Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Sabina Rosenthal


R. was born in 1880 in Braila, Romania.

Her father was Israel Weinblatt, an actor and theatre director.

She learned in a cheder, and in 1889 came with her parents to America. Here she learned in public school and acted in children's roles with Kessler, Adler, Feinman and Thomashefsky.

M. Osherowitz relates that the reason for a conversation with the actress was that she, at the age of seven, arrived with her parents in America and had felt entirely at home on the stage, because as a child of four she already had acted with her parents in Yiddish theatre in Romania. Her father used to call out for pity and warm feelings from the audience through a hearty song or by a moving scene.

Her first stage song in America Rosenthal experienced in a Romanian opera house, and as well the troupe then was in "markn" [a kind of partnership], and as a child she hadn't been able to enter as a partner, and they had for her appointed her as a lessee: five dollars for each production, but when she acted for a week's time they need to pay [her] thirty-five dollars, David Kessler had created a scandal, that he would like to pay the child half(?).

As Osherowitz characterizes it, they in that time consistently written "children's roles" into operettas, a young boy and young girl


who used to act, like R., and Emma Finkel [see Emma Finkel's biography], that the living lissome acting, dancing and singing of the two children had contributed to the success of the operetta. So they wrote in both of them into Lateiner's "Di farblondzhete neshoma" in which R. acted in the role of "Bobele".

Several years later R. happened into a troupe in Chicago with Emma Finkel, and they continued to perform together. In the former plays they used to direct scenes that used to present marches, and at the top both marched with flags, at times Jewish, at times American. Their success so great that they had them began to give them larger roles.

At the age of twelve, when the actress Shoengold passed away, there was no soubrette in the troupe, and larger clothing had "made" a figure for her, she was given to act in soubrette roles. Since then she remained in the troupe as a soubrette, and at first in 1912, when her husband, Max Rosenthal, directed A. Shomer's "Style", she acted in dramatic roles. In the flow of fourteen years, she acted in the "Arch Street Theatre" in Philadelphia, in the "Second Avenue", "People's" and "Irving Place Theatre" in New York.

1926 -- in Ben-Ami's troupe.

1927 -- again in the "Irving Place Theatre".

1929-30 -- in Brooklyn's "Lyric Theatre", in mother roles.

R.'s brother, Charlie, was a theatre lawyer and entrepreneur.

On 11 December 1945, R. passed away in New York.

M. E.

  • M. Osherowitz -- Ema un sabina -- tsvey blumen fun der idisher bihne, "Forward", N. Y., 12 October 1924.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 4, page 2956.

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