Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Sholom Brin


Born on 18 April 1889 in Yafa, Eretz Yisrael, and two years later, after his father's death, traveled over to Ponevezh, Lita (Lithuania), where he was raised until his thirteenth year, until age fifteen learned in a Beit HaMedrash and then became an extern.

In 1905 B. in Libau a teacher in the family of the actor Kompaneyets. But he belonged to the "Bund", and B. had to keep a false passport, and in the summer of 1906 was arrested in Ostrow, and when he was in the spring of 1907 freed, he performed in Rovno with a Yiddish troupe that took him in as a prompter. After a short time B began to act in roles. He debuted as "Milyoner" in "Sarah sheyndl". B. soon left the troupe, and went on the road as a Bundist imitator across White Russia and Volin, organizing at the same time dramatic circles in which he was regisseur. In the autumn of 1908 B. entered as a professional actor in a troupe in Czestochowa, acting until 1910 in various provincial troupes in Poland and Southern Russia, participating in several Hebrew productions in Odessa. 1910-13 -- in Odessa, 1913-1914 -- in a troupe under direction of Zhelazo and Miriam Trilling, with whom he went on a tour across Poland. During the outbreak of war, he went to act in Odessa. 1915-16 -- a tour with Jacob Libert across Bessarabia and the Volga region. At the end of 1916 he founded his own troupe in the Donetser region, after the revolution in 1917 B. became director of the Zhitomir city theatre, a management member in the first all-Russian artists union, leader and regisseur of a cooperative Yiddish troupe in


in Kherson, and thanks to B.'s initiative, reorganized the theatre as a social theatre under the name "Mendele Theatre".

Summer 1918 -- B. acted in Kiev in a operetta troupe, giving from time to time with the assistance of Kiev's teacher's union dramatic matinee performances.

Winter 1918 -- B. organized in Poltava a social and later a Jewish state theatre under the control and with the participation of the "Kultur-lige" under the name "Mendele Theatre", where B. was the director and chairman of the directors' collegium. Then B. became chairman of the Poltava governmental theatre committee, and resigning from the director's office, remaining still as regisseur and actor. Due to political events the theatre disbanded, and with the remainder of the troupe, B. fled to the Crimea, where they acted for a year, from there migrating out to Constantinople, where B. founded with the help of Dr. Vladimir Tyomkin and several Joint members, a "Yiddish folks theatre". Due to crises, the theatre existed for only a year, and after several months he wandered across Greece and Italy, arriving with the troupe in January 1924 in Vienna, where after playing several productions in the Hotel Stefanie, twenty-eight of the thirty-two troupe members became ill with typhus, and B.'s wife, Sonia, died.

The troupe disbanded, and B. went to Romania, where he until 1926 was an actor, regisseur and contractor for various troupes. 1926 -- B. acted in Budapest and Czechoslovakia. Summer 1927 -- B. organized in Vienna the "Yidishe kinstler-shpile', 1928 -- B. acted for a short time with Potatska and then with a troupe across Poland.

B. wrote the following comedies and melodramas, which were performed on the Yiddish stage in Eastern Europe:

  • "Yankel sholtik"

  • "Di bombe"

  • "A minut un gut"

  • "Shrhke di varsheverin"

  • "Gekhapt dem tatn"

  • "A meydl mit a fargangenheyt"

  • "Zayn belibte"

B. translated for Potatska;

  • "Herbst-fidlen"

  • "Vera mirtsava"

  • "Roman"

  • "Der prayz fun lebn"

  • "Madam san-zhen"

  • "Der fayer ring un blut"

B. also published several articles about theatre in the Romanian-Yiddish press.

Sh. E.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 246.

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