Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre
BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE WHO WERE ONCE INVOLVED IN THE Yiddish THEATRE;
aS FEATURED IN zALMEN zYLBERCWEIG'S "lEKSIKON FUN YIDISHN TEATER"
VOLUME 5: THE KDOYSHIM (MARTYRS) EDITION, 1967, Mexico City
His parents were the actors Joseph and Sarah Rosenberg.
Still being a very small child, he was first brought on the stage in "Dumb," a role for children. At the age of four, he played the child's role of "Alonza" in Feinman's "King-Jester," and since then, has played in roles for children with Moskowitz, Thomashefsky, Dina Feinman and others. At the same time, he completed primary school, a public school, and for two years a higher level school as a preparatory course for the Commercial Academy. Because of an unfortunate accident, being heavily wounded on the right side and in the right foot, and after lying [in bed] for months in a surgeon clinic of Lemberg, his studies were interrupted. In 1919 he started working as a cashier, assistant administrator, and as an actor in the troupe of Ber Hart.
In 1921, he participated in Jonas Turkow's production of "The Dybbuk."
From 1923 until 1926 he was a prompter in Hart's troupe, and then a prompter and member in the collegiate production team of the friends' group in Lemberg.
In his autobiography, R. wrote that when strong state censorship forbid him to put on a number of plays, he altered them so they would be acceptable, so that they could be played, by changing for the censors the scenes that had been disallowed; also parts of the dialogue, short songs, or simply names, such as "Rachel, Flag of the Group Yehuda" to "Khafni kolik and pinkhas silence," "Yankele" to "Feiwele philosoph," "The Jew in Romania," "The Black Flower Queen," etc.
In 1927 R. joined a traveling group and others from Gershon Rot, and in 1928, he traveled around with the actor Leib Getlekherman, with fragments of lectures about Anski's "Dybbuk" and "Day and Night."
From 1929 till 1934 he was a member of the theatre in Lemberg.
During this time, he wrote a series of one-act plays, such as "The Singing Accountant," "The Naïve Artist," etc., which were played in Lemberg, and also songs and couplets.
Changing his nationality from Romanian to Polish, he was obliged to declare his name as "Ben Abraham," and because of this had to be known in public with this name.
According to the "Commemoration
List" in the pogrom of the Yiddish theatre profession in
Poland, R. was murdered by the Nazis in Poland.
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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4806.
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