T. then became a partner in the
Thalia Theatre with Kessler, Gordin, Lipzin and
Moshkovitsh. Later, he acted with Lipzin. In 1905-6, he
acted on the English stage (as "The Peddler" in the "Gelt-borger"),
but soon returned to the Yiddish stage.
According to information
from his son, he also had guest-starred in London,
Galicia and Poland.
T. especially excelled in
the creation of "Leizer, the wedding bard (badkhan)"
in Gordin's "God, Man and Devil", and "Nachumtshe" in
Gordin's "Mirele efros", as "Peddler" in Kobrin's "The
Lost Garden of Eden", and in the plays "Two Worlds", "On
the Mountain", and "Der yetoyme (The Orphan)".
T. had for a long time
written stories for the "Herald" and "Forward", where
he also published several translations of Mark Twain. He
also dramatized Balzac's "The Game of Speculation" and
translated Joseph Jefferson's manuscript "Rip Van
Winkle", or "The Demons of the Catskills Mountains" by
Washington Irving (staged on 4 November 1906), in which
he acted in the role of "Rip", and he left in manuscript
a one-acter "Father and Son", and a historic operetta
in five acts and ten scenes, "Don yitzhak abarbanel".
Laid up with diabetes, T.
passed away on 5 October 1911 in New York and was
brought to his burial plot at Mount Zion Cemetery, Radom
section (listed as "Samuel Thornburg" in Mt. Zion
Cemetery database; "Samuel Thornberg" on death
certificate -- ed.)
T. had left three children
who were connected with the English theatre: David Torn
-- a dramatist, August Torn -- a stage director and
actor, and Lulu Torn -- an actress.
Ab. Cahan characterized him
as such: "He was a slightly dry, intelligent person, as
are most Yiddish actors, and his intelligence was not
only in his head, but also in his heart. He had ideal
aspirations, a higher "ambition" as an artist. He
genart put together interesting character portraits.
He had a genuine love for art. In his art he can use
more of his brain as with fantastical vigor. His
acting was, however, permeated with a seriousness..."
Joel Entin characterizes him
as such: "He had a sharp voice that had pleasantly
gegriltst and thus fartreflekh transferred
this into some historical, always of tears, and
attracted Jewish laughter, the shriek of veytok,
which gnbet itself into one "Avinu malekh oyfn
hartsn iz mir freylen". He hadn't had any voice
instruments such as most of the Yiddish actors, but when
he sang "Oy vey, dlus", it was such a song of poverty
that unfortunately fun songs of troubles that it would
be better with a beautiful voice, and with the musical
ear cannot make it. more to translate....
Moishe Nadir writes: "The
most interesting artist of that group (Adler, Kessler,
Thomashefsky, Moskovich, Feinberg [Feinman], Katzman,
Mogulesko] was Tornberg. The same had a fine
understanding of the theatre, an innate tact. He used to
perform as sharply as the others, and his character used
to manifest as an old cooper shtikhn."
Leon Kobrin in his "Erinerugen
fun a idishen dramaturg", characterizes S.'s acting as
such: "He was a comic....[more to translate].
Sh. E. from
David Torn and M. E. from Moshe Zilberstein.
B. Gorin --
"History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. II, pp. 102,
-- Vi azoy ikh bin gevorn an aktor -- "Di
theater velt", N. Y., 4, 1909, (reprinted in
"Theater-zikhrunus", Editor Z. Zylbercweig,
Vilna, 1928, pp. 73-85.
A. K. [Ab. Cahan]
-- In der idisher theater velt, "Forward", N.
Y., 7 Oct. 1911.
J. Entin --
Shmuel tornberg, "Di varhayt", N. Y., 6 October
Moishe Nadir --
Mayn bakantshaft mitn amerikanishn idishn teater
["teater-bukh", Kiev, 1927, p. 147].
Leon Kobrin -- "Erinerungen
fun a idishen dramturg", N. Y., II, pp. 187-191.