April 29, 2024

Tsvishn Falndike Vent: An Interview With Avram Mlotek, Zalmen Mlotek, and Motl Didner

Last November, the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene opened its final production of 2023, a musical revue called Amid Falling Walls (Tsvishn Falndike Vent): Unveiling Resilience and Hope During the Holocaust. The production was curated and written by Avram Mlotek, with music curated and arranged by Zalmen Mlotek, and directed by Motl Didner. The Folksbiene’s website explains […]
January 5, 2023

Osherowitch and Rumshinsky on the Piety of Regina Prager

Regina Prager was one of the first leading ladies of the Yiddish stage, known for her extraordinary operatic voice and her continued Jewish observance throughout her life.
September 12, 2022

Vos flist durkhn oder: A conversation with playwright Mikhl Yashinsky on his new play

Mikhl Yashinsky’s new one-act Yiddish play premiered at the Lower East Side Play Festival at the Stanton Street Shul in New York City on July 25, 2022.
June 20, 2022

How I Got Five Thousand Dollars from a Theatre Customer

In his memoirs, Menashe Skulnik recalled the many years when he performed in cities outside of New York – including six years in Philadelphia, which he considered to be a theatrical purgatory.
August 21, 2021

Khonen in Drag: Cross-Dressing in Two Productions of The Dybbuk during the 1920s (Plus, a Review of One of These Productions)

What was the “trouser role”?
June 29, 2021

A Timeline of Yiddish Drag

Yiddish theatre…the gayest theater?
June 21, 2021

The Bird of COVID

Chava Rosenfarb’s Der foygl fun geto (The Bird of the Ghetto) had its Yiddish-language premiere April 18 to 22, on the Folksbiene’s video channel.
June 8, 2021

The Menashe Skulnik Story in the Forward

Menashe Skulnik (1892-1970) was one of the great comic actors of the Yiddish theatre, remembered for his trademark porkpie hat and beloved for his schlemiel-like stage persona.
May 24, 2021

Menashe Skulnik Becomes a Star in Buenos Aires

Menashe Skulnik (1892-1970) was one of the great comic actors of the Yiddish theatre, remembered for his trademark porkpie hat and beloved for his schlemiel-like stage persona.
April 12, 2021

Why Wikidata is Good for Yiddish Theatre Research

Part two of two on how the digital humanities can inspire the world of Yiddish theatre.
March 15, 2021

Wikidata, Yiddish Theatre Posters, and the World

Der dibek, 1975, Israeli Yiddish entertainment posters, 1930-1981, Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University.
February 11, 2021

When Corona Came to The Party

What do you do when Coronavirus comes to your birthday party?
January 28, 2021

Adapting God of Vengeance in Buenos Aires: An Interview with Argentine Director Daniel Teveles

The DYTP interviews Daniel Teveles about his reinterpretaiton Sholem Asch’s canonical drama God of Vengeance.
December 30, 2020

An Interview with Ellen Perecman

DYTP contributing editor Alyssa Quint interviews Ellen Perecman about her new collection of translations, Ten Yiddish Plays in Translation.
November 11, 2020

Ven Moysh iz geforn: Maurice Schwartz on the Yiddish Theatre in Argentina in 1930 (Part I)

In May 1930, Maurice Schwartz – Yiddish actor, director, impresario – went to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
November 11, 2020

Ven Moysh iz geforn: Maurice Schwartz on the Yiddish Theatre in Argentina in 1930 (Part II)

Part II of Maurice Schwartz’s travels to Argentina in 1930.
July 29, 2020

How Two Nudniks Saved History from the Fire

The Moscow State Yiddish Theatre archives are available digitally!
July 15, 2020

Teaching with the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project

Yiddish in the time of COVID.
July 2, 2020

Interview: Filmmaker Alejandro Vagnenkos on the Buenos Aires Yiddish Legend Jevel Katz

Patricial Nuriel interviews Alejandro Vagnenkos about his documentary Jevel Katz y sus paisanos.
May 29, 2020

Between Biznes and Art: Commercial and Independent Companies in the Yiddish Theatre of Buenos Aires (1930-1960)

“If you can find an enthused theatre crowd 6,000 miles from New York, it means that Yiddish theatre still has a future.”
April 21, 2020

“S’iz nisht dos vos amol iz geven”: Max Perlman (1909-1985)

Of all the Yiddish entertainers to have visited South Africa after the Holocaust, Max Perlman is virtually the only artist who is still remembered today.
March 11, 2020

Biz 120: The Yiddish Artists and Friends Actors’ Club at 85

85 years of the Yiddish Artists and Friends Actors’ Club…
February 13, 2020

Interview with Joshua Horowitz on the Orchestration of Bas-Sheve

In February 2019, Josh Horowitz was sent the manuscript of Henekh Kon’s piano and vocal score of the only known pre-Holocaust Yiddish opera, Bas-Sheve.
January 23, 2020

Interview: Alicia Svigals and Donald Sosin on Their Film Score for The Ancient Law

Alicia Svigals and Donald Sosin on scoring a Weimar-era film about a backwoods Jewish boy whose talent leads him to show business success and possible romance with a well-placed Gentile woman.
December 20, 2019

Magic and Melody Delight in a Yiddish Fairytale Reborn

An evil stepmother. A brave heroine in danger. A handsome fiancé. A conniving sorceress. A plan foiled. A fairytale wedding.
November 6, 2019

Theatre: A Sketch

Jessica Kirzane’s translation and introduction of ​Miriam Karpilove’s “Theatre.”
August 21, 2019

An Interview with Daniel Galay

Daniel Galay is a prolific playwright, composer, and pianist living in Israel.
June 29, 2019

“A Piquant Curiosity”: The Gender-Bending Drama Yo a man, nit a man

Read about the gender-bending play Yo a man, nit a man (Yes a Man, Not a Man).
May 17, 2019

Grand Opera for Yiddish Speakers in Early Twentieth-Century America! Who Knew?!

In the spring of 1904, New York witnessed the unlikely spectacle of a musical-dramatic adaptation of Richard Wagner’s Parsifal—in Yiddish.
April 30, 2019

Dystopia on the Verge: Or Why a 1934 Yiddish Play About Charlie Chaplin Still Matters

Somewhere, in an obscure port city in Europe…
April 15, 2019

The World of Sara Levy

Sara Levy studied with Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, son of J. S. Bach, and became an accomplished keyboardist. She also supported a Jewish orphanage in Berlin and was a known salon hostess.
April 2, 2019

Yiddish Theatre in Buenos Aires Between the Two World Wars

Buenos Aires has grown to be one of the most important cities for Yiddish theatre in South America.
February 20, 2019

“More Argentine than Martín Fierro”: Jevel Katz’s Debut in Buenos Aires, 1930

During the 1930s, Buenos Aires cemented its reputation as one of the capitals of Yiddishland. And Jevel Katz, the Yiddish Carlos Gardel, one of the greats.
December 21, 2018

Why Does Muni Weisenfreund Play “Shund”?

The career of the young actor Muni Weisenfreund is noteworthy, practically legendary.
November 27, 2018

But Enough About Strindberg; Let’s Talk About Goldenberg!

Oh, to have witnessed such a scene!
October 12, 2018

Hatuey: Memory of Fire—An Interview

As part of our coverage of the recent premiere of Hatuey: Memory of Fire, Joel Berkowitz interviewed members of the production’s creative team about the work’s genesis and influences and much more.
October 2, 2018

A Yiddish Poet, a Cuban Revolutionary, and a Historical Legend Walk Into a Bar: A Review of Hatuey: Memory of Fire

A brand-new opera, sung partially in Yiddish and partially in Spanish—and sometimes in both languages at the same time.
September 21, 2018

Found in Translation: Hatuey, Cuba, and the Jews

Some background on the Yiddish epic poem, Hatuey.
August 30, 2018

Avrom Fishzon, or the Berdichev Sheherazad

The DYTP’s first long form blog post: a reflection on the actor and impresario Avrom Fishzon (1843?–1922).
August 2, 2018

How Jewish Can One Fiddler Be?: Reflections on the Folksbiene’s Fidler afn dakh

DAVID LEARNED ABOUT the Yiddish production of Fiddler on the Roof from his husband’s non-Jewish aunt, who lives on the Upper West Side. Auntie Kay, as we call her, has the pulse on Jewish New York like no one else, even though she’s not Jewish. He then emailed his culture-maven colleague in New York, Rebecca Kobrin, to see […]
July 26, 2018

A Yiddish Homecoming for Fiddler on the Roof

Fifteen years ago, I played violin in the pit orchestra for a high school production of Fiddler on the Roof in Sheldon, Iowa, a town whose five thousand residents were overwhelmingly white, Christian, and politically conservative. As the only Jew in at least a fifty-mile radius, I wondered how the show would resonate with the audience, most of whom […]
July 17, 2018

A fidler afn dakh: Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish

Before there was Fiddler, there was Tevye.
July 5, 2018

Zylbercweig’s Leksikon and Selfridges’ Rump Steak: In Memoriam Harry Ariel

In this tale of Łódź and London, David Mazower remembers the Yiddish actor Harry Ariel and a life-changing association with theatre historian Zalmen Zylbercweig.
June 6, 2018

When Sholem Asch Met Tarantino: Motke ganev Comes to Tel Aviv

The play’s melodramatic plot was fleshed out with attractive costumes, a dynamic set design, and songs by Leonard Cohen, performed cabaret-style by a female singer.
May 9, 2018

Yiddish Theatre Stars & Matinee Girls on the Move

You didn’t need to be the Great Gatsby to have a good time in the Roaring Twenties.
April 11, 2018

Rosa Rapoport and Teatro IFT in Buenos Aires

In this excerpt from Rosa’s oral history, she shares her memories performing on stage at Teatro IFT, and the theatre’s eventual transition from Yiddish to a Spanish-language repertoire.
March 26, 2018

Sholem Asch at the End of the World

Sholem Asch belongs to those Yiddish authors who often defy rather than obey the conventions of Yiddish culture and Jewish sensibilities.
March 12, 2018

Curtain Falls on the Sunshine Theatre

One of the last remnants of the Second Avenue Yiddish Theatre District will be demolished to give way for a “boutique” office building.
February 12, 2018

Rubber Bullets at False Targets: On Dzigan and Shumacher’s Performance in the Soviet Union

Shimen Dzigan and Isroel Schumacher’s professional artistic career began as actors in the experimental Yiddish theatre “Ararat,” in Łódź .
January 9, 2018

Revival and Homage Productions of Yiddish Theatre

There’s something about the popular entertainment of the 1880s-1930s that draws people to fool around with creative ways of making it contemporary.
December 11, 2017

Goodbye, Columbia: A Yiddish Playwright and the German Stage

Pinski came to prominence as a Yiddish writer and playwright, yet his connection to German theatre and cultural life was strong.
November 27, 2017

Perla Rozenblum: A Porteño Life in Yiddish Theatre

Why is it that I love the theatre so much? Because my parents, in Poland, went to the theatre a lot.
September 24, 2017

Something Special for the High Holidays

Kol Nidre on Broadway, a cantor with a voice that sounds like fifty canaries, and other High Holiday gigs in turn-of-the-century New York City.
September 11, 2017

Yaschar: My Father’s Life in Yiddish Theatre

Yaschar Aronowicz, My father, participated in Yiddish theatre for three decades, in at least two European cities, Berlin and Paris.
August 8, 2017

Yiddish Opera at the Standard Theatre, London 1895

Who in Surabaya would possibly be interested in reading about Yiddish theatre in London’s East End?
July 20, 2017

The Grand Street Theatre: A Modern Playhouse Built for Old-fashioned Shund

“A note of patriotic fervor, mingled with the pride of local achievement marked the opening of the new Grand Theatre, at Chrystie and Grand streets, last night,”
May 29, 2017

Théâtre Lancry: The Center of Yiddish Paris

Paris is known for, among other things, its theatre. Institutions like the Théâtre de l’Odéon and the Comédie-Française, for example, come immediately to mind. Lost to history, however, is Théâtre Lancry: the first and most important site of Yiddish theatre in Paris. First built in 1880, Théâtre Lancry was intended as a small space for community gatherings. It seated […]
May 15, 2017

The Troïm-Teater and Contemporary Yiddish Theatre in Paris

Yiddish theatre is alive and well in the City of Light.
April 27, 2017

Scoring Indecent

Lisa Gutkin details the living and breathing aspect of music composition, what it means to strike the right tone, and how melodies appear, disappear, and reappear.
April 18, 2017

The Stones Outtake

An outtake from the play Indecent
April 6, 2017

Yiddish Drama on the Broadway Stage

From its beginnings, New York’s Yiddish theatre intersected with the mainstream English-language stage.
March 22, 2017

​“I would have run away, but there was only one path for me – onto the stage”: Bertha Kalich at the Romanian National Theatre, Part II

When I finished the performance, I kept asking Spachner and Hirsh, “where did the rotten onions go?”
February 28, 2017

10 Things You Need to Know About God of Vengeance

A Twitter summary of its production history would read something like this: “admired, translated, parodied, panned, banned, prosecuted, withdrawn, forgotten, revived, celebrated.”
January 16, 2017

Sholem Asch: God of Vengeance is Not an Immoral Play

Because of the wrong interpretation of my play, *The God of Vengeance*, now running at the Apollo Theatre, I wish to make the following statement…
January 7, 2017

Brothel Intrigue, with a Modern Twist: Got fun nekome at the New Yiddish Rep

The New Yiddish Rep’s production is no period play. The play itself feels remarkably modern, even 110 years later, and the New Yiddish Rep has given *Got fun nekome* a production to match.
December 29, 2016

Journeys Through a Life in the Theatre: Charles Slucki (1948-2015)

"There are no small parts, only small actors,” my dad would tell me...
December 23, 2016

Mending The Torn Curtain: A Documentary Film About the First International Yiddish Theatre Festival

Montreal prides itself on being the city of festivals. It is home to the world’s largest, if not the most prestigious, jazz festival, and the largest, and maybe the most prestigious, comedy festival.
November 9, 2016

Dragging the Netherlands into a Global World: Yiddish Theatre and the Ansky Society

The Netherlands never established a permanent Yiddish theatre, but it did establish the Ansky Society
October 24, 2016

Franz Kafka’s Vagabond Stars

On February 18 1912, a Prague businessman and little-known German-language writer named Franz Kafka introduced an evening of Yiddish literary recitations in the city’s Jewish Town Hall.
September 29, 2016

A Yiddish Musical That Never Was

Camp Boiberik opened in the 1920s and closed in 1979, and if you will indulge a momentary digression from the topic, allow me to illustrate the importance of this camp for our subject.
September 16, 2016

When History Belonged to the Opera Writers

History belonged to the opera writers. First Goldfaden, and later Hurwitz and Lateiner and their followers, owned the franchise on Jewish history.
August 31, 2016


My first real-life encounter with Fyvush Finkel coincided roughly with my entry into the world of New York Yiddish theatre.
August 3, 2016

Breaking News: Yiddish Theatre Makes Money

Reviews of Avrom Goldfaden’s productions are notorious for critics’ snarky pot-shots, huffy asides, and sniffy evaluations.
July 27, 2016

How I Rediscovered Di goldene kale (The Golden Bride)

Michael Ochs on rediscovering the 1923 Yiddish operetta Di goldene kale by Joseph Rumshinsky.
April 26, 2016

Lekoved pesach

Adapting to the abundance of the New World, Passover developed into a secular festival for shopping and entertainment.
April 13, 2016

Should a Married Woman Visit a Yiddish Music Hall?

. Why would it be a problem if someone went to a music hall simply to have some fun? In the early 1900s, the answer was complicated.
March 7, 2016

Rare Yiddish Manuscripts from Helsinki Performed Again

Among the dusty heaps of thousands of documents sat a tall pile of Yiddish theatre manuscripts from first half of the 20th century.
February 19, 2016

Yiddish Theatre in Denmark, 1906-56

In 1912, a Jewish tailor left Imperial Russia for Denmark.
February 8, 2016

Uncle Ed, Yiddish Theatre Impresario

“My Uncle Ed was a Yiddish theatre impresario,” my friend Martha mentioned casually, as we were busy prepping for an event at our local Yiddish organization.
January 19, 2016

A Tribute to Sonia Lizaron

Arnold Zable is an award winning writer, storyteller, educator, and human rights advocate.
January 4, 2016

Boris Thomashefsky and Aaron Lebedeff

A few years ago, while roaming the open stacks of the Stanford University Libraries, I came across a copy of Thomashefsky’s memoir.
December 17, 2015

Interview: Indecent Playwright Paula Vogel and Director Rebecca Taichman

Joel interviews Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman about the drama Indecent, which premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre.
December 4, 2015

Six Degrees of Yankev Blayfer

Yankev Blayfer. Sonia Alomis. Leola Vendorf. Baruch Lumet. Wolf Barzel. Who are these figures and what is their place in history?
November 17, 2015

The Sholem Asch Festival: Poland Rediscovers a Yiddish Dramatist

Every two years around this time I visit the Polish town of Kutno, for the Jewish festival named after my great-grandfather, the Yiddish writer Sholem Asch. He was born there in 1880 in a single-story wooden house on one of the town’s main streets. Asch left Kutno as a teenager, having grown weary of his religious studies, […]
October 26, 2015

Yiddish Lives, Smirks, and Breathes: Restoring Community Theatre into Yiddish History

Diving off of the raised proscenium stage, I don a fish mask and begin to swim through the audience. “Vu zaynen di fish?” (Where are the fish?).
July 2, 2015

A Lost Film, Found

I’d never heard of him before, but I’ve found out a few things about Mark Schweid since February.
June 29, 2015

The Krakow Yiddish Theatre Postcards – a Crowdsourcing Experiment

Think of the pulsating energy of Motown’s dawn in Detroit. Or the soaring sounds of early jazz in New Orleans.
May 18, 2015

Audiences are Idiots

One of the hardest problems in theatre studies is understanding audiences response.
April 28, 2015

Matzah and Melodrama: Nahum Stutchkoff’s Yiddish Song Lyrics

Nahum Stutchkoff (1893-1965) was a beloved Yiddish radio personality, playwright, lyricist and linguist who created dramas and commercials for WEVD radio.
March 18, 2015

Russians? Cossacks? Jews? The Russian Imperial Singers Unmasked

SOME PHOTOGRAPHS JUST make you smile, and this is one of them. When I first saw it I thought it was a group of adults dressed up for the Jewish festival of Purim. That would explain the Cossack-style costumes and the (real or fake?) comedy store moustaches. In fact, although it’s not a Purim photo, that […]
March 4, 2015

A Writer, a Painter, and Queen Esther

Purim reminds us that modern Yiddish theatre traces its lineage from the traditional folk drama genre known as the Purim-shpil.
February 4, 2015

Goldfaden’s Rules for Yiddish Actors

In 1888, the first school for Yiddish actors was supposed to open in New York. It never did.
January 29, 2015

Ola Lillith’s Edgy, Avant-Garde Yiddish Cabaret

I first discovered Ola Lilith while researching for my band Mappamundi’s Cabaret Warsaw CD.
January 21, 2015

The Talented Mr Rotblat and His Micrographic Tribute to Jacob Gordin

This is the story behind an exquisite portrait of a Yiddish dramatist.
January 13, 2015

Yiddish Theatre Posters of the 1890s

The New York Public Library’s Digital Collection includes Yiddish theatre posters dating back more than a hundred years.
January 5, 2015

The Chasidim Ball

Between 1921 and 1933, a “Chasidim Ball” was held to raise funds for Poale Zion, or for the Peretz Shule. But why?
December 21, 2014


Over the past year, as time has permitted, I’ve been revisiting the subject of theatre in the Warsaw Ghetto.
December 15, 2014

Advice from Sidney Lumet’s Yiddish Actor Dad

Sidney Lumet was a legendary director. He was also a child actor in the Yiddish theatre.
December 14, 2014

An Amateur Yiddish Theater in Cairo

David Mazower is the Bibliographer and Editorial Director at the Yiddish Book Center and the co-editor with Aaron Lansky of the Center's English-language magazine Pakn Treger.