Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Yitskhok Dogim


Born on 1 April 1908 in Vilna, Polish Lithuania. Parents -- employees. Learned in Vilna's Ramailes Yeshiva, later in the school of "Mfitsi Hshkhlh", which he completed in 1925, then learned two years in Yiddish teacher's seminary, but due to material difficulties and the pull of the theatre, he cut short his studies there and worked for various businesses, and from 1927 until 1930 was a bookkeeper.

Still in his school years he was active as an "amateur", taking a prominent position in the Vilna dramatic circles, then by himself directed with a dramatic circle, an in the meantime studied in the dramatic studio with the Vilna "Kunst gezelshaft (Art Society)". In the beginning of 1931, as a professional actor, he became engaged through M. Mazo to the "Vilna Troupe", and under the direction of Jacob Rotbaum debuted as the "Second Worker" in Bergelson's "Di broyt mil (The Bread Mill)". He toured with the "Vilna Troupe" across many Polish cities, later participating in Vilna's "Folks Theatre" with A. Samberg et al, then in the "Unzer Theatre" with Zygmunt Turkow, Avraham Morevsky, Jonas Turkow, Dinah Halpern, Miriam Karolova, Ida Kaminska, Ben-Zion Witler, Vera Kanevska, Paul Breitman et al. 1936-37 acted in the Gdansk (Danzig) Jewish theatre collective, and until the outbreak of the Second World War in itinerant troupes.

During the war D. was found in the ranks of the Soviet army, and after the demobilization he returned to Vilna, where he had, due to the absence of professionals, directed with Yiddish and non-Yiddish dramatic circles. At the same time D. worked as a


bookkeeper. In 1956 he co-founded and was first regisseur of the current "Vilna Yiddish Dramatic Collective" ("Folks-teater").

At the end of 1957 he went over to Warsaw, where he entered into their Jewish State Theatre as an actor, dramatist and regisseur and since then, went on a tour of the theatre across Eastern and Western Europe, the land of Israel, South and North America.

As to D.'s important roles there were counted "Shimele soroker" and "Der shadkan" in "200,000", "Der mshulkh" in "Dybuk", "Zeyde Yoshe" in Tsipur's "Oyfshtand", "Pnkhsl" in "The Two Kuni Lemels", "Mendl Arendar" in "Kidush Hashem", "Kabatshya" in "Volpone", "Ben Akiva" in "Uriel Acosta", "Di yukhntse" in "Sarah Sheyndl of Yehupets", and "Der tsveyter hotsmakh" in "A goldfaden kholem". In the war years, there were staged recitations in Russian and the army and then in concerts.

D. also several ties performed with recitations in Yiddish on the radio in Montevideo (Uruguay), and on the television, and acted in the role of a Jewish merchant, in Polish, in the film "Mansarda" (the small, attic synagogue[?]).

After the Second World War he wrote songs for revue programs that were given on the stage, and also wrote an original play "Ver iz shuldik", which was staged in Danzig's Yiddish theatre. Dramatized, together with M. Shveylikh, from a seried of Mendele's works, the play "Di troymer fun kabtsansk", dramatized and adapted Optotashu's "In the Polish Woods", "Bar Kochba" by Sh. Halkin; together with H. tseyzel, "Dos lid iz geblibn", according to M. Gebirtig, "Shadkhanim", according to several Sholem Aleichem one-acters; together with Ch. Buzgan, "Tog un Nakht" based on Anski's yellowed fragments which were staged in Warsaw's Jewish state theatre. There was also performed in D.'s translation the play "Der pipernoter" by Soviet dramatist A. Schwartz, "Kh'bin geboyrn in odes", according to Izak Babel's stories, "Di khsubh" by Efrayim Kishun. D. also dramatized or adapted Leivick's "Golem", and '''Der Yid in der riter", according to Poykhtvanger's novel "Di yidishe tokhter fun toledo".

D. in the span of the last ten years has printed systemically in the Warsaw "Folksshtime" and "Yidishe shriftn" novels, and a series of articles about theatre problems that were also partly published in the Yiddish press across the world, and a series of translations of Israeli writers, such as Egnun, Yzhr and Kmti.

Sh. E.

  • Yitskhok Dogim -- Arum repertuar fun varshever idishn teater, "Day Morning Journal", N. Y., 16 November 1967.

  • S. -- Bamerkungen, same, 30 November 1967.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 5024.

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