Lives in the Yiddish
SHORT BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE INVOLVED IN
THE Yiddish THEATRE
aS DESCRIBED IN zALMEN zYLBERCWEIG'S "lEKSIKON FUN YIDISHN TEATER"
E. was born on 1 December
1899 in Vilna, Polish Lithuania. His parents were owners
of a wine business. He learned in a cheder, and after
his father's death was raised by his grandfather, who
took him to the townspeople, where E. learned in a
yeshiva. At the age of nine, he went off to Vilna, where
he learned with his grandfather and then completed eight
classes of a Russian early school.
In 1909 he performed
"theatre" in Russian by himself in homes with his school
friends, the actors-to-be Joseph Buloff [Bulkin] and
Osya Shteyn [Kamien], in improvised "plays".
During the first world war,
he transformed his mother's wine cellar into a "theatre"
and acted there with the above-mentioned for admission
money. Later for one-and-a-half years he was conductor
of the band for the German occupying forces. In 1917 he
participated as an assistant theatre director in Buloff's
offering of Dymov's "Der zinger fun zeyn troyer (The
Singer of his Sorrows)", in February 1918 he entered
into the Vilna Yiddish State Theatre under the name of
Soon thereafter he participated in the sporadic
productions under the direction of Shteyn, Morevsky,
then a season with Lipovski. In 1920 -- with Kaminski and
Turkow, then under the direction of David Herman. For
six months he left the stage and worked in a leather
factory. E. participated again in various Warsaw Yiddish
troupes. In 1923 he was in the Vilna drama, 1926 -- in "Vik't",
with whom he went on tour in Rumania. For a certain time
E. returned to the Vilna Yiddish Theatre, then managed
with various Yiddish troupes across the Polish province.
S. Katsherginski writes:
"In the Vilna Ghetto he was director of a theatre.
His good administrative activity created from the
theatre a [bamtdike] institute, with which we would
also able to proudly in free time (?).
He was killed in Klage
His wife, Fanya
Epstein-Kaminska, a pianist, also was murdered by
from Dora Rabina.
"Lexicon of the
Yiddish Theatre", Warsaw, 1934, Vol. II, pp.
-- "Khurgn vilna", New York,1947, p. 223.
Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the "Lexicon
of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig,
Volume 5, page 4195.
You can read Benjamin Epstein's initial Lexicon biography in volume 2 by
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