Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Sabina (Sarah) Lakser


Born in 1871 in Iasi, Romania. Her father was the owner of a business that sold wholesale colonial goods. Possessing dancing abilities, she was introduced as a child to the neighboring actor Mogulesko for Goldfaden, who took her in to educate her, left her to study the piano, and she also joined them on a tour of Russia, where she participated in 1879 in the divertissement after the performances.

On the initiative of her uncle, she enrolled in a dramatic school, where she learned for four years. Her first stage performance was as a young lover, which made L. under the name of Luba, and she traveled around for several years across Austria and Germany, acting in the German language.

Returning to Romania, L. performed, under her own name, on the Romanian stage and was engaged in royal theatre in Iasi. However, after acting there for eight to nine years as a dramatist, she left, due to anti-Semitism, on the Romanian stage.

Around 1903 L. was, through Edelstein, brought to America as a partner with Morris Morrison, but as the actors union did not permit her to perform in New York, she went on to Boston, where she performed with the Silberts as a dramatist and acted there with great success. In her second season, remaining in the same theatre, L. married composer and conductor Joseph Rumshinsky

and was engaged as a dramatist to Thomashefsky in New York's People's Theatre. Here she acted for two to three seasons, and had the opportunity to act with Kessler in the role of the absent Berta Kalich ["Sappho" and "Ettie" in "Kreutzer Sonata"), and together with Kessler in David Pinski's "Yeder mit zeyn gott (Each to his God)".

L. also performed in the plays "Der emes (The Truth)" by Zolotarevsky, and in Rakov's "Di mshumds", which were especially written for her.

Due to the education of her child, L. also for ten years withdrew from the stage, and subsequently performed in roles for grand-dames with Thomashefsky in the National Theatre and Second Avenue Theatre.

On 18 April 1927, L., after a short illness, passed away in new York and was brought to her eternal rest at Mount Zion Cemetery.

L.'s son, Maury Rumshinsky, is a pianist in the Yiddish theatre and writes compositions from time to time.

According to Joseph Rumshinsky, L. especially excelled with her clear diction in every language in which she had acted.

B. Botwinik characterized her as such: "Beautiful, genteel, intelligent, smart, human... and worthy, she had put out, she had this, whether in her private life, or whether on the stage,. One feels the still importance of the vulgarities of actresses on the stage and in private lives."

M. E. from Joseph Rumshinsky

  • B. Gorin -- "History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. I, p. 200.

  • B. Weinstein -- A kleyne meydele tret oyf mit avraham goldfaden in odes, "Forward", N. Y., 18 April 1924.

  • B. Botwinik -- Printsesin ofelia iz avek fun yidishn teater, "Der veker", N. Y., 21 May 1927.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1007.

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