Eastern Europe



July 29, 2020

How Two Nudniks Saved History from the Fire

The Moscow State Yiddish Theatre archives are available digitally!
November 6, 2019

Theatre: A Sketch

Jessica Kirzane’s translation and introduction of ​Miriam Karpilove’s “Theatre.”
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).
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.
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 .
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of its production history would read something like this: “admired, translated, parodied, panned, banned, prosecuted, withdrawn, forgotten, revived, celebrated.”
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.
January 19, 2016

A Tribute to Sonia Lizaron

Arnold Zable is an award winning writer, storyteller, educator, and human rights advocate.
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, […]
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.
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 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.
December 21, 2014


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