Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Sholem Santup


Born in 1894 in Myadel, Lithuania.

He received a traditional Jewish education. He learned in the Dalhinov yeshiva, and took his secular studies with his father, a Hebrew teacher. As a young man he immigrated to America, where he had, working in New York for a locksmith, developed a strong love for the Yiddish theatre, and he became an errand-boy at Singer Hall, a Yiddish vaudeville house in the Bronx. Later he became a prompter there in the troupe of Atlas, and after prompting for a long time in the Yiddish vaudeville houses, he took to writing one-acters and three-acters that they performed. Afterwards he became associated with the half-legitimate Yiddish theatres in New York and across the province.

At the start of 1914 he toured with Gabel's troupe to Winnipeg, Canada, where he remained in order to study philosophy at Manitoba University while becoming at the same time editor of the weekly page "The Canadian Jewish World", later a permanent co-worker in the possibly local Yiddish newspaper "The Canadian  Jew", under the direction of B. Y. Goldstein. At the same time he wrote one-acters which he staged with amateurs, with whom he also staged and acted in plays written by Jacob Gordin and Sholem Asch. At the end of 1915 he returned to New York where he once again became a prompter across the province, and he published sketches in "Di varhayt" and feuilletons in "Di groyser kunds".

 In 1917 he went into the Jewish Legion and after that the English Army in Palestine. He returned in 1919 and became, through the initiative of Joseph Barondess, a member of the Yiddish Actor's Union, but after several years of prompting in the legitimate Yiddish theatre, he left the profession.

In 1930 S. settled in Stamford, Connecticut, and when Sholem Asch made a home for himself there in 1938, S. became for a span of several years his literary secretary.

From 1940 until 1962 S. was associated with the "United Jewish Appeal", including six years as its "national campaign director".

After his withdrawal from office, he renewed his "young love" -- he returned to become a member of the Yiddish Actor's Union.

S. married the actress Leale Zeidenberg.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 4, page 3295.

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