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Yiddish Theatre

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Samuel Heilman, un actor, autor y docente en español y en idish
By Jacobo Kaufmann

A Samuel Heilman lo conocen y recuerdan muchos argentinos por sus actuaciones en Buenos Aires, en el Teatro IFT, el Auditorio Kraft, el Teatro Hebraica, y muchos otros. Otros tantos han vuelto a encontrarlo en Israel, donde reside desde 1996. Pocos son en Israel los actores profesionales de habla castellana. Por esa razón no se ha constituído aún en este país un elenco teatral permanente en este idioma. Afortunadamente Samuel está aquí para quedarse y es de esperar que a él se sumen actrices y actores profesionales, para que ese sueño se haga posible. Mientras tanto Samuel, que es bilingüe y su idioma materno es el idish, realiza aquí espectáculos unipersonales de jerarquía en ese idioma y en castellano, colabora con artistas de habla hebrea, y es invitado con frecuencia a desempeñar papeles de importancia en compañías de teatro diversas.

En el Teatro IFT, dirigido por figuras legendarias como Oscar Fessler, Atahualpa del Cioppo e Inda Ledesma, Heilman se ha destacado en obras como “Las brujas de Salem” de Arthur Miller, “Las tres hermanas” de Anton Chejov, “El alma buena de Sechuán” y “El buen soldado Schweik en la Segunda Guerra Mundial”, ambas de Bertolt Brecht, junto a actrices y actores de la talla de Cipe Linkovsky, Jordana Fain, Miguel Ligero y Perla Santalla. En el Auditorio Kraft, participa en “Un hombre es un hombre” de Brecht, dirigido por Carlos Gorostiza, y en “Un mes en el campo” de Turgueniev. También se recuerda uno de sus trabajos más importantes en el lamentablemente desaparecido Teatro Odeón, “Los hermanos Ashkenazi” de Israel Yehoshua Singer, junto a Yosef Buloff, Cipe Linkovsky y Meme Vigo, producción con la que se presenta también en el Teatro Solís de Montevideo y los teatros municipales de Rio de Janeiro y San Pablo.

Llegado a Israel, fue convocado por el Teatro Idish-Shpil para integrar el elenco de “Yoshe Kalb” de Israel Yehoshua Singer, “Sender Blank” de Scholem Aleijem, y “Sipur Pashut” de Shmuel Yosef Agnon. También lo convoca Mike Burstein para participar de la comedia musical “Casamiento en el Shtetl”.

El Instituto Cervantes, Beit Scholem Aleijem y otras instituciones en numerosas ciudades de Israel lo invitan frecuentemente a realizar recitales en castellano e idish. Así por ejemplo ha presentado los programas “Cantando en Idish”, basado en el poema del mismo título José Hierro, un recital en conmemoración de los 400 años de la aparición del Quijote, “El crimen fue en Granada” en el septuagésimo aniversario de la guerra civil española, con textos de Lorca, Machado y Rafael Alberti. A estos se sumaron recientemente “ Kukureku bienvenido Don Quijote” y “Noche de amor y vino”, con poemas de Yehuda Haleví. Samuel Heilman no descansa nunca. No hay duda de que nos brindará aún muchísimos programas ideados, dirigidos e interpretados por él mismo.

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Samuel Heilman, an actor, author and teacher in Spanish and Yiddish

Many Argentinians know and remember Samuel Heilman from his performances in Buenos Aires, at the IFT (Yiddish Folk Theatre), the Kraft Auditorium, the Hebraica Theatre and many others. Many have met him again in Israel, where he lives since 1996. In Israel there are not many Spanish speaking professional actors. This is why no permanent Spanish language ensemble has been created yet in this country. Luckily Samuel is here to stay and one can only hope for other professional actresses and actors to join him, in order to make his dream become real. Meanwhile Samuel, who speaks two languages, Yiddish being his mother tongue, presents high quality one man shows in this language and Spanish. He works with Hebrew speaking actors, and he is often invited by different theatres to portray main roles.

At the IFT theatre, directed by legendary artists such as Oscar Fessler, Atahualpa del Cioppo and Inda Ledesma, Heilman has excelled in plays like “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, “Three Sisters” by Anton Tchechov, “The good soul of Szechuan” and “The brave soldier Schweik in World War II”, both by Bertolt Btrecht, side by side with distinguished actors Cipe Linkovsky, Jordana Fain, Miguel Ligero and Perla Santalla. At the Kraft Auditorium he took part in “A man is a man” by Brecht, directed by Carlos Gorostiza, and “A month in the country” by Turgeniev. He is also remembered for one of his best performances at the now regretted Odeon theatre, “The brothers Askenazi” by Israel Joshua Singer, next to Joseph Buloff, Cipe Linkovsky and Meme Vigo, a production presented also at the Solís Theatre in Montevideo and the Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo Municipal Theatres.

Upon arrival in Israel he was hired by the Yiddishspil Theatre to take part in “Yoshe Kalb” by Israel Joshua Singer, “Sender Blank” by Sholem Aleichem, and “Sipur Pashut” by Shmuel Joseph Agnon. He has also been invited by Mike Burstein to perform in the “The Shtetl Wedding” musical.

The Tel Aviv Cervantes Institute, Beit Sholem Aleichem, and other institutions in many Israeli cities invite him frequently to give recitals in Spanish and Yiddish. So for example he has presented the programs “Singing in Yiddish” based on a poem by José Hierro, a recital celebrating the 400th anniversary of the first “Don Quijote” edition, “The crime happened in Granada”, with texts by Lorca, Machado and Alberti, and most recently “Kukureku welcomes Don Quijote”, and “Night of love and wine”, with poems by Yehuda Halevy. Samuel Heilman never rests. He will undoubtedly give us many more programs written, directed and performed by himself.

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Samuel Heilman

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