Jacob Fishman, one of
the main founders of the company, writes about its establishment:
Folksbiene did not come to life and expression as a newborn child,
but was first formed by members of a pair of other dramatic unions,
and later took in (or was taken in by) another pair of such
unions … This was in those years that the large Jewish worker’s
organization, the “Arbeter Ring” [Workers Circle], began a fight for
culture … In 1915, an Arbeter Ring leader and, at that time, a member
of the National Education Committee, David Abrams, came to a meeting
of the “Hebrew Dramatic League” and suggested that it associate
itself as a branch of the Arbeter Ring and become the Arbeter Ring’s
It was not easy to
convince the members of the “Hebrew Dramatic League” to become a
branch of the Arbeter Ring. The greater majority feared that it
would be swallowed up by the larger organization; it was even argued
that it would lose its independence; that the national office would
censor the plays and undertake to remove individual writers from our
In January 1915, the
match was made. The “Hebrew Dramatic League” became Branch 555 of
the Arbeter Ring and freely took on the name Fraye Yidishe
Folksbiene (Free Yiddish People’s Stage), [not to be
confused with the organization “Fraye Yidishe Folks-Bine” which was
founding in 1896-1897 in New York, with the goal of working for a
better Yiddish theatre, fighting “shund” on the Yiddish stage.
[About that organization, see “Fraye Yidishe Folks-Bine”.] This was
done so that members of the various actors' unions, which were
blended together in the "Hebrew Dramatic League" would not feel aggrieved, and also
because, with its entrance into the Arbeter Ring, a new chapter in
the history of dramatic unions in America was begun.”
involved, Louis Mann, recounts:
that, when the Fire Department also closed our “Progressive Dramatic
Club” on Orchard Street, we combined the remaining members of all
three dramatic clubs and, under the leadership of Fishman,
reorganized ourselves anew, and in order for it not to be said that
they wanted the steal the name of the prior “progressives,” they
decided to call themselves by another name, that is: Di Fraye
Yidishe Folksbiene (The Free Yiddish Folksbiene)”.
Shloime Edelheit recounts:
"... in a
basement room, somewhere on East Broadway, we organized the “Free
Yiddish Folksbiene”, with the same ideal and same goal as the
“Progressive Dramatic Club.” We modestly continued our literary
work, and in order to strengthen that work, in order to make its
existence stronger, we, the leadership group of members, decided to
affiliate ourselves with the large Jewish worker’s union, Arbeter
Ring, and we became Branch 555. Under its auspices and with its
help, the Free Yiddish Folksbiene was much more successful, because
the large membership of the Arbeter Ring listened to us and helped
strengthen the ideal of the Free Yiddish Folksbiene."
February 5, 1915, according to Jacob Fishman, the Free Yiddish
Folksbiene was officially installed as a branch of the Arbeter Ring
with a beautiful concert and program at Arlington Hall. The
speakers were: M. Yonas, the president at the time, and Ben-Yakir
(Dr. Rozenblat), General Secretary. Participants in the concert
were the “Halevy” choir, and the “Bine” (Fraye Yidishe Folksbiene) performed
Bagnadinung (The Good Hope?) by Herman Heijermans,
Kalkhos, by Anton Chekhov,
and one act from Gayster (Ghosts) by Henrik Ibsen.
challenging dramatic pieces had been chosen in order to show the
large audience of over one-thousand people who filled up the hall,
representing all the New York branches, the National Executive and
State committees of the Arbeter Ring, that they could be proud of
their institution – and on that evening the Arbeter Ring officially
proclaimed the Fraye Yidishe Folksbiene as its dramatic
writer of this article was then elected to be the director … it was
then the Fraye Yidishe Folksbiene decided to take a different
turn. Until then, it had avoided staging social dramas that
had a viewpoint. We had thought that when the writer sought to preach a
belief or an idea from the stage, the literary worth of the
work suffered. Now we felt that ideas could now be preached from
the stage by actors. … There must, naturally, be criteria by which
a “propaganda play” could be assessed so as to see that the literary
side, the hardiness and truth in the actions and the characters not
be lost in the politics of the play.”
Have you ever been -- to a
shund and to true art? To a mess and to rich art?
Fraye Yidishe Folks-Bine
formerly the Hebrew Dramatic League, Branch 555, Arbeter
Friday Evening, February 5 , in the Manhattan Lyceum, 66 East
There will be appear the greatest social art work of Henrik
Ibsen, Der folks-faynd (An Enemy of the People).
Translated by S. Yanovsky and performed by the following
Katerina, his wife
Walter, his child
Frederick, his child
Peter Stockman, a mayor
Havstar, an editor
Aslaksen, a printer
Billing, a reporter
Martin Kiul, Katerina's father
Harster, a captain
Tickets 15, 25 and 50 cents
can be purchased in Levin's Restaurant, 183 East Broadway;
at the Art Pastel Card Company, 22 Second Avenue, 23o East
On April 5, 1915, Ibsen’s Folks-faynd (An Enemy of the
People), translated by Sh. Yanovsky, was
presented. “... We chose – adds J. Fishman – Henrik Ibsen’s Folks-Faynt
(An Enemy of the People) as our first project.
We prepared for many months, rehearsed and took lessons to try to
bring to life the atmosphere of the small Norwegian town and the
experiences and ideas of its people … and on April 5, 1915*, the
play was performed in Sh. Yanovsky’s translation …
very well-received and was held over several times in New
York, in Brooklyn and in the Bronx. Those who wrote the
history of the dramatic unions in America felt it was very
irresponsible for a new amateur dramatic organization to
make its first effort such a difficult five-act drama as
Folks-faynt (An Enemy of the People). It will
now become clear that in this regard, the actors of the
Fraye Yidishe Folksbiene already possessed a lot of
experience and education from the previous dramatic unions
in which they acted.”
Known formerly as the Hebrew Dramatic League, Branch 555 of
the Arbeter Ring, this production of the "Fraye Yidishe
Folksbiene" was staged in the Manhattan Lyceum, which was
located at 66 East 4th Street, in Lower Manhattan, NYC.
[*Above, to the right, is an advertisement for Folks-faynt
that appeared the Jewish Forward (Forverts) newspaper the
day before its opening,
which, according to the advertisement, was on February 9,
1915, not on April 15, as is indicated in the history of the
Lexicon that appears in the "Lexicon of the Yiddish
On March 30, 1915, at Arlington Hall (on 19 St. Marks Place (and 8th
Street), Shney (Snow) by Stanisław
Przybyszewski, translated by Shachna Epstein was staged, as
well as the play Gest
(Guests) by Stanisław Przybyszewski, which was translated by A. Frumkin.
Both plays had previously been presented by the Progresiv
Dramatik Klub (Progressive Dramatic Club).
Fraye Yidishe Folks bine
Branch 555 Arbeter Ring
Invite lovers of truly beautiful drama
March 30  (Second Seder night), in Arlington Hall, 19 St.
Marks Place (and 8th Street), where there will appear two
famous art works from the Polish playwright Stanisław
a drama in four acts, translated by Shachna Epstein
Personnel: Madeus -- Izidor
Buzet; Branga -- Sonia Berman; Yella -- Miss Lubin; Kazimir
-- Jacob Fishman, Lakadina -- Mrs. Silverman; Diener -- Mr.
Gest (Guests), a
dramatic epilogue, translated by Abraham Frumkin
Personnel: Adam -- Jacob
Fishman; Bella -- Mrs. Finfer; Pola -- Sonia Birman; Guest
-- Max Shtrahl; Unknown -- Mr. Harbanov; First old man --
Morris Derevenski; Second old man -- Mr. Yanov.
Begins exactly at 8:15 p.m.
Tickets 25 cents
Tickets in advance can be
purchased every evening at 289 East Broadway.
Jacob Fishman writes
of that presentation at Neighborhood Playhouse:
artistic achievements of the Folksbiene were demonstrated one year
(one season) later, when it began to give a series of performances
in the small, but pretty, artistic theatre Neighborhood Playhouse on
Grand Street. The small theatre was built by two Jewish-American
girls, the sisters Irene and Ellen Lewisohn. With their rich and
strong love of theatre arts, they built the theatre not as a
business, but with a rich cultural goal: to give the Jewish
residents of the East Side good literary dramas (in English),
concerts and ballet performances.
On October 24, 1915, at Neighborhood Playhouse, Di fayern fun yohanes nakht
(Fires of St. John), a by play by Hermann Sudermann, translated
by L. Balleyzen, was performed. It had been previously performed by
the “Hebrew Actors League.”
On October 31, 1915, at the Neighborhood Playhouse, the
Fayntlekhe veltn (Menashe) (Enemy Worlds (Menashe), a drama in
four acts by Ranet Roman, translated from the Romanian by A.
Horowitz, which was previously performed by the Hebrew Dramatic
The Educational Committee of the Arbeter Ring
Every ticket is sold out for
Di fayern fun yohanes nakht (Fires of St. John)
Reserved seats are available for
Fayntlekhe veltn (Menashe)
A drama in four acts by Ranet Roman.
Translated from the Romanian by A. Horowitz.
Previously performed by the Hebrew Dramatic League.
This coming Sunday, October 31st .
At the Neighborhood Playhouse.
In those days, Philip Geliebter, a’h, was the Executive-Secretary of the Arbeter Ring … Geliebter
tried to recruit the Neighborhood Playhouse for a series of
presentations. There, however, he came up against an iron wall – the
wall of assimilation by the American Jewish sisters."
They and their close relative, the Jewish-American writer
complained that Jews in America needed to assimilate and they should
carry on their activity in English.
In the end, they welcomed the
Fraye Folksbiene on condition that it justified its artistic
merit. So it added
Geliebter’s English translation of Peretz Hirschbein’s Yoel (Joel)
and they liked the play.
Since Yoel had previously been
performed by almost the same group (The Hebrew Dramatic League), it
rehearsed it anew, changed a few roles, and performed the play twice
exclusively for the Lewisohn sisters and their friends. The
performances were well received and the “FYFB” [Fraye Yidishe
Folksbiene] got permission to play there for four weeks, every
Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The permission was then extended.
Playhouse, 466 Grand St., near Pitt Street
A series of
productions under the supervision of the
Educational Committee of the Arbeter Ring.
evening, January 8, , Yoel
(Joel), a drama in three acts by Peretz
bruder (Brother and Sister), a tragi-comedy
in one act by Mark Arnstein.
On Sunday evening,
January 9, , Tsulib glik
(Because of Happiness [?]), a drama in three
a dramatic epilogue in one act.
Staged under the
direction of Jacob Fishman of the Fraye Yidishe
Folks Bine, Branch 555 Arbeter Ring.
Reserved seats in
25 cents; Sunday 25 and 30 cents; next Saturday
evening, 15th (January), Der folks-faynd.
Neighborhood Playhouse, 466 Grand Street
This Saturday evening, January 15 
The fifth art production under the supervision of the
Educational Committee of the Arbeter Ring, which will
present Der folks faynd (The Enemy of the People),
by Henrik Ibsen, translated by Sh. Yanovsky. A social
drama in five acts. Staged by the Fraye Yidishe
Folks-Bine, Branch 555 of the Arbeter Ring.
Under the direction of
Begins at 8:15 p.m.
Tickets 25 cents.
Next Saturday evening (January 22): Di gayster
(Ghosts), by Henrik Ibsen.
[a drama in three acts; translated by Joel Entin]
Arlington Hall, 19-23 St. Marks Place (and 8th
This Sunday afternoon, January 16th 
The first yaresfest of the Fraye Yidishe Folks
Bine, as Branch 555 of the Arbeter Ring, which will
Di zelbe simonim (The
Same Signs [?]), a comedy by Z. Libin.
an etude by David Pinski.
Shvester un Bruder
(Brother and Sister), a tragi-comedy by Mark
Kalkhos, an etude
by Anton Chekhov.
The chairman of the
general management of the Arbeter Ring as the guest
speaker. Popular admission, 10 cents. Begins at 2 p.m.
On March 19, 1916,
Di mishpokhe (The Family) by H.D. Nomberg [see ad], which had previously been performed by the Progressive
Dramatic Club, was performed at the Manhattan Lyceum.
In the same year –
according to Jacob Fishman – the Folksbiene had a nice venue at 155
Clinton Street, where it held concerts and literary evenings and –
according to Boris Levin – Fridays readings took place.
On February 13, 1917,
at the Gabel's Theatre, Jacob Fishman’s dramatization (Yiddish
translation by Zalmen Reyzen) in four acts and three scenes, of F.
Dostoyevsky’s Farbrekhn un shtrof (Crime and Punishment)
was performed. [see ad]
Writes J. Fishman:
“The play was very
long and lasted until 1 a.m. This was too long and difficult, so in
later performances it was redacted so that it could be performed in
Manhattan Lyceum, 66 East 4th Street. In honor of Purim!
A holiday play!
On this Sunday evening,
March 19 , there will be performed by the Fraye Yidishe
Folks-Bine, Branch 555 Arbeter Ring, Di mishpokhe
(The Family), a drama in four acts by H.D.
With the participation of
these women: Birman, Silverman, Field, Rubinstein,
Finfer et al. Men: Predmest, Balski and Ginzburg.
Tickets may be purchased
every evening in our club rooms, 135 Henry Street,
and Sunday an entire day at the box office of the
Manhattan Lyceum. Tickets are 25 cents. The production
begins at 8:15 in the evening. Notice: All Arbeter Ring
branches and professional organizations of the country
who want to have our strong, one-act plays or
productions, should turn to the following address: Frie
Yiddishe Volks Binnhe, 135 Henry St., New York City.
Today! The great evening.
The anniversary production of the Fraye Yidishe Folks
Bine, Branch 555 Arbeter Ring.
There will be performed
the great master work of the great Russian playwright,
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Ferbrekhen un shtrof (Crime
and Punishment), the tragedy of human souls, in
four acts and three scenes, dramatized and staged by Mr.
Performed by the following
women: Birman, Kashinsky, rubin, Rinfer, Levin,
Rubinstein, Marks and Greenspan. Men: Fishman, Harbanov,
Balski, Grossberg, Oringer, Brand, Arkin, Fridberg,
Rosen and Lonshein.
Due to the great length of
the play, we will begin at 8:15 sharp. Tickets: 25, 35,
50, 75 cents and $1.00. -- Tickets can be purchased at
the box office.
September 29, 1917,
again at the Neighborhood Playhouse, the Folksbiene performed Eynzame
mentshn (Lonely People) by Gerhart Hauptmann, translated
by Abraham Frumkin, which had previously performed by the Progressive
466 Grand Street
Today and Tomorrow Evening
Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30.
There will be given the first of a series of productions
under the supervision of the Educational Committee of
the Arbeter Ring.
With the performance of the great, psychological master
work of the genial playwright Gerhart Hauptman.
A drama in five acts, translated by G. Frumkin and
staged by the
Fraye Yidishe Folks-Bine, Branch 555 Arbeter Ring
With the participation of the women: Birman, Levin and
Roskovski; and the men: Fishman, Rosberg, Katz, Predmest,
Lonshein and Reznik. Singing performed by the Arbeter
Dr. B. Hoffman, chairman
of the Executive Committee, A.R.
Ab. Epstein, chairman of the National Executive
Committee, A.R. will speak between the acts.
Tickets 25 and 50 cents.
Begins at 8:15 sharp.
Tickets can be purchased
at the box office of the theatre.
On October 6, 1917, in
the same place, Kameradn (Comrades), a drama in four acts by
August Strindberg, translated by
L. Balleyzer, was performed.
466 Grand Street
This Saturday and Sunday evening, October 6 and 7 and
the coming Saturday, October 13.
There will be given two
productions under the supervision Educational Committee
of the Arbeter Ring.
There will appear for the
first time in Yiddish
a drama in four acts by August Strindberg, translated by
From his famous series,
Der kampf tsvishn geshlekhter (The Battle Between the
Staged by the Fraye
Yidishe Folks Bine
Branch 555 Arbeter Ring
Begins at 8:15 sharp.
Tickets 25 and 50 cents.
Tickets may be purchased
every evening in the box office of the Neighborhood
Playhouse, 466 Grand Street
In the same month, at
the Neighborhood Playhouse, it performed, under the
direction of Jacob Fishman, Balleyzer’s translation of
Gerhart Hauptmann’s drama in four acts Mikhail Kramer
(An Eynzam Lebn), Mikhail Kramer (Lonely People).
Fishman about these offerings:
“All the plays were a
financial and artistic success. The plays by the Folksbiene
began to get the attention of the press and discussions and
criticism appeared in which the Arbeter Ring’s dramatic institution
was praised for its performance. The successes greatly
encouraged the members of the Folksbiene and they threw themselves
into their work with greater impetus … a strong criticism was that
it performed too many plays from world-literature and not enough
Yiddish. The truth, however, was that as soon as the
Folksbiene received a true literary Yiddish play, it put it on.
There was, however, a big dearth of such plays and it had to use
writers from world-literature.”
That same year, the
Fraye Yidishe Folksbiene joined the “Association of the
Literary-Dramatic Unions” but left it, however, in 1918 after the
association – according to Jacob Fishman – dismissed the claims of
representatives of the FYFB against the founding of a profession
theatre troupe, which would begin to perform in New York.
At that time B. Levin
joined the Fraye Yidishe Folksbiene, became the business
manager and organized a whole range of performances in the Royal,
McKinley Square, Gold and Thalia theatres as well many performances
in the provinces.
At Levin’s initiative
– according to J. Fishman – the Yidishe Folksbiene Corporation was
organized to raise twenty-five thousand dollars with the goal of
establishing its own small theatre. Much effort was exerted
but they could only raise several thousand dollars. In order
to expand the fund, the Davenport Theatre (New York, 27th Street)
was used but the repertory performances, instead of increasing the
fund, swallowed it entirely.
Levin himself writes
“We founded a
cooperative and took action to raise money for a people’s theatre.
Our own members raised several thousand dollars and we hoped to
raise enough money that our dream would come true, but,
unfortunately, this did not work out … One important detail is
this: we did not have the aid of the large Jewish organizations.
Under only our own power, such an undertaking was impossible and
nothing became of the plan.”
On February 16, 1918,
at the Verdi Theatre, it put on Alexander Seldin’s drama in four
acts Man un vayb (Husband and Wife).
31-35 East 4th Street, across the Bowery
The young have the word!
This Saturday and Sunday
evening, February 16 and 17 a second series of
productions begins under the supervision of the
Educational Committee of the Arbeter ring, with the
offering of a modern, realistic play of Jewish-American
life, written by a modern, Yiddish playwright, Alexander
Seldin, Man un vayb (Man and Wife), played in
four acts and produced by the Fraye Yidishe Folks Bine,
Branch 55, Arbeter Ring.
With the participation of
the women: Birman, Green, Silverman, Rashkovski,
Rubinstein and Winchevsky.
Men: Jacob Fishman, Louis
Predmest, Brand, Reznik, Rubin et al.
Tickets 25, 35, 50 and 75
Tickets will be on sale
every evening in our club room, 155 Clinton Street, and
on the day of the production at the box office.
On October 5, 1918, it
put on Peretz Hirschbein’s Grine Felder (Green Fields)
at the Neighborhood Playhouse, directed by Jacob Fishman.
The play was a big
success. The company became popular and began to plan to perform
The advertisement reads:
466 Grand Street
A series of art productions under the
supervision of the Educational Committee of the Arbeter Ring
will present on Saturday and Sunday, October 5th and 6th, with the
production of Grine felder (Green Fields), a romantic popular
drama by Peretz Hirschbein.
Staged by the Fraye Yidishe
Folks-Bine, under the direction of Jacob Fishman.
With Sonia Birman, Sara Rubin, Ethel
Rosenzweig, Julia Green.
Men: Jacob Fishman, Samuel Sherman,
Jacob Rosenbloom, Michael Predmest, and Meyer Arkin.
Tickets 30 and 50 cents (no taxes).
Tickets are reserved for those who are
unable to obtain tickets in advance and will be on sale the evening
of the performance until 8 p.m.
Starts exactly at 8:15.
On September 26, 1919,
Fuhrmann Henschel by Gerhart Hauptmann was performed.
“During that summer
 – describes Boris Levin – we worked on plans so that at the
beginning of the winter we would be able to perform at least once a
week, and we rented the Thalia Theatre, and on September 26, 1919,
we began Fuhrmann Henschel. I remember, that on that
day the weather was very bad and we were all scared of a failure,
but to our great amazement, the box office took in more than three
hundred dollars and we
were able to perform the next week. In the same week, we also
played in Brownsville and a week later, in the Bronx, always playing
to a large audience which enthusiastically enjoyed both the play and
the actors. That is how we performed several weeks with success.
YIDISHE FOLKS BINE
Branch 555 Arbeter Ring
Two art productions to
raise twenty-five thousand dollars fund for a Yiddish
Friday evening, September
26,  (second day of Rosh Hashanah)
The first production in
the Thalia Theatre, Bowery and Canal, with the
play by Gerhart Hauptman, a five-act, social folk drama,
Fuhrmann Henschel. Yiddish by H.D. Nomberg,
directed by Jacob Fishman.
Also: in Brownsville's
Liberty Theatre, Eugene Brie's Di beshedigte (Damaged
Goods), Yiddish by Dr. Liber, directed by Jacob
With the participation of
the women: Zaner, Rubinstein, Gerber, Silverman and
Men: Fishman, Balski, Predmest, Rosenbloom, Oringer,
Reznik, Zamost, Wolf, Kriss and Rubin.
Tickets: 35, 50, 75 cents
and 1 dollar. Tickets can be purchased every evening in
our club rooms, 155 Clinton Street; from Yankowitz at
the bookstore at 179 E. Broadway, and on the day of the
performance at the box office.
-- B. Levin, business
… At that time,
Schnitzer’s “Garden Theatre” already existed [New Yiddish Theatre,
directed by Jacob Ben-Ami], and Maurice Schwartz had founded the Art
Theatre. We performed good literary plays at the Garden Theatre and
performed them well. Schwartz did not yet have a specific style.
One could notice that Maurice Schwartz was seeking something, –
seeking a path. And Schwartz at that time surely thought about
better dramas (Schwartz already had, in season 1918-1919, produced
a better repertoire), because the Garden Theatre had a good
reputation, and we presented literary plays, the audience came.”
Bowery and Canal Street
Di Fraye Yidishe Folks-Bine
Branch 555 of the Arbeter Ring
May 22 (1920), at 2:30 p.m.
Presenting for the first time
Dos kol fun di shtume (Voice of the Mute)
in four acts by Isac Horowitz
Directed by Jacob Fishman
Birman, Bromberg, Zaner, Kindman, Silverman, Kaplan,
Erdman and the little Miss Silverfarb.
Fishman, Rosenbloom, Rubin, Kriss, Oringer, Predmest,
Zayner, Reznik, Shapiro, Burland, Wiener, Schneiderman
Prices of tickets: 59
cents, 75 cents, $1.00 and $1.50.
Tickets can be purchased
in the club rooms, 1943 East 3rd Street; from Yanowitz
in his bookstore; 179 East Broadway , and on the day of
the performance in the Thalia Theatre.
138 East 27th Street, near Lexington Ave.
A series of art productions, given by the
Yidishe Folks Bine
This Saturday evening and
Sunday afternoon and evening.
April 3 and 4 (1920)
On the first day of Passover, there will be performed
Mikhal kramer (Michael Kramer), An eynzam lebn (A Lonely
A drama in four acts by Gerhard Hauptman. Directed by
Sonia Berman, Sarah Rubin, Sonia Rotkowski, Frances
Rubinstein, Nettie Zaner.
Jacob Fishman, Harold Rubin, Samuel Grossberg, Michael
Predmest, Philip Reznik, Jacob Rosenbloom, Samuel Kriss
and William Venz.
The play starts in the
evening at 8:30 sharp, Sunday at 2:15 in the afternoon.
Tickets are 1 dollar, which can be purchased every day
in the box office of the theatre.
-- B. Levin,
On May 19, 1920, the
Yiddish Folksbiene was supposed to open a month of guest
performances at the Irving Place Theatre and in connection, on April
15, 1920, an article appeared in “Tog” which said:
“... it should not be
forgotten that this repertoire – Hirschbein’s Grine felder (Green
Sudermann’s Fayern fun Yohanesnakht (Fires of St. John),
Dostoyevsky’s Farbrekhn un shtrof (Crime and Punishment),
Hauptmann’s Mikhail Kramer (Michael Kramer), Strindberg’s
Komeradn (Comrades), and a list of other plays – was presented
by the Folksbiene a lot earlier than when the Irving Place Theatre
opened with its literary “shtik”. In the history of the literary
repertoire in Yiddish theatre, the Folksbiene belongs in first
place. Furthermore, what the Irving Place Theatre presented, such as
both of Hirschbein’s comedies, were first done by the Folksbiene.
The aim of the Folksbiene is: to build its own people’s theatre in
the style of the Neighborhood Playhouse, in order to present there
the newest and nicest pieces from Yiddish and world literatures.
It is very important for the professional theatre that such a small
artistic people’s theatre exist. Just as the work of the Folksbiene
contributed to the existence of the Irving Place Theatre and the
Garden Theatre, which is opening this coming season with a season
with clean, artistic purpose, so can a permanent people's theatre,
maintained by its admirers, further create a repertoire and put on
such works that the professional theatre can not and is scared to
take on. It is therefore in the interest of both the audience as
well as the professional theatre, that the short season of the
Folksbiene at the Irving Place Theatre have great material success
in its mission to build its own little theatre.”
The plan to do guest
performances was, however, not to bear fruit, because of
difficulties with the theatre management.
But the Folksbiene was
not demoralized: at the Thalia Theatre it performed Brie’s
Bashedikte (Damaged Goods), Shma Yisroel (Hear, O
Israel) by Osip Dymow, Hunger by Semion Yushkevich and
Dos kol fun di shtume (Voice of the Mute) by Isac Horowitz.
September 21, 1921,
at the Lipzin Theatre, directed by Jacob Fishman, Karikaturn
(Caricatures) by Itzhak Katzenelson was performed, and in
February 1922, at the Greenwich Village Theatre, the Folksbiene
presented F. Bimko’s Farzunkene veltn (Sunken Worlds)”.
At the Lipzin Theatre,
Bowery, near Rivington Street.
On Wednesday evening,
September 21, for the first time, the Fraye Yidishe
Folks-bine will perform on the Yiddish stage,
Karikaturen (Caricatures), a drama by the modern
Yiddish playwright, Itzhak Katzenelson.
Under the direction of Mr.
With the participation of the
Sonia Berman, Sara Rubin, Leah
Shlessel, Ana Bromberg, Jacob Fishman, Max Balski, Max
Shtrahl, Samuel Wiener, Jacob Lesser, Max Rosen and Samuel
Tickets can be purchased in
the club rooms at 134 East 7th Street, and on the day of the
performance at the box office.
-- B. Levin, business manager.
“In 1922-1923, the
Folksbiene was busy – writes J. Fishman – preparing one-acters and stagings for the big Arbeter Ring Campaign-Concerts, which were, at
the time, organized in five parts of New York City in big halls.
The concerts were free to members of the Arbeter Ring and were
attended by a thousand to two thousand people. The presentations
were very successful and took place for five years”.
Arbeter Ring Concert in
This Sunday afternoon, 28 January (1923)
There will come the delayed Arbeter Ring Concert
in the Hunts Point Palace, Southern Boulevard and 163rd
Organized for the Campaign for 100,000 Members
In the program will be the participants:
Fraye Yidishe Folks Bine,
Jacob Fishman, director.
For the first time on the stage in a mimo-declamation,
Buddha by Merezhgovsky, and a humorous comedy,
Der surprayz (The Suprise) by Ludwig Fulda,
with the participation of Mrs. Berman and Lurie, Shtrahl
and Predmest, Ser-lifshitz, soloist to the mimo-declamation.
Irving Korentman, famous
pianist from Europe
The Arbeter Ring Chorus, M. Pozner, conductor
Arbeter Ring Mandolin Orchestra, Edward Wilson,
Anna Stromberg, soprano -- in solos
M. Rappoport and Hentin, in a duet
Somger piano -- needed
Executive Secretary of the Arbeter Ring, speaker; A.
Dinnerstein, Chairman of the New York City Committee --
Chairman of Concert
Begins at 2 p.m. sharp.
small children under ten years of age.
Organized by the New York Organization and
Educational Committee of the Arbeter Ring
Tickets 20 cents. All tickets [that were purchased] for
January 14 are good for the concert.
On March 10, 1923, at
the Royal Union Theatre, Di farloyrene hofnung (The Good Hope)
by Herman Heijermans, directed by Jacob Fishman, was performed. All
the members of the Folksbiene took part in the play, assisted by the
Arbeter Ring Chorus which sang the Fisher-lider (Fishermen songs),
which were specially written and taught ably by its composer and the
chorus director, Meyer Pozner.
Abraham Reyzen writes
about the performance:
“The piece was very
well-performed, and, perhaps, more than good, taking into
consideration that the Yiddish Folksbiene is an amateur troupe,
though some of them, Sonia Birman, Jacob Fishman, Etl Rosenzweig and
Harold Rubin, fully and surely could have (and should) perform as
professional actors on the Yiddish stage … In general, the
Folksbiene showed in its performance of Heijermans’ Di farloyrene
hofnung that it not only has the right to exist, but that it
deserves to be supported by all lovers of Yiddish theatre in general
and and from the professional theatre world in particular."
“At the same time that
the Fraye Yidishe Folksbiene prepared plays and one-acters for
New York – writes Jacob Fishman – it also took on the task of hosting
performances in provincial towns in New York, Pennsylvania, New
Jersey, and Connecticut. The performances were arranged by
organizations in the various towns, Arbeter Ring branches, A.R.
schools, labor lyceums, Socialist Farband branches, and other
A great many plays in the Folksbiene’s
repertoire could not be staged in the provinces, once due to
technical difficulties – such as the large number of personnel,
difficult sets, and some of the plays were generally too difficult
for the provinces. However, the demand for performances in the
provincial towns was great and in certain towns we gave six to eight
performances of plays we learned every winter – Jacob Gordin’s
Kreutzer sonata, Di emese kraft (The True Power)
and Di shkhite (The Slaughter). There was a great demand
for Gordin’s plays and we had to satisfy the townspeople. All in
all, there were fifty-eight performances in the provincial towns in
which we performed sixteen plays.”
“In 1925” – writes
again J. Fishman – “a new epoch began for the Folksbiene. I will
call this the epoch of “professional directors.” More than ten
years had already passed since the founding of the Folksbiene.
There were successes of note as well as failures. Not every show
and presentation succeeded. Of the significant number of plays that
were put on, there were a few failures … while our theatre critics
were stingy with love songs to us when a play was done well, they
weren’t frugal in words to take us down when there was a bad
performance … They did not do this to professional theatre
performances, with big financial exposure, and they were more
careful with them. With amateurs there is no standing on ceremony.
It is understandable that this impacted the members and it was then
decided to hire a professional director, one who could give the
members more as a teacher and director, and perhaps really someone
whose name could have an effect on the public and the theatre
At that time,
the actor Leonid Snegoff was hired as the director. This was
encouraging to the members and quite a few new members joined. The
costs became greater, and every member had to pay dues of a dollar a
week. Also, the Education Committee of the A.R. granted a special
subsidy. Snegoff worked up a shortened form the comedy
Shmeterlingen [Shmeterlinger shlakht] (Butterflies
[Battle of the Butterflies]), by Hermann Sudermann,
which was performed
at the Arbeter Ring Campaign-Concerts, and on March 25, 1925, under
his direction at the Yiddish Art Theatre, Semion Yushkevich’s
Misere, a drama in six scenes, was performed. The critics’
reaction was good.
In December 1925,
Mendl Elkin was hired as director and presented the one-act Der
klaun (The Clown) by Kuprin and Leivick's’ drama
Bankrot (Bankrupt), which was performed only in the provinces.
In 1926, the veteran
member of the Folksbiene, Samuel Grossberg, took over the direction
who presented the one-acters Hercules by Bell, Dos
misfarshtendenish (The Misunderstanding) by L.V. and A
retsept kegn shvigers (A Recipe Against Mothers-in-Law) by
Manuel John Diana [All three translated by Z. Zylbercweig].
In 1928, Jacob Fishman
once again became the director in order to take on the “Arbeter Ring
Evenings”, which for ten years had become an important part of the
work of the Education Committee of the Arbeter Ring. The plan was
worked out by the writer Y. Krepliak, who had for a long time led
the “evenings” and was their chairman.
first winter, seven writers' evenings were presented at the Rand
School: Mendele, from which scenes from Fishke der krumer (Fishke
the Lame) were performed; I.L. Peretz – S’Brent (It’s
Burning) and Nokh kvure (After Burial), Sholem Aleichem – Mentshn (People),
Sholem Asch – Mitn shtrom
(Midstream), Avrom Reyzen – In a kabaret (In a Cabaret),
and Dem shadkhn’s tokhter (The Matchmaker’s Daughter), David
Pinski – Dos meydl baym Orn Koydesh (The Girl by the Holy Ark)
and Gliksfargesene (Forgotten Luck), and Z. Libin –
Kolegn (Friends) and Marta.
The first series was
very successful; the hall was overcrowded.
In 1929-1930, under
the direction of Benno Schneider, writers' evenings were presented:
Morris Winchevsky – Der letster nabor (The Last
Recruitment), Abraham Liessin – (Rebe Akiva, Rabbi Avika),
H.D. Nomberg (an act from Di mishpokhe, (The Family), David
Einhorn – Aliles Dam (Blood Libel), Peretz Hirschbein –
Eynzame veltn (Lonely Worlds), and Morris Rosenfeld – In
shop (In the Factory).
In 1931-1933, under
the direction of Leib Kadison, writers' evenings were presented:
A. Waiter – Far tog (Dawn), Z. Segalowitch – Di vant (The
Wall), Leon Kobrin – scenes from Di sonim (The Enemies),
An-Ski – Foter un zun (Father and Son), Jean Rose –
Hinter kulisn (Behind the Scenes), Z. Levin – Dem tatns
tokhter (The Father’s Daughter), Upton Sinclair – Der
farbrekher (The Criminal?), Peretz Hirschbein – Eliohu
Hanovi (Elijah the Prophet), Maxim Gorky – an act from In
opgrunt (The Lower Depths), Arthur Schnitzler – a scene from A
shpil in libe (The Comedy of Seduction), Jacob Gordin –
Voylteter fun der east side (Philanthropists of the
East Side), Eugene O’Neill – a scene from Di horike malpe
(The Hairy Ape), and from Sinclair Lewis – En vikers (Ann
Vickers). Dramatizations by Sh. Frug (Shmoynevker geshtaltn
(Foolish Figures?), Ch.N. Bialik – Fun tsar un tsorn (Of
Worry and Wrath). and J. Opatoshu (In a tey-hoyz (In a
YIDISHE FOLKS-BINE, Branch 555, Arbeter Ring
February 28, 1932
Meyners, staged worker songs, acc0rding to Rozenfeld
and Winchevsky. Participants: Zaner, Zeldis, Tanin,
Mann, Neiditch, Predmest, Rosen, Shtrahl.
Hemerl, staged song by Abraham Reisen
The cobbler ...... Sholom Tanin
The tailor .......... Leon Kolker
The carpenter ... Mordechai Shtrahl
Neyterns, songs from I.L. Peretz
First neytern ...... Lillian Blum
Second neytern .. Ida Garber
Thirt neytern ...... Sarah Stabinowitz
Recitation ....... Leon Kolker
ka mshme ln, song by Abraham Reisen
Solo ...... Sholom Tanin; Batlonim ...... Aurnou,
speech ...... Leo Leow
7) Singing ............... Abe Hershkowitz
8) Songs ................. Rose Podolsky
9) Reading .............. Noach Nachbush
10) Singing .............. Cantor Heyman
11) 6 Brothers, staged folk song
Noach Nachbush, Sholom Tanin, Predmest, Zaner, Neititch
The music to all of the numbers are by Pozner.
-- Leib Kadison
Lighting -- H. Elbaum
rehearsal: A new comedy in three acts by Chone
Gottesfeld, "In tatn arayn."
PRODUCTION OF THE FRAYE YIDISHE FOLKS BINE
Saturday, March 19, 1932, 8:30 p.m.
In the auditorium of the Sholem Aleichem Collective,
Sedgwick Avenue and 238 Street.
1. PARTIES, a
comedy in one act by Chone Gottesfeld, with Michael
Predmest, Anna Bromberg, Joshua Zeldis, Jacob
Teplitzky, Ethel Rosenzweig, Sylvia Gatti, Hyman
Zaner, Sarah Stabinowitz and Max Shtrahl.
2. TWO NEIGHBORS, by
Abraham Goldfaden, with Anna Bromberg, Ida Garber,
Benjamin Shtrahl and Itzhak Rosen.
3. BEHIND THE SCENES,
by Jean Rose, with Michael Predmest, Reuben Aurnou,
Sarah Stabinowitz, Joshua Zeldis, Harry Rubin, Jacob
Rosenblum, Anna Bromberg.
4. A NEW YORK CONCERT,
by Chone Gottesfeld. Reader: Harry Rubin.
Director: Leib Kadison
Arranged by the "Amshal" group.
Admission is only
Also, under the
direction of L. Kadison, Chone Gottesfeld’s comedy Punkt farkert
(Just the Opposite) was presented as well as, in the same
season, Sholem Aleichem’s Shver tsu zayn a Yid (Hard to Be a Jew).
On December 28, 1933,
at the Second Avenue Theatre and under the direction of Nokhem
Tsamakh, H. Leivick's Heldishe yorn (Heroic Years) (aka Hirsch
Leckert) was presented.
Dr. Mukdoni writes of
“Nokhem Tsamakh had
amateurs to work with and he reached the maximum. I have never
heard amateurs speak so clearly, so bitingly, that not one word was
lost. A second assignment of his was to bring out the characters as
much as possible … Nokhem Tsamakh … also managed to put on a show.
He, in truth, neglected, because of lack of time, to present an
entire show … He did what he could do with said drama … I saw the
Folksbiene several times, and what I saw in Hirsch Leckert
On January 11, 1934, at the Second
Avenue Theatre, an evening-of-honor was held for H. Leivick, the
author of the play presented that evening, Heldish yorn (Heroic
Years) (aka Hirsch Leckert).
The advertisement reads:
David Kessler Second Avenue Theatre
Second Avenue and Second Street
Telephone: Orchard 2461-2462
Great evening-of-honor for the beloved poet, H. Leivick.
The Fraye Yidishe Folks-Bine,
announces the premiere production of H. Leivick's poetic drama.
Today, Thursday evening, January 11th
The evening is organized by the best
organizations from New York, and it is expected that all of those
who know the poet Leivick, who love and cherish good theatre, should
be at the Second Avenue Theatre this evening.
Director: Nokhem Tsamakh. Sets by
Chaim Gross and Leib Kadison.
Tickets can be already be bought at the box office of the theatre.
In 1934, the
well-known director David Herman came to America and was promptly
engaged by the Folksbiene, with which he, in January 1935 at
Washington Irving High School and a half-year later at the Second
Avenue Theatre, presented a fragment of I.L. Peretz’s Baynakht
oyfn altn mark (A Night in the Old Marketplace).
[For reviews and
comments about the performances of Lazar Fogelman, Jacob
Kirschenbaum and Jacob Fishman, see “Lexicon of Yiddish Theatre,
Volume 3, 1967-1968.]
Under the direction of
David Herman, writers' evenings were also presented: Jacob Prager
– scenes from Der nisoyen (Give Us Light?), Theodore Dreiser
– Dos lebn geyt vayter (Life Goes On??), Dovid Bergelson –
scenes from Der toyber (The Deaf One), Lion Feuchtwanger –
Di brider hoferman (Di geschwister Oppeheim?), and
Sherwood Anderson – Der gshvartser gelekhter (Dark Laughter).
of Hirsch Leckert /Heroic Years was also done, which renewed interest in it by Yiddish
longer review, Ab. Cahan remarked:
attended the performance at the Second Avenue Theatre and from the
beginning to the end I was in a fever of dramatic interest ... in
retrospect, one cannot help but give the performance compliments.”
William Edlin wrote:
members of the Folksbiene, with their care for their roles, showed a
great deal of intelligence and understanding. They all appeared to
know how they were supposed to perform … At the performance one
didn’t realize that they were amateurs who in life were workers.
Their acting was natural and moving, and for that, perhaps, the
credit goes to the two directors the piece had [Nokhem Tsamakh] ...
and then David Herman … In any case, the play Heldishe Yorn,
presented by the Folksbiene, is an interesting and pleasing
the Folksbiene began a campaign for a Yiddish Folk Theatre, which
would be maintained and run by cultural leaders and cultural
organizations. First, it met with individuals and then with
delegates from branches of the Arbeter Ring, Socialist Farband,
Jewish National Workers Farband, trade unions and cultural
organizations. An administrative committee was voted in, in which,
separately, Yosef Vaynberg and Louis Mann were active. A tidy sum
was raised but because of various difficulties, the plan did not
come to pass.
4, 1936, under the direction of Mikhail Rasumny, the drama
Provints (Provinces) by Leo Robbins was performed at the
Second Avenue and 12th Street, Tel.: Stuyvesant 9-7195
TODAY, SATURDAY EVENING,
APRIL 4 
The premiere of Leon
Robbin's social drama, Province (Provints).
Stage direction: Michail Rasumny, sets by Eugene Dunkel.
With the participation of:
Sonia Birman (guest actress)
Tillie, their child
Marvin, their child
Bitrim, his daughter
Ben, his son
Piters, union leader
Brighton, union leader
Arbeter Ring member
Tickets 50, 75 cents and 1 dollar.
Rogoff wrote about the presentation:
players who take part are not professionals. If that was not
perceived during the presentation, that was thanks mostly to the
director, Mikhail Rasumny. It is due to him that the amateurs
performed like veteran, seasoned actors.”
was performed three times with a big deficit.
winter, M. Rasumny directed these dramatizations for the Writers’
Evenings: Tsigayner (The Gypsies) by Pushkin, In di
shturemdike teg (In the Stormy Days) by I.J. Singer, A
yidishe tokhter (A Jewish Daughter) by David Einhorn, and
Kentucky by I.J. Schwartz (dramatized by M. Osherowitch).
On March 13 , in the
Nora Bayes Theatre, under the direction of J. Shigorin,
the three-act comedy Komediantn (The Jesters) by Der Tunkeler
Yidishe Folksbiene" leader, Jacob Fishman, wrote about the play:
“This is a
very unsuccessful presentation. The play was not funny, which one
usually expects from a Folksbiene production. The result was very
meager and this was the Folksbiene’s only season not to be proud of,
though both the director and the cast did everything in their power
to derive something out of Komediantn. It wasn’t possible –
there was simply not material with which to work.”
The advertisement reads:
220 W. 44th Street, West of Broadway, Lackawana 4-3528
The Folksbiene announced the
production of Komediantn (The Jesters), by Joseph Tunkel,
a comedy in three acts.
Premiere today, Sunday evening, March
13,  and every Sunday afternoon and evening.
Direction: Jacob Shigorin
Music: Pola Kadison
Dance: Pauline Kaner
Tickets: 50 and 75 cents, $1 and
Tickets can be purchased at the
theatre or at the Folks-bine at 150 West 46th Street, Studio 303,
Tel. Longacre 3-0939.
Elkin was hired for the 1938-1939 season and gave himself the task
of organizing a dramatic studio at the Folksbiene. There was little
interest from students. The studio was nevertheless continued for a
time with Mendl Elkin, Jacob Mestel, M. Osherowitch, Jacob Fishman
and Julia Levin as instructors.
1938, Elkin also directed Liessin’s Levi yitskhok berditshever
(dramatized by M. Osherowitch), the one-act Prost blumen
(Ordinary Flowers) by Peretz Hirschbein, and the dramatizations,
Kantonistn (Conscripts) by Sh. Ginzburg and Sheyne
balebatim (Petty Bourgeois?) by Sholem Aleichem.
19, 1939, at the Master Institute, under the direction of Jacob
Fishman, Di kretshme (The Tavern), a drama by M. Ghitzis was
presented, along with the previously mentioned one-act Prost blumen
(Ordinary Flowers) by Peretz Hirschbein.
103rd Street and Riverside Drive, N.Y.C.
TODAY, FRIDAY EVENING, MAY
THE FOLKSBIENE will hold
an arts evening of two original dramas.
(Ordinary Flowers), a popular drama
by Peretz Hirschbein.
Directed by Mendl Elkin.
Predmest in Kretshme (The Tavern), a dramatic
study in two scenes by M. Ghitzis.
Directed by Jacob Fishman.
The entire personnel of
the Folksbiene will participate in the production.
Tickets 50, 75 cents and 1 dollar.
Tickets may be purchased at the studio, located at
150 West 46th Street, N.Y.C.
event begins at 8:30 in the evening.
7, 1940, the Folksbiene celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary at
the the Barbizon Plaza Theatre with Jacob Fishman’s production of
Eybike martirer (Eternal Martyrs), a ghetto tragedy in
two acts and eleven scenes, dramatized by Yikir Nemirow.
The scenes consisted
of: In keynems land (In Noone’s Land) by Hirsh Bril and Yikir
Nemirow, A yidishe tokhter (A Jewish Daughter) and Dray
loite lilies (Three Red Lilies) by Dovid Einhorn, Der eybiker
vanderer (The Eternal Wanderer), adapted from Abraham
Goldfaden’s Doktor Almasada (Doctor Almasado); Goles
shpanie (Spanish Exile), Der troymer fun der geto (The Dreamer of
the Ghetto) by Israel Zangwill (in four scenes), and Der
eybiker Yid (The Eternal Jew) by Abraham Liessin. The storyline
between the various scenes was tied together through two symbolic
images: Ezra – der eybiker Yid (Ezra – the Eternal Jew) and
Di fremde Maria – Der gevisn fun der velt (?) which
also functioned as prologue and epilogue.
B. Levitin wrote of
“A show, which both
with its character and its combination of actors, is a rarity in the
credit of the Folksbiene, it must be said straight from the
beginning that, regarding the acting side of the presentation, as
well as that of the direction, it is comparable to our best
professional theatres. Certain actors played their parts
magnificently. Only in a few places were there any signs of
amateurism. In general, however, the various scenes were staged
fluently. … The impression left by the various ghetto episodes was
not entirely successful … All these episodes had a unique
character. The presentation was directed by Jacob Fishman, who is
one of the founders of the Folksbiene. He truly deserves a
compliment for the taste and the finesse that he put into the
direction and the effect of the entire production.”
of the twenty-fifth anniversary in May 1940, a book, “Twenty-Five
Years Folksbiene” was published under the direction of Jacob
Fishman, B. Levin and B. Stabinovitsh, which included a series of
articles (from members of the Folksbiene, directors and writers)
about the activities of the organization and biographies of the
members. Jacob Fishman wrote the history of the Folksbiene.
greeting, the General-Executive of the Arbeter Ring wrote about the
role of the Folksbiene during its twenty-five years:
involvement in the writers' evenings, the campaign concerts in and
around New York, your shows in the provinces and your bigger shows
in New York – all this is a beautiful chain of rings which shine
with the characteristics of the chain of rings of the Arbeter Ring
presentation, from the start, of Hirsch Leckert and the
experience of the Arbeter Ring members on those evenings still
touches the hearts and thoughts of the Arbeter Ring membership, and
that is just an example of you, of your good works.”
president of the Arbeter Ring and Chairman of the Yiddish Actors’
Union, Reuben Guskin, expressed:
Folksbiene, during its twenty-five years, has developed a good, warm
taste for better Yiddish theatre in a large number of members of
the Arbeter Ring. The Folksbiene has developed singular artists who
appear at various events at branches of our organization.”
the Culture Director of the Arbeter Ring, N. Chanin, writes:
Folksbiene has, during its twenty-five years become a good example
for many cities in America, that dramatic organizations of the
Arbeter Ring should be founded. … During its twenty-five years, the
Folksbiene has directly and indirectly influenced the better Yiddish
theatre. A whole host of Yiddish artists have been brought to the
Yiddish stage through the Folksbiene. Every appearance by the
Folksbiene was an artistic contribution to Yiddish drama.
… The great number of
the members of the Folksbiene exhibited a formidable love and
commitment to their work. After days of hard work, they rehearsed
until late at night. They often donated the last of their earnings
in order that the Folksbiene could go on with its work. The best
Yiddish directors were associated with the Folksbiene”.
A member of the
Folksbiene, Sam Rosen, writes of the Folksbiene’s activities:
In those years [during
the founding of the Fraye Yidishe Folksbiene], very few branches
knew how to organize concerts for their members, and when concerts
were indeed offered, they were of a character that did not have
cultural value … When the Folksbiene became a branch, our primary
goal was to make the performances more pleasing. We began to
prepare people for the performances. First, we were meticulous that
the performers have talent and understand what they were reading
aloud or reciting, and second, that the content of the readings
should have literary and artistic value.
In the twenty-five
years of our existence, our members have performed hundreds of
concerts at the branches, and have thereby become very popular at
L. Kadison writes of
her colleagues at the Folksbiene:
“... We were busy
rehearsing three nights a week, and on the other nights we used to
learn our lines or do whatever else was necessary for the
production. … At the Folksbiene, I found “veterans”, middle-aged or
elderly people. Each one had their share of worries, whether from
unemployment or from family sorrows, but still they each came to
rehearsals with happiness and cheer, knowing their lines like young
beginners, like true amateurs. … I had a different pleasure when
the shows took place. Though we performed in bad conditions, on
small stages with little scenery and bad lighting, the dedication of
the members had much to do with our success. They brought what was
necessary for the performances from their own homes. One brought
tablecloths, another curtains, and so on, until the stage was
decorated and had the proper appearance.”
On April 20, 1941, at
the Rand School Auditorium, under the direction of Jacob Fishman,
Sambatyon, a comedy in four acts and six scenes, by Abraham
Goldfaden, was performed, adapted for the stage by Y. Niemirower.
The show was performed
just once and did not live to see even one review in the Yiddish