Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Samuel Lohnfeld


L. was born in 1878 in Pinsk, Poland. His parents were owners of a paper factory. In 1889 he came with his family to America, where L. learned in a public school, and at the age of sixteen entered into the work force in a [shtikerei].

After attending the Yiddish theatre he became drawn to the stage and he founded a dramatic club, with whom he directed "Dos poylishe yungl", acting in the role of "Kalmen krotsh", and then other plays in New York and in the province, rejecting his profession.

Professionally he began to act in Chicago, then he acted in Cleveland, in Rochester (with the Shoengold family) and the environs. Then L. opened in New York (at 133 Eldridge Street) the vaudeville Yiddish Atlantic Garden, where the admission was free (one had only to drink beverages), and only later was the offer of admission for Fridays, Shabbat and Sundays determined to be fifteen and twenty-five cents. Then the Kessler Roof Garden opened (in [dakh] of the Second Avenue Theatre), where there during the first season (summer) there was performed Yiddish vaudeville, and in the second season in the span of seven summer seasons there was staged legitimate Yiddish theatre, Being director for the summer for the National Theatre, L. at the same time was the owner of a motion picture house on Second avenue, then in the span of five years a partner, manager and


actor in Brooklyn's Lyric Theatre and summer (in the span of twelve weeks) manager of a troupe in Gabel's Bowery theatre, taking over the lease (pact) of Gabel's theatre, and L. became there the manager, leading then temporarily with the Hopkinson Theatre, and he later became a partner, manager and actor in the Irving Place Theatre.

During the last years, L. has withdrawn from the stage (in which he earlier used to perform in the large roles, as "Shylock" et al.), and he had the "lease" of the Lyric Theatre in Brooklyn (where in 1931-2 a troupe of the "Ektor-lige" performed. In 1932-33 a troupe of the Yiddish Actor's Union performed there.

L.'s daughter, Lili, has acted on the Yiddish stage.

Sh. E. and M. E. from Sarah Kindman.

  • Vladmir Grossman -- Shylok oder eyfl-turm in hopkinson-tedater, "Tog", N. Y., 25 January 1924.

  • M. Osherowitz -- "Dovid kessler un muni veyzenfreynd", N. Y., 1930, pp. 182-184.

  • Amelia Adler -- Dos leben fun a idisher akterise, "Di idishe velt", Cleveland, 22 August 1930.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 959.

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