Skip to main content

Subseries 1: Theater Personalities, A–Z: Programs, 1896 - 1939


Scope and Content Note

This subseries contains approximately 630 theater programs grouped under 131 name headings, according to a featured performer, director, or honoree (in some instances, a couple or a group). Some 20% of the files also include up to a few clippings. The programs pertain to plays; revues; recitations; concerts, including cantorial concerts; dance performances; and honorary evenings.

While many programs are undated, the items appear to be concentrated in the interwar period. The oldest items are several programs dating from the 1890s, for performances of the operatic baritone Joseph Winogradoff. The handful of items bearing dates from before the First World War relate to cantor Abraham Baer Birnbaum, Herman Feinstein, Nahum Lipovski, Clara Young, Esther Rachel Kaminska, and Aba Kompaneyets. The small number of items dated from the era of the First World War pertain to Julius Adler, Jacob Ben-Ami, David Herman, Mordechai Hershman, Joseph Weinstock, Zimrah Zeligfeld and Menahem Kipnis, Bessie Thomashefsky, Zygmunt Turkow, Jonas Turkow, and Ida Kaminska.

Geographically, the programs are mostly from Eastern Europe, especially Poland, and the United States (especially New York); and smaller numbers are from Western Europe and elsewhere around the world, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and Palestine (Eretz Israel).

The largest file by far is that for Nahum Lipovski, which contains over 50 programs, mostly pertaining to performances of troupes under his direction. Other individuals especially well represented, with over 20 items each, are Rudolf Zaslavsky, Zygmunt Turkow, Jonas Turkow, Ida Kaminska, and Esther Rachel Kaminska. Individuals represented with at least 10 items each include: Julius Adler; Alexander Asro and Sonia Alomis; Jacob Ben-Ami; Misha and Lucy German; Chayele Grober; David Herman; Joseph Winogradoff; Ludwig Satz; Moyshe Lipman; Abraham Morewski; Molly Picon; K. Kadish, with Yosef Chasz, Nekhama Chasz, and Leyb Szryftzecer; and Maurice Schwartz.

The programs in this subseries were among the materials that were organized and cataloged by Jonas Turkow at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York, in the late 1950s to mid 1960s. They bear stamped or handwritten item numbers (falling within the range 175167 to 177690) that Turkow assigned based on his initial sequencing of them in alphabetical order according to the names of the authors of plays (with concert programs grouped together at the end). Subsequently, he selected certain programs to form groupings under performer names (constituting the present subseries) and others to form groupings under the names of theater troupes and geographic headings (see Series III). The selection of the personalities in this subseries, and that of the particular programs to represent them, thus reflect the arrangement devised by Turkow, documented in the cross-references he provided on his catalog cards for the programs. For further details, see the Scope and Content Note for Series I, Subseries 2, Programs.


  • 1896 - 1939

Language of Materials

Predominantly in Yiddish, Polish, and English, with some Russian, Hebrew, and German, and occasional use of Lithuanian, Romanian, Latvian, Spanish, Dutch, French, and Swedish.

Access Restrictions

The collection has been digitized and is available online without restrictions. The physical collection is closed.


1.7 Linear Feet (4 boxes; 131 folders)


Arranged alphabetically by Yiddish name of theater personality.

Cross-References pertaining to Additional Theater Personalities

In addition to the theater personalities represented in this subseries with name headings, Jonas Turkow also created folders for additional individuals, which did not contain any materials but instead provided cross-references to programs, playbills, and posters found elsewhere in the collection. In the folllowing list, the current locations of referenced items is indicated:

  1. Adler, Sam: see poster 178460A (troupe leader, performance of "Di puste kretshme," Mogliev, 1915), under Neroslavska, Esther, Folder 4897-P (Series I.4)
  2. Amzel, Lola: see poster 179501A,א under Kraków, Folder 5051-P (Series I.4)
  3. Bialkowicz, Izrael: see posters 179512B, 179512א, and 179507א (Rozmaitosci Theater), under Radom, Folder 5053-P (Series I.4)
  4. Bozyk, Max: poster 178210C ("Noach Pandre"), under Turkow, Zygmunt, Folder 4863-P (Series I.4)
  5. Bozyk, Max: see poster 179264א ("Groyser kabaret"), under Czortków (Chortiv), Folder 5002-P (Series I.4)
  6. Domb, Adam: see program 175307A, under Amateur theater – Płock (Plotsk), Folder 743 (Series III.1)
  7. Field, Esther: see program 177043, under Philadelphia. Arch Street Theatre, Folder 930 (Series III.4)
  8. Granowsky, Alexis: see programs 176910, 177133, and 177134, under Moscow State Yiddish Theater. European tour, Folder 774 (Series III.2)
  9. Gutentag, Bertha: see program 176508A, under Weissman, Dora, Folder 51 (Series II.1)
  10. Gutentag, Bertha: see program 177015, under Canada –Toronto, Folder 998 (Series III.7)
  11. Gutentag, Bertha and Karl: see program 176397A, under Argentina – Buenos Aires, Folder 953 (Series III.5)
  12. Larescu, Samuel: see program 177021, under Austria – Vienna, Folder 817 (Series III.3) Podzamcze, Szulim: see program 177021 and 177212, under Austria – Vienna, Folder 817 (Series III.3)
  13. Podzamcze, Szulim: see program 177021 and 177212, under Austria – Vienna, Folder 817 (Series III.3)
  14. Prager, Regina: see programs 176852 and 176853, under Kornblith, Zisl, Folder 4697 (Series I.2)
  15. Rafalo, Clara: see programs 176852 and 176853, under Kornblith, Zisl, Folder 4697 (Series I.2)
  16. Rafalo, Clara: see programs 176936, 176950, and 177043, under Philadelphia. Arch Street Theatre, Folder 930 (Series III.4)
  17. Schacht, Gustav: see program 177042, under Yiddish Art Theatre. Programs – 1932/33 season, Folder 883 (Series III.4)
  18. Schnitzer, Henrietta: see program 176974, under Thomashefsky, Boris, Folder 66 (Series II.1)
  19. Schnitzer, Henrietta: see program 177015, under Canada –Toronto, Folder 998 (Series III.7)
  20. Segałowicz, Klara: see program 177112, under Schwartz, Maurice, Folder 125 (Series II.1)
  21. Segałowicz, Klara: see programs 176911, 177238, and 177544, under Warsaw. Nowości Theater, Folder 625 (Series III.1)
  22. Segałowicz, Klara: see programs 177239 and 177614, under Wilno (Vilna). Folks- und Yugnt-Teater (Warsaw), Folder 645 (Series III.1)
  23. Shtrasfogel, Leyb: see program 177075, under Guzik, Yakov, Folder 33 (Series II.1)
  24. Spiwakowski, Jacob: see program 177006, under Shor, Anshel, Folder 4754 (Series I.2)
  25. Stein, Alex: see poster 179234A ("Di teg"), under Vilna – Dramatic Circles, Folder 4992-P (Series I.4)
  26. Stein, Alex: see poster 179547A ("Mensch, Tier und Tugend"), under Vilna Troupe, Folder 5059-P (Series I.4)
  27. Sternheim, Nokhem: see poster 179475Aא ("Iber'n yidishn lid"), under Kołomyja (Kolomyia), Folder 5042-P (Series I.4)

Repository Details

Part of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States