Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Samuel Leresko
(Shmuel Lehrer)


Born on 1 August 1876 [according to Bader's Calendar -- 1868] in Iasi, Romania. Father -- the owner of a bank business. He learned in a cheder, in a governmental school, and then in a private military school. Due to the contamination of the Jews(?), he went away to Suczawa (then in Austria) in the local gymnasium, then in Czernowitz and made graduation in Vienna. He collaborated as a journalist in the German newspapers "Bukarester tagenblat" and "Rumenisher loyd".

After completing the gymnasium, he returned to Iasi and worked in Foter's bank business. In earlier times, he wrote reviews, and when Akselrad did not permit him to enlist his theatre due to bad reviews, L. brought in spite the competing troupe of Juvelier.

Around 1900 he performed in Juvelier's troupe as the lover in Horowitz's play "Shabtai tsvi", and remained in troupes, with whom he toured for several years across Romania, playing in Iasi. Then he entered into the troupe of Gelis and with him went to Constantinople, where they acted for a year's time. Fro there he went over to Aaron Rosenblum's troupe in Bukovina, then into Treitler's troupe, and together with Jean Greenfeld and Malvina Lobel went with Yiddish theatre to Manchester and Glasgow (England). Here he split and went away to Lemberg, where he found the broken Gimpel troupe, which he reorganized and with his initiative built the summer theatre (Jagelonska 11). L. also directed here and also once directed here a Saturday matinee.


After acting for a long time in Lemberg, he toured for two years with Zelig Schorr's troupe, then acted in Romania in his own concession, later again joined Gimpel's in Lemberg, then acted with Akselrad in Romania, in London's Pavilion Theatre (together with Schilling), and a season there with Morris Moshkovitsh, later a season in London in the Empire Theatre with Joseph Kessler, then with Wertheimer in Budapest, where he acted in plays for four years on antraktn (because of this, the license to perform was only for a "singing- and acting hall") [singing-and acting salon]/

In the summer of 1913 L. had in Berlin directed a troupe, where he also acted and stage directed.

1917 -- acted in the Ukraine, then toured with member troupes across Poland, Romania. A time as co-partners of Ziegler and then with Iris, later independent. 1926 -- arrived in Vienna, where he has acted until now.

L. wrote many plays, including his "Doctor Herzel" (tseytbild), "Reyzele" (lebensbild), "Dos lemberger shneydermeydl", "Der mentshn-freser" (a drama, translated rom "Der birgelekher toyt"), "Di eyngemoyerte froy" (after a song by Aleksandri) [According to Jacob Mestel, also asserted by Romanian actors that "Di eyngemoyerte froy" is a translation of a Romanian play "Meshtur manoli".] and "Moshe rabeinu" (operetta) and was performed.

L. also composed many musical numbers for variety songs, often by himself conducted his operettas-orchestra, wrote humorous one-acters and translated the drama "Barbara Ubrik, a history of Krakow's churches(?)", which Berta Kalich had performed in Bucharest.


M. E. and M. E. from Leyzer Rosenstein and Jacob Mestel.

  • Gershom Bader's Calendar.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. II, p. 269.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1171.

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