T. was born in Odessa, Ukraine. He had a university
education, was a contributor to the Russian press. He
had in the beginning of the eightieth year of the
nineteenth century immigrated to America as a leader of
the group "Es oylem".
In New York T. became a
teacher in a night school, where Thomashefsky and other
"amateurs" had attended an intelligent as a regisseur,
[and] they invited Tantshuk, who also afterwards was for
a short time a Yiddish actor. In 1889 T. acted in
Philadelphia with Thomashefsky, performing as
"Antiochus" in "Chana and her Seven Sons".
characterized Tantshuk as such:
"A blond, charming man, a
giant in his figure, an imperial pride in his attitude,
his appearance was like Jesus, that aristocrat of his
birth. He had completed the university in Peterburg. He
also was a good Hebrew. His name was Tantsuk, later he
had called himself Rendolf. We soon made him our
regisseur. He never [earlier] was an actor, had never
been on the boards of the stage, except for lectures
that he had held -- as he had explained to us. However
he was a good, well-read person. He was well-versed on
Shakespeare's, Heine's and Schiller's master works, he
had written several declamations in Yiddish and many
translations from other languages".
When T. became regisseur in
Thomashefsky's troupe, he had there -- as Thomashefsky
recalls in his article about Tantshuk -- "Comparing
stage technique, mimicry, plastic movements, grimaces
... Tantshuk had the old repertoire, not willing to act
and also did not leave us and he went away with his
father Eliu HaSholom and both of them wrote a new play
called "Emk harzim", about Jewish life in Spain in the
time of the Inquisition. ...Tantshuk acted in a role as
"Don Pedro", a Jew who knows nothing, that he is a Jew.
...the play was a pleasure, and with erstwhile
troublesome circumstances, the piece loaded [was
performed] for a long time".
T. shortly thereafter went
away from the Yiddish theatre, had begun to contribute
to the English press, and when Thomashefsky had in 1914
guest-starred in Odessa, he had taken Tantshuk there as
a professor of philosophy in Odessa's university.
B. Gorin -- "History of
Yiddish Theatre", Vol. I, p. 107.
Bessie Thomashefsky -- "Meyn
lebens geshikhte", pp. 101-02.
Boris Thomashefsky -- Es
hot zey getsoygen tsum teater un shpeter zeynen zey
fun teater avek, "Forward", N. Y., 10 September