Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Samuel (Saul Pinchas) Fisher


Born on 15 March 1887 in Riga, Latvia, was a choir boy with his father  -- a cantor in the old-new shul. He learned in cheders, and as a child of about seven he came with his parents to America, due to the eviction from Riga. Until age thirteen he learned with his father, who in New York also was a cantor, and with R' Chaim Vidrovitsh ("The Moscow Rabbi"). At the same time he sang with Boruch Schorr. He completed public school, and by himself settled into his studies, and on a whim sold in the streets socialist newspapers.

Even as a child he sang "Heyse babkelekh (Hot Cakes)" in Goldfaden's "Kishuf-makherin (The Sorceress/Witch)" in a troupe in Brooklyn (Sam Levenwirt, Sam Kestin and Jacob Frank) and acted in other children's roles in various troupes. At the age of fourteen, together with Abraham Littman, he founded the "Star Dramatic Fareyn (Association)", the first amateur association to act in a theatre-bnim. F. performed there in father- and intriguing roles.

F. for several years worked as a jacket sewer. He entered into a Brownsville troupe and debuted as the father in Goldfaden's "Shmendrik". His father came to the production with the police and took him home, and so he went again away for a year-and-a-half for the theatre. F. founded then, together with Sam Goldberg, a dramatic club, but after acting for two weeks in Yiddish vaudeville, he became engaged to Boris Thomashefsky's and Leon Golubok's "Atlantic Garden", where he acted for a season

in legitimate Yiddish theatre, and then he became director and stage manager in Brownsville's "Metropolitan Music" Hall, where he was for three years and became co-founder of the "I. W. I. W" Actors Union. F. toured for several years across the province with Abraham Vaksman and Nathan Rosenthal, and several years later he founded Local 18, where he was very active, becoming the manager of the local and led two strikes against the powers-that-be.

F. then became engaged as an actor and stage manager for Levitan in Boston and helped with the uniting of the theatre locals, acting in Keni Lipzin's troupe and stage director for Jacob P. Adler, David Kessler, settling in New York, where he acted for four years in Yiddish variety houses and a half-year in the "Gold" Theatre. Then he traveled back to Boston to Levitan and took over a season of the "Grand Opera House", then retiring from the stage, and he performs from time to time with Yiddish concerts.

F. was recruiting officer for the Jewish legion in America.

F. wrote about 160 sketches, twenty-four three-act and four full plays, including: "Syum hturh", "Tserisene keytn", "Di trayhayt fun a froy" and "La srtskh".

M. E.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 5037.

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