American Theatre Companies, 1888-1930

By Weldon B. Durham | Go to book overview

Y

YIDDISH ART THEATRE. On August 30, 1918, actor-director Maurice Schwartz and his troupe of Yiddish performers presented Z. Libin Man and His Shadow at New York's Irving Place Theatre. While Schwartz did not refer to his organization as the Yiddish Art Theatre until 1921, most historians mark the founding of the company with this presentation. The Yiddish Art Theatre continued to produce until 1950, although during the last decade of its existence Schwartz staged Yiddish drama less regularly.

The longevity of the Yiddish Art Theatre was, of course, its most noteworthy accomplishment. Schwartz kept the theatre operating even when Yiddish- speaking audiences began to disappear. Schwartz's company was also part of the American art theatre movement of the 1920s and 1930s. The Yiddish Art Theatre brought European playwrights such as August Strindberg, Anton Chekhov, and Leonid Andreyev, as well as new theatrical styles, to the attention of the American public. Such great stars as Jacob Ben-Ami, Celia Adler, and Rudolph Schildkraut performed with the troupe. Soon-to-be influential designers, including Boris Aronson, Mordecai Gorelik and Sam Leve, were given opportunities by Schwartz. Furthermore, the Yiddish Art Theatre was a training place for young troupe members, among whom were Paul Muni, Stella Adler, and Luther Adler. Schwartz was also the most successful producer of significant Yiddish playwrights, including Peretz Hirshbein and Sholem Asch. The artistic success of the Yiddish Art Theatre resulted in its influencing leading American theatre practitioners, such as Arthur Hopkins and the Group Theatre.

The soul of the Yiddish Art Theatre was Maurice Schwartz. He was the troupe's director, leading actor, business manager after 1920, and he frequently authored, adapted, or translated dramas. (Between 1918 and 1920 Schwartz's partner and business manager was Max R. Wilner, the stepson of David Kessler, the great star of the popular Yiddish theatre.) Schwartz was born in the Ukraine in 1890 and arrived in New York City when he was thirteen. Prior to founding

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American Theatre Companies, 1888-1930
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • A 1
  • Bibliography 4
  • Bibliography 8
  • Bibliography 13
  • Bibliography 22
  • Bibliography 24
  • Bibliography 27
  • Bibliography 31
  • Bibliography 36
  • Bibliography 38
  • Bibliography 40
  • B 41
  • Bibliography 51
  • Bibliography 55
  • Bibliography 61
  • Bibliography 63
  • Bibliography 68
  • Bibliography 72
  • C 73
  • Bibliography 80
  • Bibliography 86
  • Bibliography 90
  • Bibliography 94
  • Bibliography 97
  • D 99
  • Bibliography 103
  • Bibliography 111
  • Bibliography 118
  • Bibliography 126
  • Bibliography 134
  • Bibliography 140
  • Bibliography 145
  • Bibliography 150
  • Bibliography 152
  • Bibliography 158
  • E 159
  • F 165
  • Bibliography 168
  • Bibliography 171
  • Bibliography 177
  • G 179
  • Bibliography 181
  • Bibliography 183
  • Bibliography 188
  • Bibliography 190
  • Bibliography 194
  • Bibliography 197
  • Bibliography 203
  • H 205
  • Bibliography 208
  • Bibliography 210
  • Bibliography 212
  • Bibliography 220
  • Bibliography 225
  • Bibliography 227
  • Bibliography 231
  • I 233
  • PERSONNEL 237
  • J 239
  • Bibliography 241
  • Bibliography 243
  • K 245
  • Bibliography 247
  • L 249
  • Bibliography 253
  • Bibliography 260
  • Bibliography 262
  • Bibliography 268
  • Bibliography 276
  • M 277
  • Bibliography 280
  • Bibliography 283
  • Bibliography 284
  • Bibliography 289
  • Bibliography 293
  • Bibliography 297
  • Bibliography 300
  • Bibliography 306
  • Bibliography 309
  • N 311
  • Bibliography 317
  • Bibliography 322
  • Bibliography 325
  • Bibliography 329
  • Bibliography 332
  • Bibliography 338
  • O 341
  • Bibliography 346
  • Bibliography 348
  • P 349
  • Bibliography 353
  • Bibliography 358
  • Bibliography 363
  • Bibliography 367
  • Bibliography 370
  • Bibliography 377
  • Bibliography 388
  • Q 391
  • R 393
  • Bibliography 396
  • Bibliography 399
  • Bibliography 402
  • Bibliography 404
  • S 405
  • Bibliography 407
  • Bibliography 411
  • Bibliography 413
  • Bibliography 416
  • Bibliography 424
  • Bibliography 428
  • Bibliography 432
  • T 433
  • Bibliography 442
  • U 443
  • Bibliography 447
  • V 449
  • Bibliography 453
  • W 455
  • Bibliography 460
  • Bibliography 463
  • Bibliography 470
  • Bibliography 472
  • Bibliography 478
  • Bibliography 482
  • Bibliography 485
  • Bibliography 488
  • Y 489
  • Bibliography 492
  • APPENDIX I CHRONOLOGY OF THEATRE COMPANIES 493
  • APPENDIX II THEATRE COMPANIES BY STATE 497
  • Index of Personal Names and Play Titles 501
  • About the Contributors 535
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