Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Aneta Tsipkus
(Ite Foygl)

Born in 1865 in Berdichev, Ukraine, the family would soon go over to Odessa, where the father was a military tailor, a "podriatshik." Due to anti-Semitism, he got a heart attack and shortly thereafter died.

At the age of twelve Ts. played a child's role in Yiddish theatre and took to it so much, that eventually she continued to play in children's roles, and her earnings helped the need at home. At the age of sixteen she acted with Yidl Goldfaden, then went over to the troupe of Avraham Goldfaden, returning to Odesa, [where] she continued to be part of Yidl Goldfaden's troupe, where she made the acquaintance of the actor Jacob Tsipkus, married him, and followed the wandering ways with him. However she soon withdrew from the stage, as did her husband. About this her daughter in her memoirs recalls that after acting in Odessa her son-in-law Lazar Rapel had:
"The mother alone realized that it is still not so, and she still still could have a "payday," however she understood that after living a full life in small towns with a number of actors, she couldn't now undertake to act in such theatres and with such modern conditions, and for such refined audiences. Her mother was easily subjected to the fate. She is here today becoming a faithful mother to her children, and a loving grandmother to her grandchildren, and she had conducted business in our home."

However later when her husband again founded a small itinerant troupe, which wandered across Russia and Poland, she returned to the stage, and toured with him until on 20 August 1931 she passed away in San Paolo, Brazil.

About her passing, her daughter Zina Rapel writes:

"My mother had suffered twice from heart attacks, and she didn't survive the second attack, and she closed her eyes forever. The spellbinding, temperamental actress Ite Foygl-Tsipkus, who had year-round trudged around on wagons, together with her pieces of children, like gypsies, and carried on with Yiddish theatre and Yiddish joy across the faraway towns of the old home. Ite Foygl passed away rejected from her home and from Yiddish theatre in the distant Brazil."

The actor and impresario Yitzkhok Lubeltshik writes in his necrology:

"Ite Foygl for years led a happy family life with her husband, and was ever loved, respected and liked, she was the star of the troupe; she and her husband had, at that time, organized under the name, 'Tsipkus Troupe,' and toured across the entirety of Russia and played with great success. Despite this, that Ite Tsipkus had played every year in theatre and wandered around from city to city, which did not hinder her from having a child every two years, and in addition she brought an entire generation of artists and all were well-known.

The old actors Jacob and Ite Tsipkus have settled in San Paolo, and the elderly pair, he seventy-six, she sixty-six, have continued to lead a happy family life, as in their younger years, but this has already been supported by their children, and a little by the San Paolo Jewish society."

  • Yitzkhok Lubeltshik -- Nokh eyne avek, "Yidishe folkstsaytung," Rio Di Janeiro, 1 Sept. 1931.

  • Nechamya Tsuker -- "Four Generations of Yiddish Theatre," Buenos Aires, 1944.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 7,  page 6510.

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