Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Joseph Buloff

B. was born in 1899 [on December 6, according to his daughter] in Vilna, Polish Lithuania. His father was a merchant. B. received a Jewish-European education. As a child,  he already showed talent by imitating his rabbi and his environment.

At the age of thirteen he performed with amateurs. In 1919, B.  became a professional actor in Vilna, and after acting in Lodz’s Dramatic Theatre with Kompaneyets for a short while, B. joined the Vilna Troupe in Warsaw.

When the troupe broke up, he ended up with the group managed by Maze. While in Rumania, he played Sabtai Zvi - his own adaptation of Asch’s “Sabtai zvi”-  and in Zulawski’s “The End of the Messiah”, and a totally new production of Dymov’s “The Singer of His Sorrow” (“Yoshke muzikant [Yoshke the Musician]") adapted by Jacob Sternberg which had 150 performances in Rumania.

In Rumania, B. married Luba Kadison, and in 1926 they were both invited to America by Maurice Schwartz where he appeared at the Yiddish Art Theatre as “Peretz” in  “Thou Shalt Not Covet”. In 1927-9, B. was the stage director and actor of the “Jewish Literary Dramatic Society” in Chicago as well as producing his translation and adaptation of “A play and a name”[‘?] (based on Hebel’s [?] “The Diamond”). During that time, B. also acted as the stage director of a local English amateur group.


In 1929-30 B. was stage director and actor in the Vilna Troupe [when they performed] in the Bronx, New York, where he produced “Ger tzedek” (The Righteous Convert”), his adaptation of  Kacyzne’s play “The Duke”.

B. also wrote "From the Old Marketplace" (subtitle: A memoir of laughter, survival and coming of age in Eastern Europe), which was published posthumously in 1991 by the Harvard University Press.

M. E.

  • Jacob Kirschenbaum - New faces on our stage, "Morning Journal", 10 December,1926.

  • Joseph Buloff - Pages from the  theatre archive, “U“Vort", Bucharest1, 1926.

  • S. - Sabtai Zvi ( a mystic drama in 3 acts, adapted from Sh. Asch and J. Zulawski by J. Buloff, directed by J. Buloff), Arb”Zt”  Czernowitz 211, 1926.

  • Joseph Buloff - A letter about the Vilna Troupe in Rumania, "Literarishe bleter", 59, 1925.

  • Joseph Buloff - Exposé on the stage management [?] of “Sabtai Zvi” and  of “A play and a name”[‘?], Oyfbroyz [?], Chicago.

  • N. Buchwald- A Dymov play well performed, “Frayhayt” 19 February 1927.

  • Dr. D. Mukdony - “Yoshke muzikant”, “Morning Journal”, 18 February 1927.

  • Dr. A. Margolin - Leivick's “Shop” with Joseph Buloff’s production[?],“Yiddisher Courier”, Chicago, 16 March 1928.

  • Avremel - The drama “Ger zedek” (The Righteous Convert”), artistically directed by Buloff, [under Buloff’s artistic direction?],”Redaktsie” [?], “Yiddisher Courier”, Chicago, 16 November 1928.

  • B. Smoliar - The Neglected Yiddish Province, “The Yiddish Journal”, Toronto, 8 January 1929.

  • Avremel - The dramatic society in Moliere’s comedy, “Yiddisher Courier”, Chicago, 8 February 1929.

  • Avrahamil- The dramatic society in L. Poldos[?] “Old Guys”, "Yiddisher Courier”, Chicago, 3 May 1929.

  • Dr. S. Melamed - Good morning, “Yiddisher Courier”, 14 Iyar 1929.

  • A. Leyeles - Around the theatre, “Di wokh”, N.Y., 15 November, 1929.

  • William Edlin - “Mord” [“Murder?] performed by the Vilna Troupe, “Der tog”, N.Y., 8 November 1929.

  • Dr. A. Mukdony - Two surprises, "Morning Journal", N.Y., 15 November 1929.

  • B. I. Goldstein - On Theatre Avenue, “Freye arbeiter shtime”, 15 November 1929.

  • D. Kaplan - “Mord” performed by the Vilna Troupe, “Forward”, 8 November 1929

  • B. I. Goldstein - On Theatre Avenue, “Freye arbeiter shtime”, 3 January 1930..

  • Dr. A. Mukdony - The historical operetta, "Morning Journal", N.Y., 3 January 1930.

  • Dr. A. Mukdony -“Refined[?] spectacle”, "Morning Journal", N.Y., 17 January 1930.

  • D. Kaplan - “Ger zedek” at the Vilna Troupe in the Bronx, “Forward”, 20 December 1929.

  • A. Leyeles - Around the theatre, “Di wokh”, N.Y., November 14 (1929?).

  • William Edlin - “Ger zedek”, interesting, strong drama performed by the Vilna Troupe, “Der tog”, N. Y., 20 December 1929.

  • Szabo Imre - Szomorusaganak Enedese “Uj Kelet”, Bucharest, 10 July 1926.

  • Thomas Van Dyke - New Drama in Yiddish Art a Hit”, “The World”, N.Y. 20 February 1927.

  • Dramatic in “Observer”, Chicago, 1929, pp. 61-66.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 151.

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