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Yiddish Theater

Vera Gordon

After her star-making turn in the 1920 film Humoresque, actor Vera Gordon came to represent the archetypical Jewish mother, both on-screen and off. She played mother roles in almost thirty films, including The Millionaires (1926), Four Walls (1928), and the successful The Cohens and the Kellys series.

Jennie Goldstein

Jennie Goldstein was one of the foremost Yiddish theater tragediennes, beloved by the public and acclaimed by critics for her ability to make audiences cry and for her outstanding voice.

Berta Gersten

Berta Gersten, a tall, regal, soft-spoken actor, was a highly acclaimed leading lady in the Yiddish art theater movement for fifty years. Her career on the English-language stage, though shorter, was also distinguished.

Brazil, Contemporary

The Brazilian Jewish community is the second largest Jewish community in South America and one of the ten largest in the world.

Glika Bilavsky

As an actor on the Yiddish stage, Glika (Degenshteyn) Bilavsky participated early on in the renaissance of secular Yiddish culture in the twentieth century.

Miriam Bernstein-Cohen

Miriam Bernstein-Cohen, actor, director, poet and translator, was born in Kishinev in 1895.

Bella Bellarina

Unless they worked on the English-speaking stage, Yiddish actors were largely unnoticed by critics and the general media. Thus very little is known about the life of many of these wonderful artists who appeared before adoring audiences on the Lower East Side, Brooklyn, or the Bronx. Such is the case with Bella Bellarina, an actor who made her mark with the famous Vilna Troupe, a company dedicated to serious drama and avant-garde staging techniques.

Belle Baker

Belle Baker has been described as a famed torch singer and vaudeville star, as well as a Yiddish, Broadway, and motion picture actor.

Anna Appel

Anna (Khane) Appel, a highly acclaimed character actor, straddled the Yiddish- and English-language worlds of theater, film, and television. Excelling in both comic and dramatic roles, she was especially acclaimed for the versatility of her mimic art. A tall woman with an expressive round face, Appel became noted for her mother roles.

Stella Adler

At Stella Adler’s death in 1992, Robert Brustein wrote in The New Republic, “Stella Adler’s death … represents a major loss in the pantheon of theater greats. Through the strength of her convictions, the integrity of her character, and the brilliance of her mind, Adler embodied the art of the dramatic profession and remained an influential figure throughout a career that spanned most of the century.”

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Yiddish Theater." (Viewed on September 18, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/yiddish-theater>.

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