Rumshinsky Tells About
The whole company gathered around the
room where the beatings and the screams came from. But the door was
closed. They were afraid that one of them would become a cripple
from the blow, until the actors, with the help of a couple of
healthy stage workers, broke through the door and opened it.
There they found Maurice Schwartz, sitting quite comfortably,
reading a newspaper. They asked him, where were David Kessler and
Max Wilner, and he answered in a cold-blooded manner: "How do I
know? I've been here for over an hour." They immediately knew that
he alone played the entire beating scene and entirely copied both
voices, Kessler's and Wilner's.
I then was the music composer , although in the same situation as Maurice Schwartz, although I then already had written music to several successful plays. But all were in surrounding, smaller theatres. I felt happy that I was able to pour out my musical soul on the roof garden, and the young Morris Schwartz was jealous of the stars at the time, mainly of David Kessler, and he played all the first and most important star roles, to which he was not allowed winter.
I enjoyed myself that summer on the roof garden as a true composer, and Morris Schwartz enjoyed himself as a shbstars star.
Among the frequent visitors to the
roof garden, there came an attractive, healthy, elegant young woman.
She used to come often and by herself. Her appearance caught the
attention of the entire locale. I used to give Schwartz a wink from
the orchestra, that she was already here. Once I said to him: "My
heart tells me that she will be Mrs. Schwartz." In a short time she
became the only wife of Morris Schwartz.
THE YIDDISH ART THEATRE
The Yiddish Art Theatre was born of itself. Maurice Schwartz, the builder of the "Yiddish Art Theatre," even did not dream that he would be able to create an art theatre. He was enthusiastic to play good theatre, but it should be a theatre where no shund plays should dare to enter. About this he was even to afraid to think about it.
In the year 1918 the manager Max Wilner, with Maurice Schwartz as a partner and star, took over the Irving Place Theatre, the former German theatre. Schwartz was taken and determined to play better and different Yiddish theatre. This could be seen from the composition of the company: Jacob Ben-Ami, Ludwig Satz, Jechiel Goldschmidt, Celia Adler, Anna Appel, and even more important, serious actors.
His first play at the Irving Place Theatre was "Der man un zayn shotn (The Man and His Shadow)," by Z. Libin. Although they played the play a little better, quieter, with more direction than in Kessler's Second Avenue Theatre, the play nevertheless was not satisfactory enough for the public, and not for Maurice Schwartz. However, they felt in the air that it is something different, a new way, a new tone.
Maurice Schwartz then searched for and searched for his happiness in foreign gardens ... He staged "Mrs. Warren's Profession," by Bernard Shaw; "Uriel Acosta," by Karl Gustow; "The Robbers," by Schiller. But this was the fruit of a foreign garden, until he staged Peretz Hirshbein's "Dos farvorfene vinkl (The Faraway Corner)." The play, "The Faraway Corner," was for the Yiddish Art Theatre what Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Garden" was for the Moscow Art Theatre. They saw a new kind of Yiddish theatre. The contents, the direction, the place for acting -- everything together is far, far away from the old Yiddish theatre.
"The Faraway Corner" laid the foundation for the Yiddish Art Theatre. Years earlier Peretz Hirshbein founded a company in Russia, and went on to play in his repertoire, among which, "The Faraway Corner" was one of his repertoire. It is likely that years before Boris Thomashefsky bought from Peretz Hirshbein the rights to play "The Faraway Corner." But at that time when he played his "Torah'le," "Pintelekh," and "Dos bintl grins," would such a fine idyll, such as "The Faraway Corner," positively fail.
Maurice Schwartz arrived with the play, "The Faraway Corner," at the right time. This Yiddish theatre then was rife for such a play. Then they had already played plays by Sholem Asch, David Pinski, Osip Dymow. People embraced "The Faraway Corner," like with a jewel. The play lasted more than three months, because they did not go away, but ran to see "The Faraway Corner."
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