Lives in the Yiddish Theatre
SHORT BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE INVOLVED IN THE Yiddish THEATRE
aS DESCRIBED IN zALMEN zYLBERCWEIG'S "lEKSIKON FUN YIDISHN TEATER"

1931-1969
 

Michael Wilensky
(Mikhal)
 

W. was born on 18 September (A. S.) 1880 in Priluki, Poltava Gubernia, Ukraine. His parents were storekeepers.

Until age eight he learned in a cheder, later working for a tobacco manufacturer.

His first acquaintance with the theatre came via "Tsushteln" [rekvizit] in a Ukrainian troupe in which he acted on the same stage, where W.'s family lived.

In 1892 he immigrated to America and sold newspapers here, later working in a shelkes factory, becoming a "Sabbath visitor" of the Yiddish theatre, founding together with Abe Kogut the "Young Star Dramatic Club", where he was the secretary. When Leon Mandeltort performed in the Goldfaden club in "Naye be, naye me", W. was the prompter, and later he performed with Mandeltort across the province as a prompter and role-writer.

Later W. was stage manager with Kessler, debuting in the role of "Lawyer" in Kobrin's "East Side Ghetto", and since that time has been active as the stage manager and actor with the popular troupes of New York.

From 1912-15 W. was stage manager and also [performed] in episodic roles on the English stage. In 1920 he was a partner with the director of the Lyric Theatre. In 1923 he was stage manager with the English actor Warfield.

 


In the Variety period, W. worked and performed sketches in the Yiddish variety theatres.


M. E.


 

 

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 720.
 

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