“It sounds better in Yiddish!”
Well, it always did to me, especially when my Bobbe was busy cursing the pharmacist.
Curses aside, Yiddish continues to inspire us. We are a group of writers, performers and directors creating new and exciting theatre in Yiddish, galvanised by our ancestors and generations of Yiddish auteurs. We khap two feygele with one stone. On the one hand, we keep Yiddish language and culture relevant, and on the other hand, we use Yiddish as a new prism through which to view and approach making theatre.
We are a grassroots, professional community theatre born of the Melbourne Jewish community. The Jewish community in Melbourne is mainly descended of holocaust survivors, who spoke and loved Yiddish. Can you love a language? We think you can. Yiddish is considered a warm doona, a comfort, a welcoming home to those who speak it. Warmly referred to as mameloshn, “mother tongue”. We make exciting new theatre. Our shows are original, Australian and Yiddish.
So, who are we?
The artistic directors of Kadimah Yiddish Theatre are Galit Klas and Evelyn Krape
Galit was born in the outlying shtetl of Moorabbin and attended Moorabbin Primary School. She grew up in an English and Hebrew speaking household but at 19 she rebelled and studied Yiddish at university, along with her Performing Arts degree. Galit writes, directs, acts and sings. She has too many talents for her own good. When Galit grows up she wants to be an actress or a rower. She has never rowed in her life.
Evelyn grew up in the heaving metropolis of Far Kew. She attended University High where she excelled at singing. Evelyn was a founding member of The Pram Factory and she has won the Green Room Award for best actress. She is a film star and a theatre star. Sometimes she is onstage and sometimes she directs – either the play or everyone else who happens to be around her. Evelyn’s parents spoke Yiddish and she studies Yiddish at Kadimah’s Brunswick class.
Will I understand anything? I don’t speak Yiddish!
Our shows are for everyone, Yiddish speakers and English speakers alike. All shows are translated into English and can be enjoyed by all audiences.
And you might just pick up a few words, like shlep, shmooze, shmuck and bagel, that you didn’t even know were Yiddish.
How can I get involved?
Buy a ticket, audition, give us a bisl gelt and see your name in lights.