The Stella Adler Studio of Acting & The Jacob Adler Center for the Translation of Yiddish Plays Commemorate Jacob Gordin 12/1

The Stella Adler Studio of Acting announced it will present an event commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the death of Jacob Gordin through its Jacob Adler Center for the Translation of Yiddish Plays (or JC).

In 1891, the writer and social activist Jakov Mikhailovich Gordin landed on the Lower East Side and met the great actor Jacob Adler, who urged him to write for the stage. Five months later, though Gordin had never before written for the theater or in Yiddish, he had completed three Yiddish plays, and Adler had produced and starred in two of them. A born teacher and reformer, Gordin was determined to elevate the Yiddish theater, with its operettas, melodramas and shtick, to introduce immigrant audiences to the Theater of Realism. In 1892 came The Jewish King Lear, his breakthrough play and one of Adler's most beloved and important lifelong roles.

"I believe that the Yiddish Theater, including the work of Jacob Gordin and Jacob Adler, has had a profound, ongoing and, as yet, unacknowledged affect on subsequent American theatre and film," said Tom Oppenheim, Artistic Director of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. "Through JC the Studio aims to bring light to this important contribution of the Yiddish Theater. We are honored to present Beth Kaplan for this special event on Jacob Gordin, and look forward to presenting more like it."

During his eighteen years in America, Gordin wrote some 70 plays and countless one-acts and stories, and established newspapers, magazines, theater workshops and a school. His plays were produced all over the world. Many actors, including Adler's daughter Stella, began their careers in Gordin plays. He became known as the Jewish Shakespeare, Lion of the Jewish stage, and his era as "The Golden Age of the Yiddish Theatre."

One of Gordin's eleven children was Nadia, Beth Kaplan's grandmother. Ms. Kaplan, a writer, teacher and actress, spent years tracking down her ancestor's controversial story for her book, Finding the Jewish Shakespeare: the life and legacy of Jacob Gordin.

Recently, Jacob Gordin's great-granddaughter met Tom Oppenheim, Jacob Adler's grandson and director of the Stella Adler Studio, and the two became colleagues and friends.

On the 100th anniversary of Gordin's death, Ms. Kaplan will speak about her ancestor's life and theater on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 7:00pm at The Stella Adler Studio, 31 West 27th Street, New York, NY (between Broadway and Sixth Avenue). The evening will include readings of brief excerpts from Gordin plays, read by actors from the Studio's Harold Clurman Laboratory Theater Company. Seating is limited. Call 212-689-0087 to make a reservation.

About The Stella Adler Studio of Acting
Established in 1949 by Stella Adler, the Stella Adler Studio of Acting was founded upon Adler's belief in the supreme seriousness of her art, and has, for the last five decades, enriched every part of the American theater and film arts. Adler's philosophies kept many well-known members of the theater coming back for her intelligent and passionate advice and the school has since trained many of the brilliant actors of our time, including Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, Elaine Stritch, Benicio del Toro, and Salma Hayek. The Stella Adler Studio of Acting is a nonprofit organization, which trains over 500 actors annually and also presents world-class lectures, poetry readings, jazz, classical music, theater, and dance theater events.

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