland with the play "Mir-froyer", (together with Ida Kaminska and Clara Megalovitsh), then she performed in Warsaw's Yiddish Literary Union (together with Al. Stein and Willy Godik). Later she guest-starred again in Romania, where she was found with her husband, Zolotarev, during the outbreak of the Second World War, 1939.

  • Morris Meyer -- Madam lidia pototskaya's oyftrit, "Di tsayt", London, 22 February 1926.

  • Morris Meyer -- Madam lidia pototskaya in "romans", "Di tsayt", London, 1 March 1926.

  • Jacob Kirschenbaum -- Naye pnim'er oyf unzer bine, "Morning Journal", N. Y., 8 October 1926

  • [=] -- Naye aktyoren un akterises gebrakht oyf nyu yorker theatere, "Forward", N. Y., 3 September 1926.

  • Ab. Cahan -- Yevreynov's naye iese in oyrving pleys theater, "Forward", N. Y., 21 September 1926.

  • A. Frumkin -- "Di shif mit tsadikim" -- a shener interesanter teater-shpil, "Der tog", N. Y., 24 September 1926.

  • A. Frumkin -- "Shimson un delilah" in oyrving pleys teater, "Der tog", N. Y., 20 October 1926.

  • N. Buchwald -- Ben ami's triumf in "shimson un delilah", "Frayhayt", N. Y., 8 October 1926.

  • Dr. A. Mukdoni -- "Teater", New York, 1927, pp. 227, 235-6.

  • Kh. Buzgan -- Turne fun lidia pototaska mit ir troupe iber der poylisher provints, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, Num' 34, 1927.

  • N. Meizel -- Lidia pototskas gastroln in varshe, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, Num' 35, 1927.

  • N. Meizel -- Lidia pototskas tsveyter oyftrit, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, Num' 36, 1927.

  • N. Meizel -- L. pototska in di "harbst fidlen", "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, Num' 37, 1927.

  • L. S--ki [Stotski] -- 15 yoriker blumen-veg fun a kinstlerin, "Di tsayt", Vilna, 16 June 1927.

  • [=] -- Tsu di gastrolen fun nlidia pototska in varshever idishen teater, "Nayer haynt", Warsaw, 24 August 1927.

  • B. Karlinius -- Teater-notitsn, "Der moment", Warsaw, Num' 201, 1927.

  • Y. A. -- Lidia ototskas gast-oyftritn in pshemishl, "Folks-freynd", Przemysl, Num' 17, 1928.

  • Dr. Moshe Lustig -- "Herbst-fidlen" fun surgutshov, premiere fun der pototska-troupe, "Der morgn", Lemberg, 12 March 1928.

  • Y. Dankin -- Lidia ototskas oyftrit in "libe un leydnshaft", "Nayer folksblat", Lodz, 22 May 1929.

  • Y. K. [Israel Kahan] -- "Mirele efros" geshpilt durkh der yidisher trupe mitn onteyl fun lidia pototska, "Lodz togenblat", Lodz, 3 June 1929.

  • israel Cahan -- Lidia pototska, di eyntsige..., "Lodz togenblat", Lodz, 4 June 1929.

  • Chanan [Pesach Kaplan] -- "Harbst-fidlen" in palas, geshpilt durkh lidia pototska mitn ansambl, "Dos naye lebn", Bialystok, 6 August 1929.

  • Mkhr haLevy -- Lidia pototska, "Pinsker shtime", Pinsk, Num' 31, 1929.

  • Moshe Apelboym -- Zunikeyt un likhtikeyt, "Tomashover vokhnblat", Tomashov, Num' 24, 1929.

  • A. Foygl [Y. M. Neyman] -- "Di geyster" oyfgefirt in teater "novotshshi", gastroln fun lidia pototska, "Nayer haynt", Warsaw, 22 December 1930.

  • N. M. [Meizel] -- Gastshpiln fun lidia pototska ("Di geyster" fun h. ibsen), "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, Num' 51, 1930.

  • Elkhanan Tseytlin -- Lidia pototska in "tsentral", "Unzer ekspres", Warsaw, 5 July 1933.

  • A. Grafman -- Lidia pototska in .. a harts vos benkt, "Der moment', Warsaw, 14 July 1933.

  • Nun-mem [N. Meizel] -- Oyftrit fun lidia pototska,m "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, Num' 27, 1933.

  • M. Vohl [Surkis] -- Lidia potatska in goldfaden-teater, "Czernowitzer bleter", 23 September 1934.

  • Morris Meyer -- "Idish teater in london" [London 1943], p. 309.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 3, page 1615.

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