A Tale of Two Museums
Ester Rachel Kaminska Theater Museum Collection

Boston/Sacco and Vanzetti, 1933

Sacco Vanzetti Edited May 1933 Warszawa257.jpg

Description

Review of the play in Polish-Jewish newspaper Kurjer Poranny.

Title

Boston/Sacco and Vanzetti, 1933

Description

Based on Bernhard Blume’s Boston (original title, Im Namen des Volkes! [In the Name of the People!]), Boston or Sacco and Vanzetti premiered in 1933 in a small theater on Warsaw's Dluga Street. The play was about Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Italian-born American anarchists who were convicted of murdering a guard and a paymaster during the 1920 armed robbery of the Slater and Morrill Shoe Company in Braintree, Massachusetts. They were executed in the electric chair seven years later. Their trial and execution became an international cause celebre. It was the first production of Mikhl Weichert's Young Theater.

Tsipora Tsipkin participated in the first performance of the play. She writes: 

The action did not all take place on a proscenium stage, but was scattered in different parts of the theater. And, since the setting of the play was a courthouse, the actors who played the parts of witnesses sat among the audience. I was one of those actors. It wasn’t easy to simultaneously maintain an artistic distance from the audience while creating the illusion of being one among them. The setting was spare, with a minimal amount of scenery. This production was quite original and experimental, as well as being consummately crafted, and it excited Warsaw’s Yiddish theater circles. Even people who rarely went to the Yiddish theater now streamed to the “Young Theater” to see our work. With its very first production, the “Young Theater” established its importance and created its audience.

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Citation

“Boston/Sacco and Vanzetti, 1933,” YIVO Online Exhibitions, accessed March 1, 2021, https://ataleoftwomuseums.yivo.org/items/show/2944.
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