Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Chaim Towber
(Tauber, Toyber)


T. was born on 14 June 1901 in Mohilev Podolsk, Ukraine. His father was a poor tailor. He learned in a cheder, and later in a school of commerce.

As a nine- or ten-year-old youth, T. with his parents acted in "Doctor Alamasado" in a Goldfaden room, that his brother created, who had become a member in an amateur circle.

In 1917 he organized in town a dramatic union "Di yidishe bine" under the direction of Barukh Mazhbits, and on 12 May T. performed there as "Shemay" in Gordin's "Der yidisher kenig lir (The Yiddish King Lear)", and he later became the regisseur of the union. the actors, under the name of "The Mohilev Troupe", then traveled on a tour across the surrounding small towns, acting most of the time for living expenses instead of admission money.

At the end of 1919, T. entered into the professional troupe under the direction of Meyerson and Grisha Epstein, who acted in the cities of Podolia and Kiev Gubernias. In September 1920 T., due to the pogroms, wandered off to Rumania, and put together for Bessarabia a mixed troupe of "amateurs" and "bezshentses" actors for Russia. In the summer of 1921 T. became engaged to Bucharest's Jignitsa (Theatre) by Itsikl Goldenberg and acted then with various troupes in the span of four years.

In 1922 he put on productions in Bucharest, then in other Rumanian cities, T.'s three-act drama, "Glut".


 In Bessarabia he acted in a dramatic circle, acting in his one-acters "Der blutiker khnukhh" and "Derner-vegn". T. also translated several plays from Russian, which were performed on the Yiddish stage, and he dramatized Y. L. Peretz's "Dray matunus (The Three Gifts)".

On 25 July 1925 T. came to Montreal (Canada) and performed there in Hollander's troupe, with whom he acted until 1928 in the American provinces. In 1928-29 he acted in Philadelphia's Casino Theatre (manager Julius Nathanson), and there there was staged T.'s comedy "Der galitizner rebbe" (music by Osofsky), and in December 1929 T.'s operetta "Dos goldene ringele" (direction Julius Nathanson, music by Reuben Osofsky), which on 24 January 1930 was staged by M. Michalesko in New York's National Theatre (music by A. Olshanetsky).

In 1929-30 he acted in Brooklyn's Liberty Theatre. In 1930-31 he was in the Hollander troupe in Toronto and across the province. In the summer of 1931 he was social director in a Workman's Circle in Boston. In 1931-32 he acted in Detroit, and in 1932-33 he was in Philadelphia's Arch Street Theatre.

On 31 December March 1931 T. was taken in as a member of the Yiddish Actors Union.

On 10 October 1932 he was in Boston's Grand Opera House, where there was staged by Samuel Goldenburg T.'s play "Tsvey hertser" (4 November 1932 in Philadelphia -- under the name of "A velt far zikh").

Sh. E.

  • Aaron Kanievski -- A idishe opeeta in kasino teater, vos trogt a natsionalen kharakter un farshaft fargegigen, "Der tog", Philadelphia, 1 January 1929.

  • Dr. L. Zhitnitsky -- "Dos goldene ringele in teater 'exselsior", "Di prese", Buenos Aires, 7 July 1929.

  • Nun Tsdik [G. Tsuker] -- Der galitsianer rebbe (fun khayim toyber) in teater "ekselsior", "Argentiner tog", Buenos Aires, 21 July 1929.

  • S. Rogensberg -- Samuel goldenburg's ersher oytrit in kasino teater, "Di idishe velt", Philadelphia, 8 November 1932.

  • William Edlin -- "Tsvey hertser" -- Naye piese in nashonal teater, "Forward", N. Y., 9 December 1932.

  • B. Y. Goldstein -- "Elter-shvekhe", "Fraye arbayter shtime", N. Y., 16 December 1932.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 862.

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