On November 18th the Jewish State Theater of Warsaw performed in NYC for the
first time since the 1980’s. Here is a link to a 2 minute video which is
post-event synopsis of what transpired
The troupe hopes to return to NYC
again in 2015.
The Shalom Organization and The National Yiddish Theatre-Folksbiene
sponsored members of The State Jewish Theater of Warsaw and a Gala Concert
called Mazel Tov, featuring popular Yiddish songs and comedic sketches with
English translation supertitles. The show at the Museum of Jewish Heritage
included an 8-piece orchestra with guest conductor Zalmen Mlotek of The
National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene and other guest artists. This was their
first performance in NYC since the 1980’s!
Members of The Ester Rachel and Ida Kaminska State Jewish Theater (also
known as The State Jewish Theater) was named in honor of Polish mother and
daughter stage stars Ester Rachel and Ida Kaminska. The New York visit was
called Singer¹s New York and was part of Singer¹s Warsaw Festival of Jewish
Culture (named for Warsaw native and Nobel Prize winning author Isaac
Bashevis Singer) created by Golda Tencer and organized by the Shalom
Foundation. It was part of a whirlwind tour that included sold out
performances in Mexico City, LA, SF and one in Boston.
The Ester Rachel and Ida Kaminska Jewish Theater was founded in 1950, formed
by a union of two of the only remaining Yiddish theater companies whose
traditions were carried on by survivors of the then recent holocaust. In
1955 the fledgling company was granted a permanent home in the nation’s
recently rebuilt capital, Warsaw. Since then, the company has endured 45
years of communism and thrived under the westernization of Poland and stands
today as a symbol of pride in 1,000 years of Jewish history in Eastern
Europe. The theater cultivates the creativity of great Jewish drama. Its
repertoire features the best works by Abraham Goldfaden, Mendele-Moykher
Sforim, Sholom Aleichem, Isaac Leib Peretz and Jacob Gordin. The company was
led by actor Szymon Szurmiej from 1970 until his recent passing. Leadership
of the theater has been taken up by his wife Golda Tencer.