A Tale of Two Museums
Ester Rachel Kaminska Theater Museum Collection

Mauricę Schwartz Founds the Yiddish Art Theater

Maurice Schwartz portrait.jpg

Title

Mauricę Schwartz Founds the Yiddish Art Theater

Subject

Maurice Schwartz founded the Yiddish Art Theater in 1918

Description

Yiddish theater producer, director and star performer, Maurice Schwartz (1888-1960) began his career in 1905 at an amateur dramatic club in Brooklyn. He worked his way up the Yiddish theater ladder in regional theater until David Kessler (1860-1920), a major actor-manager, invited him to join his company in New York City in 1912. In 1918, Schwartz, with theater manager Max Wilner (1895-1958), leased the Irving Place Theatre on East 15th Street, formerly a German theater house, and organized a group of dedicated young ensemble actors. They chose the name the Yiddish Art Theatre as homage to Konstantin Stanislavsky's (1863-1938) much-admired Moscow Art Theatre. Schwartz remained a pivotal figure in the world of American Yiddish art theater and was not far off the mark when he commented, "...Yiddish art theatre is Maurice Schwartz and Maurice Schwartz is Yiddish art theatre."

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Citation

“Mauricę Schwartz Founds the Yiddish Art Theater,” YIVO Online Exhibitions, accessed March 1, 2021, https://ataleoftwomuseums.yivo.org/items/show/2924.
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