Monday 9 April 2018


WILLIAM SEGAL (December 28, 1893-May 23, 1966)
           The pen name of Velvl-Yitskhok Hertsog, he was born in Nemakshti (Nemakščiai), Kovno district, Lithuania.  He attended religious elementary school, a Russian public school, and the Bet-David yeshiva in Tavrik (Tauragė).  In 1906 he came to the United States, settled in Boston, attended a school to learn English, and in his free time sold newspapers.  From 1917 he was performing in the Yiddish theater in Philadelphia.  He wrote plays, which were staged in Philadelphia, Cleveland, New York, and in Yiddish theaters in Europe.  During the showing of his play Di farkoyfte kale (The sold bride), he collapsed on the stage, with a poisoned foot, lay in hospital for a period of time, and from that point he had to cease performing in the theater.  His published plays in Yiddish include: Vu zaynen mayne kinder (Where are my children?), a melodrama in four acts, edited by Ruvn Mendelboym (Marsalov) (Warsaw: Sh. Goldfarb, 1926), 50 pp., written anonymously; Dos khupe-kleyd (Wedding clothing), a melodrama in three acts (Warsaw: Sh. Goldfarb, 1926), 28 pp.; Hayntike meydelekh (Contemporary women), a melodrama in three acts (Warsaw: Sh. Goldfarb, 1926), 48 pp.  Also, two of his plays may be found in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.: Mazldike teg (Lucky days), a musical comedy in three acts and fourteen scenes (New York, 1943); and Der groyser khokhem (The great sage), an operetta in two acts and nine scenes (New York, 1949).  He died in New York.

Source: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934), with a detailed bibliography, pp. 1470-83.
Yankev Kahan

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