Avrom Goldfaden

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Goldfaden, Avrom

 

Born July 13 (25). 1840, in Starokonstantinov, in present-day Khmel’nitskii Oblast; died Jan. 9, 1908, in New York. Jewish playwright and poet; “father of the Jewish theater.”

Goldfaden was the son of a craftsman. He began writing in Hebrew, but he soon changed to Yiddish, the spoken language. In 1866 and 1869 he published the collections of poems Jew and Jewess, which are imbued with sympathy for his unfortunate people. He organized a Jewish theater troupe, which played in Odessa and other cities in 1876. Of the many plays Goldfaden wrote, the outstanding ones are The Witch, Two Simpletons, A Grandmother and Granddaughter, Shmendrik, The Recruits, Shulamit, and Bar Kochba. Ridiculing the obsolete aspects of patriarchal Jewish life, Goldfaden struggled for the democratic enlightenment of the masses. He filled his plays and performances with sung folklore. Goldfaden found the models for his popular jokers and punsters among the laboring people. He went abroad after the tsarist government banned the Jewish theater in 1883.

WORKS

Geklibene dramatishe verk. Kiev. 1940.

REFERENCE

Dobrushin, I. “Goldfadens dramaturgie.” In his book Di dramatur-gie fun di klasiker. Moscow, 1948.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Just six years earlier, Ukrainian-born Abraham Goldfaden (1840-1908) had established a Yiddish theater company in Iasi, Romania.
The first professional Yiddish theatre troupe in the world was founded in Romania in 1876 by Abraham Goldfaden. Romania has been hit with heavy snowfall in recent days, forcing the closure of schools and highways in the southeast of the country and disrupting train services on Wednesday.
Ideology and Parody in Abraham Goldfaden's Messiah Time?!" (115-30); Jeanette R.
Of the eight 'Zensurtexte' published here, two are songs with refrains, and six are play texts: Abraham Goldfaden's Sulamith and Bar Kochba, Joseph Lateiner's Die Sedarnacht, and Jakob Gordin's Der wilde Mensch, Gott, Mensch und Teufel, and Herschole Dubrowner, the last two being different versions of this author's adaptation of the Faust legend.
The beginning of professional Yiddish theater is usually dated to 1876, when Abraham Goldfaden, a former schoolteacher and journalist, joined forces with two traveling musicians to present his own two-act musical sketch in a tavern in Romania.
But in Abraham Goldfaden's Biblical operetta, Shulamith, in which it was first sung some hundred and ten years ago, the lullaby continues:
Slobin's method has precedent in recent compilations of Yiddish theater music, especially Irene Heskes's The Music of Abraham Goldfaden: Father of the Yiddish Theater (Cedarhurst, N.Y.: Tara Publications, 1990).