Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


M. Workel


Born in 1878 in Varaklani, Rezhitsa kreyz, White Russia, into a poor family. At age five he became an orphan, W. survived until "eating days," and valgern himself in Talmud Torahs across the cities and towns of Lits (Lithuania). Even as a child he had a shm in the region due to his painting and carving of meyzrekhs and gravestones. At the age of thirteen, he learned in Dvinsk as a sign painter, going from one master to another, until he came to a school for art painting, also attending for a short time dramatic courses. Soon however W. interrupted his studies, taking on work and later and in an earlier time he went out with "amateur" productions.

1899 -- W. staged in Lutsin, Vitebsk Gubernia, "Bar Kochba" and played "Eliezer." 1900 -- he traveled to Riga with the dramatic circle of the "Bund," with the "Carmel" association, and then "Evri." (The repertoire originated from Sholem Aleichem, Peretz, Mendele, Reisen, Pinski, Arnstein and several Gordin plays, as well as those from several drama-zirungen, adaptations and special writings from the circle founders Adolf Meyzel, David Druck [Willy Brand], Morrison, et al).

1914 -- W. directed (and also participated as an actor), the films "Shma Yisroel" and "Shuster liebe" in the film firm "Mintus."

Due to the war he arrived to Kharkov, where W. organized there in 1916 an "amateur" group, with which he acted in a worker's house. 1917 -- he organized and directed with the "Ershte yidishe arbeter bine" of "Groser-klub," which also directed the creation of his own circle members Beynish Shteiman, Sh. Rasin, Miski, D. Krishtal, et al.

1920 -- W. founded a dramatic group "Proletarishe kunst" for the club "Driter internatsional," with whom he directed until 1924.

1921 -- W. helped organize the "Ershte yidishe melukhishe teater-studye" in Kharkov, and was chosen to lead the studio.

Since 1924 W. has directed with a dramatic circle in Kalinin-klub, and at the same time -- since 1926 -- with the drama circle "Shtolener gold."


  • H. Baru -- "Sher un eyzn" af der bine, "Der shtern," Kharkov, 5 June 1929.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 666.

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