Mon, Nov 06
07:00PM ET
Mon, Nov 06
07:00PM ET


Labzik: Tales of a Clever Pup - In-person Event

Adapted from a book of children’s stories by Yiddish author Chaver Paver,Labzik: Tales of a Clever Pup follows the (mis)adventures of a clever mutt named Labzik and the working-class Jewish family that adopts him. Balancing playful humor with gritty realism, the stories find Labzik and the other residents of the Bronx up against social and political forces that are no less relevant today: unemployment, political protest, racism, police brutality, even an airborne disease. This trilingual Yiddish-English-Yinglish short film is produced in cinematic “miniature theater” style, employing lavishly illustrated paper puppets to evoke the ink illustrations of the 1935 original.

The film features narration adapted from Miriam Udel's new English translation, and Yiddish dialogue from Chaver Paver's original text. A cast of both student and professional voice actors brings the characters and stories to life, including award-winning Yiddish actor Shane Baker. The film also features original music by Klezmer greats Michael Winograd and Jake Shulman-Ment and singing by Lisa Fishman and Mikhl Yashinsky of off-Broadway’s Fidler afn Dakh (Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof) and Lorin Sklamberg of the Grammy award-winning band The Klezmatics.

Join YIVO for a screening of this film followed by a Q&A with director Jake Krakovsky and translator Miriam Udel.

This event is in conjunction with the Center for Jewish History’s JewCE convention.

Buy Miriam Udel's translations of Yiddish children's stories, including Chaver Paver's Labzik: Stories of a Clever Pup.

About the Speakers
Jake Krakovsky is a puppeteer, playwright, actor, director, educator, and Yiddishist based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He received a BA in Theater Studies from Emory University and studied physical theater at the Accademia dell’Arte. Jake has received residencies and fellowships from Atlanta’s Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre and the Collaborative Arts Lab in Arezzo, Italy. He leads workshops and coaches performers of all ages in acting, puppetry (Hand, Rod, Body, Shadow, Bunraku, Czech Black), clown, improvisation, commedia dell’Arte, Shakespeare, and ensemble devising. Jake’s puppetry work can be seen on Moon and Me (BBC, 2019), L'Etranger/The Stranger (The Object Group, 2020), Pinocchio (The Object Group + Sky Creature Productions, 2021) and Labzik: Tales of a Clever Pup (Theater Emory, 2021).

Miriam Udel is associate professor of German Studies and Judith London Evans Director of the Tam Institute of Jewish Studies at Emory University, where her teaching focuses on Yiddish language, literature, and culture. She holds an AB in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and a PhD in Comparative Literature, both from Harvard University.

Udel is the author of Never Better!: The Modern Jewish Picaresque (University of Michigan Press) and editor and translator of Honey on the Page: A Treasury of Yiddish Children’s Literature (NYU Press, 2020). Udel’s translation of Chaver Paver’s 1935 story collection about the adventures of a lovable proletarian mutt became the basis for Theater Emory’s 2021 puppet film Labzik: Tales of a Clever Pup. Recipient of an NEH Public Scholar grant in 2021-22, Udel is completing Umbrella Sky: Children’s Literature and Modern Jewish Worldmaking, under contract with Princeton University Press for publication in late 2024.

Ticket Info: $10; YIVO & CJH members: $8

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. 

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