YANKEV FAL(L)ER (April 15, 1885-August 24, 1951)
The adopted name of Yankev Felhendler, he was born in Lukov (Maciejów), Shedlets (Siedlce) region, Poland. He received a traditional as well as a secular education. At age twelve he wrote in verse form a Hebrew play entitled Ester (Esther). In 1906 he emigrated to London and from there to New York where he studied at Columbia University; he also took courses in dramatic technique and classical drama. He published poetry, stories, sketches, and articles in: Lemberger tsaytung (Lemberg newspaper); Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), Tageblat (Daily newspaper), Tog (Day), Der amerikaner (The American), Idishe tsukunft (Jewish future), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), Fraye gezelshaft (Free society), Familyen zhurnal (Family journal), and the anthology Amerike (America)—in New York; Ekspres (Express) in London; and Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal. In book form: Fraye libe (Free love), a drama in four acts, printed on a typewriter (New York, 1916), 83 pp.; Der sheliekh, komedi-drame in fir aktn (The emissary, a comedy-drama in four acts) (Warsaw, 1922), 113 pp. He authored such plays as the following: Der eybiker plonter (The eternal middle), Di antlofene (The runaway), Der poresh (The recluse), Shotns (Shadows), Loynt es zikh? (Is it worthwile?), Tserisene neshomes (Torn apart souls), Halbe nakht (Half the night), Der kranker mentsh (The sick man), Dos ummeglekhe (The impossible), and Fraye libe. Also, such one-act plays as: Der shabes-goy (The Sabbath gentile), Tsu sonims kep (On the enemies’ head), and On a nomen (Nameless). Of his seventeen plays and one-acters that he composed in English, several were staged in English-language theaters in Washington, Pittsburgh, Atlantic City, and New York. He worked for an insurance company. He also wrote under the pen names: Ben-Dovid and Y. Berson.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 3 (New York, 1959).
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