Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Yosef Strugatsh
(Jozef Strugacz)


Born on 23 March 1893 in Odessa, Ukraine. Father and grandfather -- cantors. He learned in msuknim cheders, and at the age of fourteen arrived in Belz to his grandparents. Here he completed a four-class city school, learned in a gymnasium of Voskrosensky, and worked as a bookkeeper in the "Russian bank for internal trade".

As a child he was a choir boy for his father and grandfather, and together with his friend, the future actor Grishe Epstein and his father, later participated in Yiddish amateur productions, debuting in the singing poem "Shumr" in Goldfaden's "Bar kochba". He also had the opportunity to participate in Russian amateur productions.

In 1912 he was drawn in by Epstein to be a professional actor in Mishurat's itinerant troupe, where he debuted as "Bartelo" in Sharkanski's "Kol Nidre". After acting for several months with Mishurat, we went over to the troupes of Shtsherbakov, Bronstein, Korik, Sabsey et al, until the outbreak of the World War. Then for four-and-a-half years he was on the front, and in 1913 he arrived in Poland with the actors Zhelazo, Hochberg et al, where they joined the acting in Lodz's Colisseum. After a short time, S. went over to the Grand Theatre (director: Lazar Kahan), where he was the firs to embody the role of "Prince Radzhani" in Kalman's operetta "Bayadera", and later he toured across the Russian province.

During the founding of "Azazel", S. joined in the second program and made himself especially popular with his sharzh (exaggeration) "Der kelmer magid". For five to six years, S. was associated with "Azazel", as an actor, often as a regisseur, and for a series of years also was the director of the troupe.

After "Azazel" disbanded, S. became the director of "Ararat", where he also acted and stage directed. 1930 -- he became the manager of "Saliastre", but soon he had to cut short his stage work due to illness.

M. E.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1467.

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