Wednesday 27 May 2015


MIKHL GOLDBERG (1865-February 27, 1938)
            He was born in Strizhev (Strzyzów), western Galicia.  He hailed from a very pious family.  Because of compulsory education, his parents were compelled to send him to a school, and he graduated from the fourth level.  With private teachers, he studied Hebrew, Polish, and German.  He received permission to open a private school.  He became interested in dramatic literature.  He read many Polish and German plays, and he regularly attended Polish theatrical performances.  In 1892 he emigrated to the United States.  He took up translating plays from the European repertoire for the Yiddish theater.  For Boris Tomashevsky’s troupe, he translated Hauptmann’s Der farzunkener glok (The sunken bell [original: Die Versunkene Glocke]), Harriet Beecher-Stowe’s Onkl toms kabin (Uncle Tom’s Cabin), and a handful of works by Shakespeare.  For Jacob Adler, he translated Richard Voss’s play Shuldik (Guilty [original: Schuldig].  He also wrote for Vaudeville troupes as many as 150 one-act plays, most of which were adaptations from foreign languages.  He also wrote some original works which were staged from manuscripts.  Best known of these, according to copyright laws in Washington, were the plays: Mish-mash (Hodge-podge), a comedy in four acts, “copyright by Maurice Schwartz” (1915); A vayb af optsoln (A wife in reciprocation), a farce-comedy in four acts, typescript, copyright 1916; Di getlekhe kraft (The divine power), a romantic melodrama in four acts, typescript, copyright 1916; Kohn un leyvi (Cohen and Levy), a farce-comedy in four acts, typescript, copyright 1916.  Among his books: Di yu-es bank depositors (The U.S. bank depositors), a popular drama in five acts (New York, 1937), 26 pp.  He died in New York.

Sources: Z. Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 1; Yankev Mestl, 70 yor teater-repertuar (Seventy years of theater repertoire) (New York, 1954); American Jewish Yearbook 5699 (Philadelphia, 1939).

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