Shop

Translated from Shop (1926) by H. Leivick

A realistic slice of life, rendered in dialogue that sounds like Clifford Odets’ working class poetry. The play is set in a Lower East Side sweat shop. Through the preparation for a strike, during the strike itself, and then in its aftermath, the intertwined personal lives, loves, and rivalries of the workers and bosses play themselves out. There is a boss who used to be a revolutionary and his former sweetheart, now an employee, who despises him for abandoning their ideals; an old maid helplessly in love with a scab; and a whole little world of whistling, squabbling, flirting, human beings trying to make a decent living and find their way to a good life.

Leivick, a revolutionary who escaped from prison in Siberia, is famous for The Golem,

The script is available in God, Man, and Devil: Yiddish Plays in Translation, Syracuse University Press, 1999.

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