Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Meyer Honigman


Born on 17 September 1884 in Kodyma, Podolia Gubernia, Ukraine. Father -- lessee and kosher meat tax collector. He learned in a cheder and took other studies with a writer. He fled to Balta to a cousin and there completed the Russian municipal school. Returning home, he learned for a year with a Hebrew teacher and helped his father in his trade.

After childhood he manifested a desire to paint. On the initiative of a traveling landscapist, he traveled to Odessa, where he learned for six months in Reynold's art preparatory school, at first endured by his parents, then from the preparations of his pictures and as an assistant secretary in the Odessa telephone company. At the same time he sang in the Shalash school with Rozumny and learned notes with Geller, conducted by Pinye Minkovsky.

During the kanikuln, H. used to arrange in his home city children's productions in Hebrew, and then with amateurs staged Gldfaden's "Bobe yakhne" (acting in the title role). He also presented several productions in the professional Yiddish troupe of Veysfeld in Odessa.

Thereupon, H. participated in a chorus with a "Uriel Akosta" offering in Russian theatre, he entered into the chorus of a Ukrainian troupe, where he later also received small roles.


1905 -- H. participated in Yiddish zelbstshuts, was wounded and had to, due to a denunciation, fled abroad. In 1906 he acted in England (with Jenny Keyzer and Joseph Sherman) across the province, and then also as a landscape painter and portraitist. 1907 -- came to a brother in Philadelphia, America, and maintained himself by painting. Due to the prohibition of the doctors, he interrupted his painting activity and joined in as an actor in Yiddish vaudeville in Philadelphia, then acted in vaudeville in New York with Nathan Goldberg in the Third Street Theatre, vaudeville with Max Gabel and Jennie Goldstein in the Gold Theatre in Brooklyn (with Vera Gordon and Berta Gerstin), later -- a season of legitimate theatre with Nathan Goldberg in Montreal, and in the Plaza in New York, then several seasons across the province.

1928-29 -- acted in Brooklyn's Hopkinson Theatre, and in 1929-30 -- in Brooklyn's Lyric Theatre, where he was also a stage manager.

H. is a member in the Executive Committee of the Actors Union.

M. E.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 583.

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