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GOLDFADEN’S LEGACY: THE ORIGINS OF YIDDISH THEATRE

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GOLDFADEN’S LEGACY: THE ORIGINS OF YIDDISH THEATRE

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Start:
Nov 8, 2005
End:
Nov 8, 2005
Cost:
Free
Venue:
Proshansky Auditorium
Category:
,
ABRAHAM GOLDFADEN Courtesy of Moshe Yassur

ABRAHAM GOLDFADEN
Courtesy of Moshe Yassur

A screening of Radu Gabrea’s documentary film about the origins of modern Yiddish theatre and Yiddish theatre pioneer, Abraham Goldfaden, followed by a presentation by New York’s Folksbiene Theatre, with Zalmen Mlotek. Discussion with Radu Gabrea and Harry Eliad (Romania), Shumel Atzmon (Israel), and Moshe Yassur (New York) to follow.

Modern Yiddish theatre was created almost single-handedly by Goldfaden (1840–1908) in the 1860s and 1870s in Eastern Europe. Goldfaden had a background in rabbinical studies and his involvement with theatre began when he played the leading role in a Purim play. He abandoned his studies to write and publish several collections of Yiddish folk songs, and he then joined forces with a group of Broder singers to present what became known as the first professional Yiddish theatre performance—a two-act play in Jassy, Romania. In 1883 the Russian government banned Yiddish performances, and Yiddish actors and dramatists joined the mass emigration westwards across Europe to Paris, London, and New York. Goldfaden was forgotten by the time he arrived in New York’s Lower East Side Yiddish Theatre scene, but he enjoyed a revival of fame at the end of his life.

6:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 8, 2005, Harold. M. Proshansky Auditorium

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