Accession consists of a binder of materials related primarily to a Yiddish theatre production entitled Shver tzu Zein a Yid (Hard to be a Jew) by Shalom Aleichem. This play was produced by Sylvia Grimson for the Yiddish Renascence Theatre and held at the Crest Theatre in 1975. The binder includes: photographs, critiques, letters of support, and reviews. Some loose copies of photographs of the The Heritage Players are also included.
Sylvia Fistell Grimson was born in Montreal ca. 1920s (she was never registered at birth) and grew up in Toronto. As a single mother of one son, Grimson worked for several years in factories and government offices before opening an antique store at Yonge and Wellesley, which she ran for ten years. Grimson taught ballet and modern dance, wrote poetry, and always had a passion for theatre, Yiddish culture, and the need for Jewish self-expression. Her dream was to bring Yiddish professional theatre to Toronto. In 1972, Grimson founded the Yiddish Renascence Theatre (which later became the Toronto Jewish Arts Theatre), for which she produced the plays Shver tzu Zein a Yid and The Three Lives of Adam. She has also performed in other plays such as Come Blow Your Horn and with The Heritage Players. She continues to live in Toronto, write poetry, and is also working on a book.