Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Wolf Zilberberg


Born on 11 November 1885 in Lodz, Poland, to Orthodox parents. Received a traditional Jewish education, then completed Konshtat's school, and the business courses with the industrial-technical business school, later working as an employee in the aktsiengezelshaft hayntsel un kinitser. For a short time, Z. wrote about theatre in the "Neue Lodzer Zeitung".

Under the influence of Spivakovski, in July 1904, he entered into his troupe, and in the span of several years acted in various other troupes. 1908 -- acted in Odessa with Spivakovski-Krause, and after meeting with Peretz Hirshbein founded (together with Verite) the "Hirshbein Troupe", in which he acted and stage directed for several plays, including his translation of Yuskevich's "In shtot".

After the "Hirshbein Troupe" fell apart, Z. acted for four years in Lodz's "Grand" Theatre for Zandberg, and there he directed his translation of Anri Bernstein's "Israel", under the name "The Anti-Semite" and participated in Hebrew as "De Silva" in a tour with Zaslavsky across Russia. From 1914 until the October Revolution, he acted and stage directed in various Yiddish troupes and later assisted in the founding of  the "first Yiddish artists union", and the Yiddish cooperative troupes under the supervision of the union. He also founded in Kharkov (together with Boymvol, Rafelski and Shriftzetser, with the help of the Jewish social circles and political parties) the theatre "Unzer vinkl", where he directed and acted.

When the troupe stopped its activities (due to the march of Denkin's army), Z. entered in as a bookkeeper in a Yiddish cooperative bank. Later he acted again in this abandoned theatre, which went over to Vitebsk and then to Minsk.

In September 1921 Z. returned to Poland and acted for a short time in Lodz and in Warsaw, then guest-starring in "Vikt" in Lemberg. In 1923 he entered into the "Vilna Troupe", where he acted for a season. Later he immigrated to London, founding there a troupe under the name "Folks-teater", and then went to Vienna, where he participated as "Rabbi" in Sidney Goldin's film offering of Sackler's "Yizkor", and in the offering of Toller's "Hinkemann" by the guest-starring troupe of New York's "Yiddish Art Theatre", and then returned back to London, where he acted until 1930 in the Pavilion Theatre.

Z. also translated "Zind" by Pshibishevsky, "Di nisht revaksene" by Nikodemi, "Der mbul" by H. Berger, "Hinter moyern" by Henry Nathanson, "Der mirazh", "Di froy, vos hot derhrget", and "Potash un Perlmuter", which he had staged in various troupes.

Sh. E.

  • Sh. Kutner -- Zikhrunus vegn der hirshbein-troupe ("Teater-zikhrunus", editor Z. Zylbercweig), Vilna, 1928, pp. 86-9.

  • Avraham Levinson -- "Unzer vinkl" (same, pp. 39-45).

  • Zalmen Zylbercweig -- "Yidishe aktyorn oyf der hebreisher bine. (same, pp. 53-4).






Home       |       Site Map       |      Exhibitions      |      About the Museum       |       Education      |      Contact Us       |       Links

Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 777.

Copyright   Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved.