Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Paula Prilutski
(Paula R.)


P. was born on Elul (Aug.-Sep.) 1876 in Warsaw into a family of means. Her father was Yehuda Moshe Adelstein. She received an assimilated education. She learned  in a gymnasium, and at the same time for several years she studied music in special courses in the Warsaw conservatory. At age seventeen she married an eyndoktor, Adam Rozenzal, and they introduced themselves to a "salon," where there used to visit the famous Polish artists, later also Jews.

On the initiative of Mark Arnstein, P.'s husband founded a Yiddish summer theatre in "Bagatela," which played for two winter seasons in "Jardin d'Hiver" and the "Muranow Theatre." On the way P. came into close contact with the Yiddish actors' family.

She began in 1904 to write in Polish, and under the influence of Noakh Prilutski (with whom she had married in 1908), went over to Yiddish and debuted with a song in prose, "Dos kvelekhl," in the literary supplement of "Veg," Spring 1906, and in 1908 issued her first book, the poem, "Der mlakh un der shtn."

Around 1907 she published under the name Paula R. [Rozenzal] in the collection "Goldene funken" her one-acter, "Trayhayt," which was then performed.

In 1912 in Warsaw's "Nayer farlag," there was published the four-act drama, "Yerusha," which previously was named "Motl der shuster," which was staged (on 9 March 1910) through the


"Fareinikte trupe (United Troupe)" with the following "role-occupations": "Motl" -- Jacob Libert, "Shifra" -- Minnie Gurewitz, "David" -- Herman Serotsky, "Dina'le" -- Sonia Edelman, "Getzel" -- Leyzer Zhelazo, "Birnbaum" -- Adolf Berman, "Esther" -- Reginska (Regina Kaminski), "Rebecca" -- Barska (-Fisher).

According to Zalmen Reyzen, the play was staged in Russia.

In 1913 in Warsaw's "Nayer ferlag" there was published P.'s one-acter, "Aktor," which was played many times by amateur groups.

In 1914 in Warsaw, in the "Nayer ferlag," there was published P.'s four-act drama, "Eyne fun yene," which on 29 May 1912 was staged for the first time in Warsaw, in the "Kaminski Theatre, with Esther Rukhl Kaminska as "Yehudis Zaltsman." E. R. Kaminska also had the play performed many times across the Polish province, and on 16 July 1912 -- with a dramatic section in Lublin in the "Hazmir" hall, under the direction of Jacob Waxman.

On 9 December 1921 the play, during the visit of the composer to America, was staged through her in New York's "Lipzin Theatre" with Jennie Valiere in the role of "Yehudis."

About a strange production of the play, A. Almi recalls:

"Noah [Prilutski] had ... recommended me to her, that I should rewrite for her [P.'s] play, ...where it was depicted a Jewish prostitute, and the Jewish underworld. ... We could try to oystsuprubirn the play... Indeed, on the Jewish underworld. One of the underworld characters, who had lived in this house [on Genshe gasse], Chatzkele Spiegelglass, a "rabbi" from Keshene-gnvim, had proposed that we -- the neighbors, so-called -- by ourselves create a "theatre," indeed stage the play in the courtyard, and each of the neighbors should therefore pay some groshn, and the money should go to the poor kimpetorins of Genshe strasse. ...Someone, a youth, a son of a card player, who went into a "shell" and one kept him for a "gebildetn," had me chosen for the prompter, and I, a youth of fifteen years of age, of course, it was the regisseur. ...Within a few days we were fiks and fartik to play "theatre." There also arrived neighbors of other houses on Genshe gasse, and they were just teyerer for a ticket, which consisted of a white piece of paper with a number on it.

Performed at the gate of the large courtyard and -- it was at once a play! -- the "actors" had played in a natural way, authentic, realistic, since each was in his true role. The role of the prostitute had been played by a well-experienced prostitute, who used to serve the street..."

In 1914 in the collection "Di naye teg", there was published P.'s one-act farce "Madam Steinberg" (may have been a personification of the Yiddish actress Fannie Vadya Epstein.)

F. also had composed a drama in four acts, "Er un zi," which had been advertised in print, but was never published.

P.'s fate since the outbreak of the Second World War is not known.

P.'s published plays:

  1. Paula R., Trayhayt, a dramatic scene in one act; First book, pp. 7-28.

  2. Paula Prilutski (Paula R.), Dramen I, Yerusha (Motil der shuster), a drama in 4 acts [published in "Goldene funken," Warsaw 1907[?]; "Nayer ferlag," Warsaw 1912 [78 pp.]

  3. Paula Prilutski (Paula R.), Dramen II, Aktor, a dramatic etude in 1 act, "Nayer ferlag," Warsaw 1913 [17 pp.]

  4. Paula Prilutski (Paula R.), Eyne fun yene, a drama in 4 acts, "Nayer ferlag," Warsaw 1914 [104 pp.]

  5. Paula Prilutski (Paula R.), Madam Steinberg, a farce [in one act], [published in "Di naye teg," Warsaw Tre"d (1914).

  • Z. Reyzen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature," V. II, pp. 841-842.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of Yiddish Theatre," V. II, p. 281.

  • Israel Zohn -- "Yerusha," "Moment," Warsaw, 1 (14) August 1912.

  • L. S. Biely -- "Eyne fun yene," "Yidtgblat," N. Y., 16 December 1921.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 3, page 1884.

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