Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Harry Zar
(Gavriel Zarshevsky)


Born on 17 August 1888 in Yekaterinoslav, Ukraine.

His parents were structural contractors.

He learned in a cheder and secular studies in a gymnasium.

As a student he participated as an actor and dancer in the student production in Russia and the Ukraine, and also participated as a dancer with the guest-starring Ukrainian troupes.

He performed with the Yiddish theatre through this, that by his acquaintance with the power, he was permitted into the Yiddish troupes of Mishurat and Lermanke to act in "Tsenzurkes". From there he went over to the troupe of Fishzon-Spivakovski, where he helped out administratively by working  and becoming assistant manager. Afterwards he left and went across Russia as a representative to organize Yiddish productions for other troupes, and became assistant manager in Bezman's troupe in Odessa and traveled again across Russia and Poland with various troupes, until he entered into Kaminska's troupe, where he married the actress Keller, and managed with the Yiddish theatre across Russia and Poland until the outbreak of the First World War. After serving in the Russian army he again dedicated himself to the Yiddish theatre and wandered around across Russia, fighting for permission to act in Yiddish theatre, until 1919, when he immigrated to Constantinople, Turkey, where he directed Yiddish theatre for fifteen months.

Since 1921 in America, He had for a time led Yiddish theatre in Detroit. In 1923 Z. settled in Los Angeles and here led with a Yiddish troupe in "Meysyopere hauz" (bringing onto the Yiddish stage the well-known actress Karalova), then made various samplings with the Yiddish theatre in San Francisco, including nine months with Boris Thomashefsky, several months traveling around across the province, again returning to Los Angeles and directed with  the Capitol Theatre, then he spent a short time in New York where he managed the theatre on Surf Avenue in Coney Island, and he returned to Los Angeles, where he managed guest appearances of the preeminent Yiddish stars such as Maurice Schwartz, Michal Michalesko, Menasha Skulnik, Leo Fuchs, et al.

M. E.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 4, page 3069.

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