Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Sam Adler
more to translate...


Born circa 1868 in Zvenigorodke, Poltava Gubernia, Ukraine. About his youth, nothing is known. Also it isn't known if the name Adler was his real one, or only a pseudonym. Being by nature a closed person, and he never spoke about his past or family conditions. A. with no one as a close friend, it was rare when there was any correspondence. The only time was when he was socially connected to the world was when his tsugeherikeyt to the fraymoyrer, his close friend was a Tsherepekhe, who he gehodevet and almost always had with him.

In the eighth decade of the nineteenth century, A. toured across the small towns of Galicia under the concession of Wolgeschaffen with the actors Shmuel Lukatsher, Meyerowitz and his wife, Liza Einhorn et al.

Around 1888 we find him already in New York, where he founded together with Leibush Gold, M. Nakhamkus, a certain Schwartz and Kurazh an actors' union, which however soon fell apart also due to what was taken in by the patrons of the troupes (?).

In 1900 A.. returned to Russia and joined the Odessa troupe of Spivakovski and Fiszon. His arrival was an important event for Yiddish theatre in Russia, because he brought with him the newest repertoire from America, and also a modern place for staged plays.

In 1901 he staged in Kiev Goldfaden's "The Sacrifice of Isaac," in such a rich, theatrical manner, that he elevated with one time the fallen prestige of this Yiddish theatre.

In that time A. also staged a thorough reform regarding the fees of the Yiddish theatre. Until then there existed in Russia the so-called markn- (border) troupes, a system that gave the agent of the troupe an easy opportunity to exploit the actors. A. was the first to engage a troupe on a particular hire.

In 1903 A. guest-starred for a year's time with Moshe Schorr in the Galician province, where he directed the newly brought repertoire ("Ash re," "Ezra der eybiker yid," "Kol Nidre," "Krkhs tsurus,") and went from there again out to Russia. In 1905 A. partnered with Spivakovski in the direction of a Yiddish troupe in Odessa, and among them there was a contract signed between them and Sholem Aleichem, that their theatre was transformed into a "Yiddish literary art theatre," where there was staged the dramatic work of Sholem Aleichem and plays from other authors whom Sholem Aleichem had control and appointed, that they were worthy to perform. The plan wasn't achieved, because the meeting had given the power, that the newly planned theatre had in itself considered a revolutionary mendents, and the government had profoundly stifled the enterprise.

In 1905 A. managed, together with Weisfeld, the theatre Novi in Warsaw, and acted there for the first time with Meerson in Schiller's "Robbers" in Yiddish.

In 1907 A. had a great theatrical success with his staging of Goldfaden's "La skhmud" in Kiev, and in 1909 he transformed in Yekaterinoslav his revived staging of "Shulamis" in an immense spectacle, staging on the stage, in the scene of eulh-rgl-zayn, until a hundred sympathies (?), raising in that city the prestige of Yiddish theatre, which there was very fallen due to the management of previous Yiddish theatre directors.

In terms of solidness and principles, the company "Sam Adler of America" was the rielste and fartroyaungsvertste. There has not been any city in the Jewish Pale of Settlement

M. E. from Moshe Schorr and Lazar Freed.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 30.

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