Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Adolph (Naftali-Yehoshue) Shrage


S. was born on 1 January 1871 in Brody, Galicia. His father was a  Hebrew teacher, a very [gelernter: learned person?]. His mother passed away soon after he was born. He became enamored through his father with Yiddish and Hebrew. He also learned in a beginner's school, but due to poverty at home he couldn't continue his studies, and he took a job as a writer as a governmental employee, but since the rentals were too few, he better became a folk singer and owned a narrow, but sweet lyrical voice. He previously went into the "Broder Singers", and a little later crossed over into the professional theatre with Yaakov Ber Gimpel. Here he became known to Kalmen Juvelier, and he acted with him across Rumania, and afterwards came with him and his entire troupe to America.

Here Sh. for a certain time acted in important roles in the operetta in drama. As such he was the first to act in the role of "Abnimus Hgrdi" in Gordin's "Elisha ben abuyah" (1906), "A rb" in Gordin's "Der fremder" (1906), and "Peltsner" in Gordin's "Galut galitsye" (1907).

Sh. was one of the founders and active members of the Yiddish Actor's Union in America. Except for his acting, he was also known for his [glekhvertlekh] and pranks. As such it is told of him the following anecdote: One time he also had the union mail a season in a troupe, where the director wasn't needed. The director expressed resistance. Sh. remained cold.


He was confident in the strength of the union. The director is [but once "out of the vessels" and posed a question: "Mister Shrage, what will this season do for my money?", and Shrage answered "[Ikh vel aykh ton tsu lhkheys]".

Sh. also became sick with gallstones. He had an operation, and there were complications and he was stricken with a lung inflammation, and on 10 February 1924 he passed away in New York.

Sh.'s wife, Matilda, also acts on the Yiddish stage. Their son, Benjamin L. Shrage, M. D., was the doctor for the Yiddish theatre profession.

M. E. from Moshe Schorr.

Necrology "Forward", N. Y., 15 February 1924.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 4938.

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