Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


[?] Tantshuk

T. was born in Odessa, Ukraine. He had a university education, was a contributor to the Russian press. He had in the beginning of the eightieth year of the nineteenth century immigrated to America as a leader of the group "Es oylem".

In New York T. became a teacher in a night school, where Thomashefsky and other "amateurs" had attended an intelligent as a regisseur, [and] they invited Tantshuk, who also afterwards was for a short time a Yiddish actor. In 1889 T. acted in Philadelphia with Thomashefsky, performing as "Antiochus" in "Chana and her Seven Sons".

Boris Thomashefsky characterized Tantshuk as such:

"A blond, charming man, a giant in his figure, an imperial pride in his attitude, his appearance was like Jesus, that aristocrat of his birth. He had completed the university in Peterburg. He also was a good Hebrew. His name was Tantsuk, later he had called himself Rendolf. We soon made him our regisseur. He never [earlier] was an actor, had never been on the boards of the stage, except for lectures that he had held -- as he had explained to us. However he was a good, well-read person. He was well-versed on Shakespeare's, Heine's and Schiller's master works, he had written several declamations in Yiddish and many translations from other languages".

When T. became regisseur in Thomashefsky's troupe, he had there -- as Thomashefsky recalls in his article about Tantshuk -- "Comparing stage technique, mimicry, plastic movements, grimaces ... Tantshuk had the old repertoire, not willing to act and also did not leave us and he went away with his father Eliu HaSholom and both of them wrote a new play called "Emk harzim", about Jewish life in Spain in the time of the Inquisition. ...Tantshuk acted in a role as "Don Pedro", a Jew who knows nothing, that he is a Jew. ...the play was a pleasure, and with erstwhile troublesome circumstances, the piece loaded [was performed] for a long time".

T. shortly thereafter went away from the Yiddish theatre, had begun to contribute to the English press, and when Thomashefsky had in 1914 guest-starred in Odessa, he had taken Tantshuk there as a professor of philosophy in Odessa's university.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. I, p. 107.

  • Bessie Thomashefsky -- "Meyn lebens geshikhte", pp. 101-02.

  • Boris Thomashefsky -- Es hot zey getsoygen tsum teater un shpeter zeynen zey fun teater avek, "Forward", N. Y., 10 September 1923.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 850.

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