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Contents Acknowledgments .................................................................................................... xi About the Method of Translation and Transliteration ................................... xii List of Abbreviations ............................................................................................. xiii Preface Birobidzhan-the "Center of Soviet Jewish Culture"? .............................. 1 Prologue The Theater "On the Way": Emmanuil Kazakevich, Shloime Mikhoels (1932- 33) ............................... 26 Act I "Crude Material" (1934-36) ........................................................................... 37 Moscow-Birobidzhan: Mark Rubinshtein ........................................... 37 "Royvarg" ................................................................................................... 45 Seekers of Gold and Happiness: Avrum Aizenberg ......................... 53 Kaganovich's Theater .............................................................................. 62 Act II "Theater of the Heroic Past and Present" (1937-38) ................................. 69 Moishe Goldblat's "Arts Complex" ...................................................... 69 The Method of Positive Romanticism: The "Real" Boytre ................ 75 "Citizen of Future Generations," Uriel Acosta .................................... 99 Romantic Realism: Tevye der milkhiker ................................................ 103 Interlude The Standard-Bearer of "Soviet Jewish Statehood" ................................ 113 Act III "Sholem-Aleichem's Dream" (1938-41) .................................................... 121 viii CONTE NTS Dynamic of the Sharpening Class Struggle ....................................... 121 "Growth of Young Socialist Culture": Der moltsayt ........................ 126 Psychological Realism: Blondznde shtern ............................................ 134 The Center of Soviet Jewish Musical Culture: Milkh un honik, Elke Rudner ................................................................... 140 "Demonstration of the Culture of the Jewish Autonomous Region": Road Tour in the Ukraine and Northern Bukovina ....... 149 With its Face to the West ....................................................................... 157 Act IV Descendants of the Maccabees and Bar Kokhba (1941-44) ................... 163 Return to Folk Drama: Ruvn Buries, Shpilfoygl ................................. 163 Strengthening the Morale of the People of Birobidzhan ................ 168 The Heroic Past at the Service of the Homeland: Bar Kokhba and Yakov Sverdlov .............................................................. 175 "Theater of Realistic Optimism": Sholem Aleichem, Gordin, Goldfaden ............................................... 184 Act V "My people will be reborn here again!" (1944-47) ................................. 189 The People of Israel Lives: Ikh leb and Ufshtand in geto ................... 189 A New Stage in the Construction of "Soviet Jewish Statehood": Road Tour in Central Asia ............................................. 198 A New Theatrical Policy: Aleksei Shtein ........................................... 204 Birobidzhan "Zionism": Er is fun Birobidzhan ................................... 211 Act VI Agony (1948-49) ............................................................................................. 218 "Nationally Limited Patriotism" ......................................................... 218 Pogrom ...................................................................................................... 227 Liquidation Games Played by the State Apparatus ........................ 236 Epilogue Attempt at Revival (1950-51) ....................................................................... 241 Conclusion The National Theater of Birobidzhan ........................................................ 247 CONTENTS ix Afterword The Broken Wedding ..................................................................................... 252 Repertoire of BirGOSET (1934-49) ..................................................................... 259 Bibliography ........................................................................................................... 271 Index of Names, Places, and Terms ................................................................... 285 Index of Dramatic Productions and Stagings .................................................. 299 About the Author .................................................................................................. 303 ...



Subject Headings

  • Birobidzhan (Russia) -- Ethnic relations.
  • Theater, Yiddish -- Ukraine -- History.
  • Theater, Yiddish -- Russia (Federation) -- Birobidzhan -- History -- 20th century.
  • Jewish theater -- Russia (Federation) -- Birobidzhan -- History -- 20th century.
  • Birobidzhan State Yiddish Theater.
  • Jewish theater -- Soviet Union -- History.
  • Jewish actors -- Soviet Union.
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