Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Jacob Prizament


Born on 7 May 1885 in Uhanov, near Rawa Ruska, Galicia, son of a well-known badkhan Hibiner, folksinger and author of songs and stories.

Until the age of sixteen he learned in a yeshiva, was an autodidact in secular subjects, and an expert in German dramatic literature.

He worked as a bookkeeper, while at the same time writing songs and plays, of which "Gedalya Hoiker" was staged in Gimpel's theatre.

About his theatre activity, the journalist Fishel Witkower recalls:

"When Moshe Richter left the stage of Galicia and traveled to America, P. was a prompter, dramaturg and regisseur for a long time, with unterbrekhungen in Lemberg's Yiddish theatre and made himself worthy; at the time when the Lemberg Yiddish theatre had staged shund pieces he had the first affixed translations of classical repertoire. His translations were: "Othello," "Shylock," "The Robbers (together with Isaak Weinstock), "Hamlet," and "The Power of Darkness." His own compositions: ""Sherlock Holmes" (a comedy), "Captain Dreyfus," "The White Othello" (a play). He left an uncompleted biblical tragedy, "Oyf" (in rhyme). He also is the creator of the new libretto for the biblical "Samson."

All of the cited plays were performed on the Lemberg Yiddish stage and also in the provincial theatres. Besides he was the creator of the umtseylike Yiddish theatre songs and couplets, which are sung even today."

According to Joel Spiegel, he has a manuscript of P.'s, a dramatization of Hugo's "Hunchback of Notre Dame."

According to his brother Shlomo, a Yiddish actor and playwright, P. also translated Shakespeare's "Macbeth," which was performed in Gimpel's Yiddish theatre, Anet's (sp) "Der shtats-anvalt," and many one-acters that were performed in the Yiddish vaudeville houses.

P. also may have written songs that were published in Yiddish periodic publications.

On 1 February, on the 15th of Shvat, 1923, P. passed away in Lemberg.

Sh. E. from Fishel Witkower and M. E. from his brother Shlomo Prizament and Joel Spiegel.






Home       |       Site Map       |      Exhibitions      |      About the Museum       |       Education      |      Contact Us       |       Links

Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 3, page 1872.

Copyright   Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved.