Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Ivan Abramson


A. was born on 3 September 1870 in Nikolayev, Vilna Gubernia, Polish Lithuania. He learned in a cheder and with the teacher Elentukh. At the age of seventeen he traveled off to America, where he became a shirtmaker and he helped organize the shirtmaker's union, the first Jewish workers union in America. Then A. became an agent and handled the Singer (sewing) machines, houses and the opera singer Herman Kaminsky, a conservatory in New York, then he opened together with Shomer a printing shop and published a humorous weekly page called "Der idisher pok", later becoming the publisher of "Di idishe teglikhe prese", which he had supported the Gordinism (?) for Adler, and he was his manager during his acting of "Shylock" on the English stage, then A. organized a troupe for the province, and when the troupe disbanded, A. wrote a play "Di gasn-kinder" which was staged by Glickman in Chicago, then A. became a partner in Philadelphia's Arch Street Theatre, where Adler often came to guest-star, and during the second season A. founded with the help of an [aktsieng] society a new Yiddish theatre in Philadelphia on Green and Third Street.

In 1903 A. left the Philadelphia theatre and again took to handling houses and [country=pletser] in the Bronx, then he organized the "Ivan Abramson Italian Grand Opera", with which he traveled around with for five years across America.


In 1909 A. again became Adler's manager and [urged=gedungen] him [to take] a theatre in Philadelphia for Fridays and Sabbaths, and the Academy of Music on 14th Street, New York on Sunday afternoon and evening. During the same season A. became the lessee of the Thalia Theatre, where he was manager for four years, and during this time he staged his allegorical drama "Di heyrat" with Moshkovitch in the main role, and "Der griner khazan", a comical drama with Mogulesco in the main role.

In 1914 A. was manager for Adler in the Dewey Theatre (14th Street, New York), and [dedicated=gevidmet] the [sentiment=fils] for which he had written plays, that they alone directed.

A. wrote a book in English "Muter fun amt", in which he portrayed his life and career, [opshtelndik] especially in his film activity and the struggle among the various film [trostn].

Sh. E.

B. Gorin -- "History of the Yiddish Theatre", Vol. II (list of plays)






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 8.

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