"Feinman was a young
man with a heavy-sounding baritone voice. He use to
recite his words in a melodramatic manner, which the
audience loved -- yednfals more than today".
Soon F. began to stage his
plays, which most of the time were not very original,
but translations or adaptations.
On 3 June 1889 in New York's
"Poole's" Theatre, F. play "Der get, oder, Der
nikolayevsky soldat" was staged [according to B. Gorin,
he portrayed "the Jewish soldier", and particularly that
"Der Get" was staged in 1890]. The play was no longer
performed, and also not published.
A manuscript of "Der royte
menshele (in one act), staged on 11 December 1891, was
found in the New York archive of YIVO.
On 24 October 1890 in the
"Thalia" Theatre, there was staged F.'s play "Di froy,
oder, tsvey khasunus oyf lhkheis, a lebensbild in five
acts, music by Mogulesko" [according to Itskil
Goldenberg it was an adaptation of "Der hitn-bazitser"
by George Oney]. The play did not remain in the
repertoire and was not published.
A handwritten "Di froy,
a drama in five acts", was found in the YIVO
According to B. Gorin, in
1891 there was staged F.'s play "Gelt, oder, der tremp
(Gold, or, The Tramp)", which was later no longer
performed. In the same year -- according to B. Gorin --
there was also staged F.'s play "Dem foters kale", which
F. later performed in Lemberg. The play did not remain
in the repertoire. It was not published. A manuscript
can be found in the possession of Y. Steinberg in
A written version of "Geld,
oder, Der tremp", a comedy-drama in four acts, and a
written version of "Dem foters kale, a drama in four
acts and five scenes, music by S. Mogulesko", can be
found in the YIVO Archives.
In 1891 F. acted in the role
of "Levin" in the "Union Theatre" in the premiere of
Gordin's first play "Siberia".
Although all of the
intelligentsia showed for F., B. Gorin recounts about a
serious, offensive conflict that occurred between F. and
"In another theatre with
another play at times there began a conflict between hi
[Jacob Gordin] and Feinman. The latter had categorically
rejected with consequences what was requested, and he
declared that he say what he wanted. Gordin therefore
became so incensed that he slapped him".
In 1892 F. was (together
with Adler, Mogulesko and Kessler) director of "Poole's
Theatre", but there was no peace heard between them, and
F. acted across the province.
According to B. Gorin, in
1896 there was staged in the "Windsor" Theatre F.'s play
"Ezrah [Ezri] der gbur hkheyl, oder, Der printsesins ndr
[Ezra, the Living Hero, or, The Princess' Promise ??]
[according to Itsikl Goldenberg, it was a free
adaptation of the French play "Gismonda"]. The play was
kept in the repertoire for a long time, and also without
the knowledge of the author, published in 1909 in
Lemberg in the publishing house of David Roth, under the
name "Ezri gbur hkheyl (Der tapfere held), a historic
operetta in four acts by S. Feinman".
Two manuscripts "Bgur hkheyl
[in four acts], music by Mogulesko", and "Der
printsesins ndr", can be found in the YIVO Archives.
On 5 September 1898 there
was staged (with David Kessler, Regina Prager and
Feinman) F.'s "Der yidisher vitse-kenig (The Jewish
White-King), oder, A nakht in gan eden (A Night in the
Garden of Eden)". The play also was called "Der
shtrasnzinger", and often under the name it was
performed on the Yiddish stage in Eastern Europe. F.
also had the operetta performed in Lemberg. A manuscript
for the play can be found in the Lipovsky archive in
YIVO. The play, without the knowledge of the author,
was published under the name of "Der vitse-kenig", an
operetta in four acts by Sigmund Feinman, published by
David Roth, bookstore, Lemberg, 1909".
A handwritten "Vitse kenig"
and a handwritten "A Night in the Garden of Eden" [in
one act] can be found in the YIVO Archives.
According to B. Gorin, in
1898 there was also staged F.'s play "Di kleynshtetldike
aristokratn". The play later was no longer performed and
A handwritten "Der rayker
betler oder di kleynshteteldige aristokraten, a
lebensbild in five acts", can be found in YIVO's
On 28 October 1898 in the
"Thalia" Theatre, there was staged by Kessler F.'s "Di
gasn kinder, a lebensbild in four acts, six scenes,
music -- Mogulesko". The play later was no longer
performed and was never published.
In 1899 -- according to B.
Gorin -- there was staged F.'s play "Di yidn in maroko
(The Jew in Morocco)" and "Der shtumer, oder, Lebedik
bagrobn". Both plays were not performed again and were
A handwritten "Di yuden in
maroko, oder, Der Talmid fon r'itzhak abarbanel, a
historical-romantic opera in four acts and eight
scenes", which can be found in the YIVO Archives.
Also found in the YIVO
Archives is a handwritten "Der shtumer, oder, Lebendik
begroben, a tragedy in four acts".
According to Sholem
Perlmutter, there was also staged a play "Dos lebn in
nyu york" as F.'s composition.
A handwritten "Dos leben in
nyu york, a folksbild in four acts, music by Z.
Mogulesko", was found in the YIVO Archives.
Around 1899 in the "Roumanian
Opera House" (with Berta Kalich, David Kessler, Sigmund
Mogulesko and Feinman), there was staged F.'s play "Chanele
di finisherin (Chanele the Finisher)". [According to
Sholem Perlmutter the last two plays were really written
by a certain [actor] Shenkman, who they compared to the
former prompter and playwright Nachum Rakow, and for F.
Rakow had the two plays a little improved and put their
name on it and sold it to be performed across the
province. F. had the play improved and they staged it in
New York in his name.]
The play later was performed
for a long time in America, and it was one of the
popular plays in Yiddish repertoire in Europe. It is
known that F. published it under the name "Ḥaneh’le di
neherin, a lebensbild in four acts by S. Feinman",
published by Amḳroyṭ eṭ Fraynd, Przemyśl, 1909".
A handwritten "Chanele di
neherin, oder, Chanele di finisherin, a lebensbild in
four acts and six scenes, translated by Sigmund Feinman",
can be found in the YIVO Archives.
About the play and the
acting, Celia Adler in her memoirs relates:
"The success of 'Chanele di
finisherin', both as the play written by Feinman, as
well as the acting of Sigmund and Dina Feinman, they
began to complete an important position in the growing
Yiddish theatre in New York, so that a season or two
later they joined as partners with Kessler and Berta
Kalich in the "Thalia" Theatre.
An entirely other opinion
had the novelist, playwright and one of the first
writers of Yiddish theatre history, Moshe Zeifert:
"Sigmund Feinman is a good
actor in dramatic and father roles, when he should not
only eynbildn, that he also is a dramatist. When
they also put his own name on a strange play, certainly
not after being urged, that one is a dramatist and a
Berta Kalich in her memoirs,
"That season of "Chana di finisherin", Feinman also
staged "Natan der vayze", and here he knew that it did
not lack intelligence and any considerable force. He
used to by himself write plays, and they were more or
Around 1902 in the
"Germania" Theatre, there was staged F.'s play "Numer
587, oder, Di mame sarah". The theatre soon closed.
The play was not performed again, and it also was never
A handwritten "Shfrhle oder
num. 587, a lebensbild in four acts", can be found in
the YIVO Archives.
On 15 October 1902, F.
performed in the "Thalia" Theatre, staging "Di
nakhtigal fun yerushalayim (The Nightingale of
Jerusalem)", a historic opera in four acts and
twelve scenes. The play was not performed long, and it
also was never published.
On 10 April 1903, F.
performed in the "Thalia" Theatre as "Zemach" in N.
Rakow's "Der betlen", which was later popular
under the name "Der talmid khokhem".
In the same year there also
arrived in the "Grand" Theatre an exceptional Goldfaden
production in honor of the author, who then for the
second time had come to America, and F. performed as "Eliezer
Hmudey" in an act from G.'s "Bar Kochba".
In 1904 F.'s "Dos
tsebrokhene lebn" was staged, which was not
performed again, and also it was never published.
In 1904 there was also
staged F.'s "Der yid in sobieski's tsaytn, oder,
Shabbat Kodesh". The play was maintained for a
little longer time in the Yiddish theatre repertoire in
America, and was a hit in Eastern European theatres,
where it often was performed under he name "Chai shmeyh".
The play, without the knowledge of the author, was
published in 1908 in Warsaw in the publishing house "Yudishe
theater-bibliotek", under the name "Shabbat Kodesh, oder,
Chai Shmeyh, a historic operetta in four acts by S.
A handwritten "Shabbat
Kodesh, a historical operetta in four acts", can be
found in the YIVO Archives.
About F. as an actor in
those years, Sholem Perlmutter writes:
"Feinman soon .... (bottom,
Sigmund Feinman as "Abraham" and Celia Feinman
as "Itzhak" in Goldfaden's "The Sacrifice
page of Sigmund Feinman's plays.
Feinman in "Vitse-kenig"
Feinman in "Di heymat"
Deine, Celia (Adler), Lili Feinman and
director Yitzhak Zandberg at the
gravesite of Sigmund Feinman at the Jewish
cemetery in Lodz, Poland.
kodesh, oder, Hi shmeyh, a historic operetta in
four acts by S. Feinman. Yiddish theatre
library, no. 14, Wrsaw trs"kh [1908, 54 pp.,
16°]. Price 30 kopecs.
di geherin, a lebensbild in four acts by S.
Feinman, published by Amkroym and Fraynd,
bookstore. Przemsyl, 1909 [67 pp., 16°].
 Ezrih gbor
khil (Der tapfere held), a historic operetta in
four acts by S. Feinman, published by David
Roth, bookstore in Lemberg, Trs"t, 1909 [52 pp.,
 Der vitse-kenig,
an operetta in four acts by Sigmund Feinman,
published by David Roth, bookstore, Lemberg,
[1909, 60 pp., 16°].
M. E. from Dina Feinman.
Z. Reyzen --
"History of Yiddish Literature", Vol. III, pp.
B. Gorin --
"History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. I, p. 237;
Vol. II, pp. 35, 69, 89, 119, 199, 272.
berikhte, "Fraye arbayter shtime", N. Y., 14
[B. Gorin] --
Drey piesen, "Der theater zhurnal", N. Y., 19
feiman's erklerung iber dos groyse literarishe
meisterverk menasha", London, 1907.
M. Hirshzohn --
Dos idishe theater in london amol un yetst, "Di
vrhayt", N. Y., 16 September 1907.
Y. Ferkof --
Zigmund feinman (in "di idishe folks-literatur"),
A. Frumkin -- a "devolutsye"
in londoner idishn theatr, "Forward", N. Y., 14
A. Frumkin -- Der
troyer gokh'n aktor feinman in london, dort, 10
Thomashefsky -- "Mayn lebens geshikhter", N. Y.,
1916, p. 236.
David Kessler --
A klap dem idishen theater, "Der tog", N. Y., 4
Zylbercweig -- Bihne-siluetn, "Der zhurnalist",
Berta Kalish --
(Memoirs) -- "Der tog", N. Y., 14 October 1925.
Ab. Cahan -- "Bleter
fun mayn leben", N. Y., Vol. II, p. 383.
Morris Meyer --
London's baytrag tsum idishen theater, "Di tsayt",
London, 30 May 1928.
-- Idishe dramaturgen, "Di idishe velt",
Cleveland, 26 December 1928 [reprinted in his
book "Yidishe dramatirgn un teater", comosed, N.
Y., 1957, pp. 114-119].
Zylbercweig -- Zayn gantsen leben geven a yud un
geshtorbn als krist mit di verter "yo, rabbi,
ikh bin a yud", "nayer folksblat", Lodz, 28
December 1928 [repreinted in his book "Teater
figurn", Buenos Aires, 1936, pp. 37-42].
Zylbercweig -- "Albom fun yidishn teater", New
York, 1937, pp. 4, 41.
Morris Meyer -- "Idish
teater in london", London, , pp. 243-52,
-- "Zikhrunus", Buenos Aires, 1946, pp. 208-10,
Jacob Mestel --
"70 yor teater-repertuar", N. Y., 1954, pp. 28,
Celia Adler -- "Tsili
adler dertseylt", N. Y., 1959, pp. 7, 16, 45-54,
73-78, 92, 98-125, 136-7, 144-5, 153, 178,
193-203, 210-16, 225, 240-1, 270, 274, 282-3,
397, 400, 624, 645.