Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


David Schoenholtz


Born on 29 January 1877 in Lodz, Poland. His parents were weavers. He learned in a cheder. Through his brother, a choirboy in the old German synagogue, he being "older," was taken into the new German synagogue when it was built.

At the age of ten he was taken onto the Yiddish stage by Avraham Goldfaden when he arrived to play in Lodz. Here S. debuted in the couplet, "Heyse bobkelekh," then he performed in a series of children's roles in the local Zelin's Garden and played children's roles with Shliferstein when he came to Lodz.

In 1900 he arrived with his parents in America, where he attended public and night school and began to perform with amateurs. Heine-Chaimowitz soon took him into his troupe. Then he played in various vaudeville houses and traveled to Chicago, where he began to play with Glickman in the Lyceum Theatre. Here a fire broke out in another theatre, and according to a decree created for all theatres, S. traveled back to New York and was taken in as a buff comic for Adler in the Grand Theatre. Elias Glickman engaged him again for his theatre in Chicago, where S. played for eighteen years as a character actor, then two years as director in the Empire Theatre. In 1926 he came to Los Angeles and played in the Capitol Theatre with the troupe of Jacob Goldstein and Morris Nestor but then he returned to Chicago, where he again acted and was connected with Adolph Gertner in the Federal Theatre, and he had to stop


due to illness, from which he passed away on 17 June 1942.

In an article about him (in 1926) it was said:

"His stage experience shows in every role in which he played. A genuine knowledge of stage technique is apparent, and a good eyngeibter control over his nice temperament. In the beginning we thought that Schoenholtz had taken on the way of conspicuous colors and reshdikn acting, but his later roles had already displayed more eyngehaltnkeyt and tact, and just there when Schoengold is still, where he adds more weight to the thin shtrichn of his role, where the thinks about the shadowy corners of the character, [and] there he is at his best. Then he manages to supplement the type that he shtelt mit zikh far and he also left over a hibshn impression. A good bayshpil in the role, that he had played in Z. Libin's play, 'Der ibriker mentsh.' Not only had he acted well, Chaim Yona.' He also gave many of his own shtrichn to the character. Es hot zikh bakumen a fargentster impression of a heymishn la-yultslkh-yidl ...Schoenholtz had strongly oysgenumen with his original haltung, with the eynbegoyrenem gang zaynem and especially with the very eyndruksfuln shveygn...

A second good bayshpil was the role in Leon Kobrin's 'Tsurik tsu zayn folk'; also here he acted in a fine oysgehaltnkeyt."

M. E.

  • Moshe Lempert-- Dovid shenholtz kharacter shoishpiler fun kepital teater, "Kalifornye yidishe shtime," Los Angeles, 11 December 1926.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 4, page 2899.

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