Address: 7, Yaroslaviv Val Str., Kiev
Phone: +38044 235-20-81
When speaking about Jewish theatre, we almost always mean theatre in Yiddish language, although “that” environment and “those” people, for whom this language was native from their childhood, disappeared long ago. At “Perestroika” times Jewish subject, like much of what was forbidden, became popular, even stylish: plays of Sholom Aleikhem began to be performed at Ukrainian and Russian stages and the role of Tevye- the milkman became one of the best in careers of such geniuses as Yevgeniy Leonov and Bogdan Stupka.
History of present –day Jewish theatre named after Sholom Aleikhem started with a skit in May of 1990. Self-sustained theatre-studio appeared several months later. The first performance of Ephraim Sevela “Stop the plane. I will drop out” won the first prize at the International theatre festival in Tartu (Estonia). “Triptych for the two”, based on one-act plays of Semen Zlotnikov, became the next. Then concerts, other performances and programs started – the usual theatrical life.
However, soon the founder and the present Director of the Theatre – Avigdor Freidlis – left for Israel for several years. He returned to Kiev in 1995 and, in fact, created the Theatre all over again. He managed to deal with almost everything, except for obtaining the theatre`s own premises. Just like Jewish nation, the Theatre has been forlorn and vagrant – wandering from stage to stage of Ukrainian capital.
But the theatre has great repertoire and fame. Among its actors there are such figures as the Honored Artists of Ukraine Boris Mazur and Anatoliy Makarovskiy, Honored Art Figure Viktor Vanyukevich. Honored artist of Republic of Buryatia Larisa Reutova is the concertmaster of the theatre.
The theatre also conducts show-programs “Jewish songs about the main things”. They consist not just of Jewish classics, but of songs in Yiddish, include songs of contemporary Ukrainian and Israeli composers. Besides, the programs demonstrate different aspects of Jewish song culture – Sephardic and Ashkenaziс, without neglecting works of contemporaries.
Musical farce “The Kingdom of Heaven”, based on works of the classic, is among the famous works of the theatre, connected with the name of Sholom Aleikhem.