ABISH MAYZELS (October 9, 1896-March 1959)
He was born in Kulikov (Kulików), near Lemberg, Galicia. He studied in religious elementary school and in the Kopychyntsi Rebbe’s synagogue. At age seventeen, he began studying to become a watchmaker. He was later a cofounder of the Gordin Club in Tarnopol, where he performed in Yankev Gordin’s Der yidisher kenig lir (The Jewish King Lear), Ben akive (Son of Akiva), and Uriel akosta (Uriel Acosta). In 1914 he left for Vienna where in 1915 he performed in the Yiddish theater his war drama Harts un hant farn foterland (Heart and hand for the fatherland), his play Nokh 20 yor (After twenty years), his dramatization Kapitan dreyfus (Captain Dreyfus), and his revue “Keyn tel aviv” (To Tel Aviv), “A sertifikat keyn erets-yisroel” (A certificate to the land of Israel), “Halo, radyo yerusholaim” (Hello, Radio Jerusalem) (1936), and “Yidn forn keyn erets-yisroel” (Jews going to the land of Israel). For a time he directed a Yiddish variant in Vienna and also contributed to the German staging of An-ski’s Der dibek (The dybbuk). In early 1945 he opened the “New Yiddish Theatre” in London. He was the Vienna correspondent for theatrical matters in Lemberg’s Togblat (Daily newspaper) and Kovno’s Folksblat (People’s newspaper), and he co-edited the monthly Teater-shpigl (Theater mirror); during the war years he published serially a novel in the London-based Tsayt (Times). He died in London.
Source: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934).
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