Around 1888 [according to
Bessie Thomashefsky], there was staged by the "Boris
Thomashefsky Club" in Baltimore T.'s four-act drama
"Rothschild's Biography", with music by Boris, in which
Bessie had debuted on the stage.
A short time later Boris
brought his father in as a manager of his troupe in a
dramatic hall in Philadelphia (corner of Gaskill Street),
where T.'s first play "Yankele yungatsh" was
staged. Here T. wrote and adapted several plays and also acted
from time to time. Also, there was never staged S.'s
""Opera with Music", under the name "Di shpanishe
inqvizitsye (The Spanish Inquisition)", with music by
Boris. Thereafter, he took over this Thalia Theatre, where
there was staged his play, "Chana with her Seven Sons",
according to the contents of several plays, then
performed in New York due to the competition from a second
troupe, advertised by T. as an "attraction", and he
performed with great success as "Ekonom" in Shm"r's "Katorzhnik".
However, because of this, T. held a benefit for a school
with a socialist speech, evoking a scandal in the
theatre, and they were forced for a time to interrupt
[or cut short] the play.
A short time thereafter, T.
managed a competitive troupe against his
son Boris. Both competitors maintained a reciprocity to
receive abuse(?) from down stage.
In 1901 T. united with
Fannie Reinhardt in Chicago's Pavilion Theatre, and there
staged his plays "Chana with her Seven Sons", "Captain
Dreyfus" and "Itsias mtsrim".
After withdrawing from his
theatre activities, T. founded a Yiddish farm [insurance] business. Tsugekilt
(Freezing?) during a trip, he passed away
on 21 January 1914 (per his death certificate, he passed
away on 18 December 1913 -- ed.) in Fallsburg, Sullivan County, New
York, and was brought to his eternal rest in New York.
Besides the plays already
mentioned, T. also wrote: "Di nakht-kenigin", "Itum
mshhle" and translated Dr. Hertzl's "The New Ghetto",
staging on 28 December 1911 in Boris Thomashefsky's
Peoples Theatre with Boris Thomashefsky and Rudolf
Schildkraut in the main roles.
In Goldfaden's "New York
Yiddish Illustrated Newspaper", T. printed a novel "Di
hshgkhh (The Joy)", or "Der bester gift (The
According to his son Boris'
opinion, T. was very much a weak actor.
All of T.'s children were:
Boris, Mary, Fannie, Mike, Emma and Annie, who were
associated with the Yiddish theatre.
M. E. from his
son Boris Thomashefsky.
M. Zeifert -- "Di
geshikhte fun yudishen theater", ("Di idishe bine"
fun khanan y. minikes, N. Y. 1897).
B. Gorin --
"History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. II, pp.
Thomashefsky -- "Meyn lebens-geshikhte", pp.
35-41, 80-2, 84-92, 101-105, 107, 111-2, 116.
Louis Reyngold --
Di entvikling fun idishen teater in shikago,
"Der idisher rekord", Chicago, 1920.