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Loyter, Efraim Barukhovich

LOYTER, EFRAIM BARUKHOVICH

LOYTER, EFRAIM BARUKHOVICH (1889–1963), Russian theater director and teacher. Born in Berdichev, Loyter began his career in 1906 as a theater critic in Vilna newspapers. He also published Yiddish stories. He was close to the *Zionist-Socialist party. During World War i he was a representative in Central Russia of ekopo, the Jewish Committee to Help War Victims. Together with L. Sobol, he edited the literary anthology Yevreyskiy mir ("Jewish World," Moscow, 1918).

Loyter was one of the heads and directors of the Jewish theatrical studio of the Kiev Culture League (Kiev-Moscow, 1919–24) where with a group of actors whom he had trained he staged plays by I.L. Peretz, Shalom Aleichem, Peretz Hirshbein, and others. He studied directing in Moscow with Y. Vakhtangov and C.Y. Meyerhold. In Baku in 1924–25 he headed the Workers' Theater and the Jewish theatrical studio. In 1925–28 he was director of the State Jewish Theater of the Ukraine where he staged Purimspiel and also Vognye ("In the Fire") by M. *Daniel and Loyter; Two Kuni Lemels by A. *Goldfaden, and other works. In 1929 in Moscow together with S. *Mikhoels he established a theatrical studio, teaching there (until 1935) and also at the Teaching-Theater Center (from 1933 to 1935). From 1935 to 1941 and 1945 to 1949 he was artistic director of the Odessa Jewish Theater where he staged, among other plays, Maxim Gorky's Mother (1938) and Wandering Stars (1940) by Shalom Aleichem. Loyter also directed plays in Russian and Ukrainian. During World War ii, he was evacuated to Tashkent. During this time he staged plays in Uzbekistan (and was awarded the title of Honored Artist of the Uzbek ssr, in 1943) and Tadzhikistan. He wrote a book in Russian, Slovo na stsene I estrade ("Word on Stage and on the Boards," 1954), and an introduction to the anthology he compiled Slovo na stsene ("Word on Stage," 1958).

His brother nachum loyter (1891–1966) was also a theatrical director. In 1919 he studied at the theater studio of the Kiev Culture League and in 1922 graduated from the State Higher Directors' Workshop. From 1925 to 1929 he was the director of the Moscow Proletcult (Proletarian Culture) Theater. From 1930 he headed the State Jewish Theater of the Ukraine in Kharkov, from 1936, the Odessa Jewish Theater, and from 1937 the Kiev Jewish Theater. From 1940 to 1957 N. Loyter worked in the Y. Kolas Belorussian Theater, first in Vitebsk, then in evacuation in Uralsk. He was awarded the title of Honored Art Worker of the Belorussian ssr in 1945 and a Stalin Prize in 1946.

[Mark Kipnis /

The Shorter Jewish Encyclopaedia in Russian]

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