Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Simon Wolf


Born on 12 September 1890 in Boryslaw, Western Galicia, to pious parents. He became an orphan as a youth, and his mother strove to allow him to learn Yiddish, Polish and German. After several years she went away to America, and he with several children, remained in Galicia with relatives.

Even as a child W. had the opportunity to "buy" into Goldfaden's "Kishufmakherin" with Axelrad, who guest-starred with his troupe in Stry. Later W. joined Cantor Baruch Kinstler in Lemberg as a choirboy, and also often attended Gimpel's Theatre there.

When he was brought over to America by his mother, he became a choirboy for various cantors and often attended Yiddish theatre. Later he began to work in various shops and stores, but he wasn't able to free himself from his desire for the theatre. He left his family and went to Baltimore to act in a local troupe.

When in New York, antshteyt the typical vaudeville theatre, together with film, returning to New York and entering into such a vaudeville theatre, where he also began to write and stage two- and three-act sketches.

Later he began to act in legitimate theatre and wrote plays. His first produced play was the melodrama "Tsayt", music by Sholom Secunda (performed in 1913 in the Lyric Theatre), then he was at


the Novelty Theatre, Brooklyn, staging his comedy-drama "Lebns-kontralktn", and the war play "Mlkhmh (War)".

In 1917 there was staged in the Lenox Theatre his melodrama "Hertser un trern". In 1919 there was staged by Max Rosenthal in the People's Theatre his play "Di tseshterte khupe", written together with N. Rakov (subject taken from Maupassant's "Pier un zhan"), and in the Liberty Theatre -- the lebensbild "Gots velt (God's World)". In 1920 -- in the Lenox Theatre, the time-play "A grus fun poyln".

In 1924-5 -- "Der eyntsiker veg", together with L Freiman (Second Avenue Theatre), and "Hertser tsu farkoyfn" (Hopkinson Theatre), In 1926 -- "Di tsubrokhene heym" (staged by Leon Blank in the Liberty Theatre).

In the span of 1927-9, there were staged the following plays: "Git mir a heym" (through Betty Frank), "Erlekhe meydlekh" (Hopkinson Theatre), "Folgt tate mame" (Hopkinson Theatre), "Di farshpilte velt", together with L. Freiman (Rolland Theatre), "Alte meydn" (through Isidore Hollander).

During the 1929-30 season, there were staged W.'s plays: "Goldene glikn" (by Jacob Rechtzeit in the Hopkinson Theatre), "A matunah far der kale" (by Sam Auerbach in the Lyric Theatre), and a "Yidishe mame" (by Mae Simon in the Prospect Theatre).

W. is a member of the Executive Committee of the Yiddish Actors Union.

Sh. E.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of the Yiddish Theatre", list of plays, Vol. II, p. 280.

  • William Edlin -- A blik in der ney-yorker idish-teater velt, "Tog", 11 October 1929.

  • L. Fogelman -- Di neye piese in hopkinson teater, "Forward", 11 October 1929.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 644.

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