The Stage as a Temporary Home On Dzigan and Shumacher’s Theater (1927-1980), by Diego Rotman & launching event

The Stage as a Temporary Home [in Hebrew] takes us through the fascinating stages in the life and career of the duo Shimen Dzigan and IsroelShumacher, over the course of half a century – from the beginning of their work at the Ararat avant-garde Yiddish theater in Łodz, Poland, and to their Warsaw theater, where they produced bold, groundbreaking political satire. The book further discusses their wanderings through the Soviet Union during the Second World War and their attempt to revive Jewish culture in Poland after the Holocaust, and finally describes their arrival in Israel, first as guest performers and later as permanent residents. Despite the restrictions on Yiddish actors in Israel, the duo insisted on performing in their own language and succeeded in translating the new Israeli reality into unique and timely satire. In the 1950s, they voiced a political and cultural critique of a kind that was not heard on any of the Hebrew stages. After they parted ways, and following the death of Shumacher in 1961, Dzigan continued to perform on his own and with other Israeli artists until his death in 1980.

The book is based on rare recordings, transcriptions, programs, personal diaries, letters, photographs, oral testimonies, and critical articles, all of which come together to create the first critical portrait of this extraordinary duo. The book also examines their art, the connection between theater and politics, and the complex relationship between majority culture and minority language.

The study includes several valuable indexes: of titles of programs and plays, of the artists who participated in them, of writers and the drafts they wrote, of actors and the programs in which they participated, and a general name index. The book also includes a facsimile of the manuscript Der Nayer Dybbuk [The New Dybbuk].


Launching event, Hansen House, 19.2.2018