Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Chone Gottesfeld


Born on 15 May 1890 in Skala, near Zbarazh, Eastern Galicia. Parents -- fashion merchants. Learned in a cheder and in a Beit HaMedrash, then in a Czernowitz gymnasium, and was readied to graduate in Vienna.

In 1910 he arrived in America. Here G. for the fist time worked as an errand boy in a shop with his family, then taught himself to be a tomcat(?), worked in a newspaper stand in a subway, studied in college of pharmacy, and in the end opened a candy store, together with Ezriel Fleishman.

In the literature, G. debuted with humoresques in "Kunds" under the pseudonym "Tevye Shmeykhel". Then he went to Cleveland, where worked in the editing of the "Idishe velt", later settling in Philadelphia, and worked in the local "Idishe velt". then he arrived in New York, joining the "Forward" as a "telephone boy", and later he became an editorial member in the "Forward".

G, wrote together with Osherowitz the comedy "Yo farhayrat, nit farhayrat", which was staged (with Schildkraut) in New York in November 1920.

In 1922 they directed in a cooperative Royal Theatre in New York (Lobel, Baratz, Samuilov) his comedy "Raykhe kaptsonim (Rich Paupers)", which, later under the name "Galitsyaner milyonern" [in Zalmen Reyzen's "Lexicon", the play was listed in the name of G.'s brother, Chaim], was staged in the Irving Place Theatre.

 On 21 October 1924 in the Yiddish Art Theatre, there was staged G;s comedy, "Ven shtarbt er? (When Will We Die?)" (Gottesfeld Kh. [Tuviya Shmeykhl] Gevald, When Will We Die?, a comedy in three acts, ten scenes, Vilna -- Warsaw, 1926, publisher Kletskin), which soon thereafter was staged in Warsaw's Central Theatre and then in other cities of Poland and in Argentina.

On 1 March 1928 there was staged at the Yiddish Art Theatre his comedy "American Chasidim", and on 2 September 1927 in the Second Avenue Theatre, there was played his libretto "Reyzele" (music -- Rumshinsky, Direction -- Kalich). A variation of his comedy "Parnose", which on 13 December 1928 through the "Vilna Troupe" was staged in the Intimate Theatre in the Bronx, New York.

On 3 December 1929 at the Yiddish Art Theatre, there was staged G.'s "Malakhim oyf der erd (Angels on Earth)", a heaven and earth comedy in seven scenes with a prologue and epilogue (direction: Maurice Schwartz, setting and costumes -- Baruch Aronson, music -- G. Toller).

  • Zalmen Reyzen -- "History of Yiddish Litarature", Vol. I, p. 464.

  • Ab. Cahan -- Di comishe zayt fun a tifer drama, "Forward", 30 November 1920.

  • Israel the Yankee -- "Ven shtarbt er" in kunst teater, "Yidtgbl", 31 October 1924.

  • N. Buchwald -- Gotesfild's komedye in idishen kunst teatr, "Frayhayt", N. Y,, 24 October 1924.

  • Dr. A. Mukdoni -- A shpil fun lialkes, "Morning Journal", 31 October 1924.

  • Ab. Cahan -- "Az lekhen zol zayn gelakht" -- in shvarts' theater, "Forward", N. Y., 24 October 1924.

  • B. Y. Goldstein -- Tsvay komedies, "Der tog", 7 March 1924.

  • L. K-r, [review] "Un"bukh", 4, 1926.

  • Michael Weichert -- "Teater un drame", II, pp. 141-4.

  • Ab. Cahan -- Gotesfeld's "amerikaner khasidim" in moris shvarts teater, "Forward", 15 March 1928.

  • Z. Kornblith -- "Di dramatishe kunst", New York, 1928, pp. 158-63,

  • Dr. A. Mukdoni -- Komedye "drame" in marioneten-shpil, "Morning Journal", 7 March 1928.

  • Dr. A. Mukdoni -- Ven der forhang flat, "Morning Journal", 24 April 1929.

  • Ab. Cahan -- A naye komedye fun gotesfeld "Malakhim oyf der erd", "Forward", 13 December 1929.

  • William Edlin -- "Malakhim oyf der erd" in kunst teater, "Der tog", N. Y., 13 December 1929.

  • B. Y. Goldstein -- Oyf der teater evenyu, "Fraye arbayter shtime", N. Y., 20 December 1929.

  • A. Les -- Arum teater, "Di vokh", N. Y., 13, 1929.

  • A. Frumkin -- "Malakhim oyf der erd" in idishen kunst teater, "Brooklyn Jewish Voice", 25, 1929.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 258.

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