Wednesday, 5 October 2016


AVROM-YITSKHOK TANTSMAN (November 12, 1857-November 13, 1908)
            He was born in Warsaw, Poland.  In the later 1870s he became a wandering Yiddish actor, later a darling of the Yiddish theatrical world in Poland.  He also published songs.  He published in 1891 in Poland: Hotsmakh’s kremil fun fershidene antiken, 25 yudishe folkslider vos zenen gezungen gevoren in goldfadens yudishen theater (Hotsmakh’s shop of various antiques, twenty-five Yiddish folksongs that were sung in Goldfaden’s Yiddish theater), 88 pp., published by Moyshe-Mordkhe Tsukerman.  Of the twenty-five songs and couplets, only a small portion were Goldfaden’s.  When he came to the United States in 1889, he soon acquired a name in the theater world.  He published the plays Shimshen hagiber (Samson the hero) and Kapitan drayfus (Captain Dreyfus), as well as numerous one-act plays; he also adapted plays and left behind an unproduced operetta Avigayl, di sheynhayt fun khevron (Abigail, the beauty of Hebron).  He published a number of songs in Yidishe tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper) and other newspapers in New York.  He also published articles in the summer issues of Yidisher kuryer (Jewish courier) in Chicago.  A collection of his work appeared in New York: Naye komishe kulpetin un teater-lider (New comic ? and theater songs), “originally written by the artist A. Tantsman, published by Yankev Drukerman.”  He died in New York.

Source: Z. Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934).
Yankev Kahan

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