the play

Written in 1930 in Warsaw by Aaron Zeitlin, a leading Yiddish poet and playwright, the play Jacob Jacobson stunned Yiddish cultural circles with its modernity. Imbued with mysticism and religiosity, the play also exposed itself to accusations of conservatism. With biting pessimism, it dared to predict the outbreak of a second world war, a senseless repetition of the carnage of 1914-1918.

The first act is set aboard a ship sailing through the Atlantic. Its passengers are the archetypes of modern society: the worker, the general, the prostitute, the poet… A Jewish businessman from New York, Jacob Jacobson, is the only one to speak out against a war desired by the majority, sensing that it will signal the end of humanity. But then war breaks out, leaving behind only one survivor: Jacob Jacobson himself, the emblematic Jew. Pressed to become a new Adam by an angel anxious to rebuild humanity, Jacobson contemplates with dread how human history is destined to repeat itself…

A production of Troym-teater, troupe of the Paris Yiddish Center – Medem Library.

Adapted and directed by Tal Hever-Chybowski


Laurence Aptekier-Fisbein: A Woman; Lucy Jacobson; Eve
Marion Blank: The Sailior; The Child; The 5th Marionette;The 8th Marionette
Michel Fisbein: Rukavishnikov; The Lord of the Waters; The 10th Marionnette
André Furcajg: The General; A Water Spirit
Tal Hever-Chybowski: The Serpent
Charles Leiserowicz: The Captain; Archangel Metatron; The 3rd Marionette
Velvl Niborski: Jacob Jacobson
Leybl Niborski de Milleret: The Poet; A Water Spirit; The 1st Marionnette; The 6th Marionette; The 9th Marionnette
Charles Perelle: The Pilot; A Water Spirit; The 2nd Marionnette; The 7th Marionnette; The New Adam
Annick Prime-Margules: The Worker; Angel Sansenoy
Betty Reicher : The Prostitute; The Old Water Spirit
Annie Satler: The Arms Dealer; A Water Spirit; Archangel Sandalphon; The 4th Marionnette

Voice over: Jean Spector

Original music by Nicolas Dupin.
Musicians: Nicolas Dupin (violin), Bastien Hartmann (piano), Cécile Neeser Hever (harp).
Assistant to the scenography and lighting designer: Joseph Romano.
Stage manager: Eva Bitton.
Supertitle operator: Amelie Moser.

Acknowledgements: Miriam Camerini, Shahar Fineberg, Régine Nebel, Yitskhok Niborski.