Octavo, soiled red cloth with black lettering, 200 pp., index In Yiddish. Bookseller Inventory # 55824
Title: Undzer Teater.
Publisher: Folks-Bibliotek aroysgegebn durkh der Shrayber-Sektsye baym YKUF
Publication Date: 1943
Book Condition: Good
Book Description YCUF, 189 Second Avenue, New York, New York, 1943. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. No Jacket. In Yiddish. 199, (1) pages. 215 x 145 mm. Ex library with de-accession stamp. Jacob Mestel was born in Z¿oczów (then Galicia; now Zolochiv, Ukraine) on February 25, 1884. He attended kheyder (religious day school) and from age fourteen, the Teachers' Seminary in Lemberg (then Galicia; now L'viv, Ukraine). For a time he worked as a teacher and studied philosophy at the University of Lemberg. He later moved to Vienna and graduated from a military academy. In 1910, Mestel traveled with the Vienna Yiddish theater performing throughout Austria, Galicia, and in Germany. During World War I, Jacob Mestel served as an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army. He was wounded several times, awarded medals, and attained the rank of First Lieutenant. Upon his return to Vienna in 1918, Mestel studied directing and dramaturgy at the Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (Akademie für Musik und Darstellende Kunst) in Vienna. He helped organize Der Fraye Yidishe Folksbine (Freie Jüdische Volksbühne - The Free Jewish People's Theater) and the first Yiddish drama school in Vienna. After the Habsburg Empire disintegrated in 1918, Jacob Mestel was forced to leave the Austrian Republic and emigrated to the United States in 1920. He was hired as an actor and director by the Philadelphia Arch Street Theater. Beginning in 1923, he acted and directed in Maurice Schwartz's Yiddish Art Theater and Jacob Ben-Ami's Folks Teater (People's Theater). He toured Europe, North America, and South America with these troupes. In 1925, Jacob Mestel became the director of the Frayhayt Dramatishe Studio (Freedom Dramatic Studio), which later became the drama school of the Artef (Arbeter Teater Farband - Workers' Theater Association). For a few years, he devoted himself strictly to this institution. Throughout the 1930s, Jacob Mestel continued to work with Maurice Schwartz and Jacob Ben-Ami, as well as with other theater companies, including the experimental Nit Gedayget! (Don't Worry!) in New York. He also acted, directed and adapted for Yiddish film and radio. Jacob Mestel acted on television (The Goldbergs, 1952-1954) and on the English-language stage in Arnold Shulman's Hole in the Head (1957). Jacob Mestel began his writing career in 1903 by publishing critical essays in Varhayt. Beginning in 1906 he published poems in the Lemberg togblat, Yidishe folkskalendar, and other European publications. In the United States, Jacob Mestel wrote theater criticism for New York Yiddish daily newspapers and was an editor of the Yidishe kultur (New York). Jacob Mestel attained a measure of success as a poet and has been included in several poetry anthologies. His books of poems include Farkholemte shoen (Dreamy Hours), Lemberg, 1909; A libes lid (A Love Song), Cracow (Kraków, Poland), 1911; Vita khayzed, Cracow, 1913; Dimyoynes (Imaginings), Vienna, 1921; and Soldatn un payatsn lider (Soldier and Clown Poems), Warsaw, 1928. He stopped writing poetry in the 1920s. Jacob Mestel's prose works include: Milkhome notitsn fun a yidishn ofitsir (War Notes of a Jewish Military Officer), 2 vols., Warsaw, 1924, 1927; Lukretsyas toyt (Lucretia's Death), Warsaw, 1936; Undzer teater (Our Theater), YKUF, New York, 1943; 70 yor teater repertuar (70 Years of Theater Repertoire), YKUF, New York, 1954; Literatur un teater (Literature and Theater), YKUF, New York, 1962. As a historian of Yiddish theater, Jacob Mestel contributed to YIVO bleter (YIVO Pages) and Arkhiv tsu der geshikhte fun yidishn teater in amerike (Archive of the History of Yiddish Theater in America), both published in Vilna. Most notably, Jacob Mestel was co-editor with Zalmen Zylberzweig of the first three volumes of the Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Lexicon of the Yiddish Theater), New York, 1931, Warsaw, 1934. He also translated many important American and European theatrical works into Yiddish, among them Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. Seller Inventory # 010917