Born in Pitava, Russia to Saul and Chaya Shamus Charsky. Her mother died when she was young and she immigrated to America with a sister in the early 1880s to join her father and older sister Jennie Charsky at the Rosenheym Jewish agricultural colony in New Jersey. She then developed an interest in singing and acting. Under the stage name May Arno, she traveled as an actress and singer with a theater company in the early years of the twentieth century. May's older sister Jennie married Dr. Charles Spivak and the couple moved to Denver, Colorado in 1896 for Jennie's health. May Arno married Jacob Marinoff, who was Superintendent of the JCRS in 1906, but they were divorced. May Arno then married Dr. Herman Schwatt, who served as the Medical Superintendent of the Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society (JCRS) from 1910 to 1915 and a few years after Dr. Spivak's death in 1927. While in Denver, May Arno opened the May Arno School of Music and Drama, a dramatic school for children, wrote articles and performed at JCRS and many functions in the Denver community. She died in February 1968.
Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:
Newspaper clipping of a photograph of a traveling theater company's performance at the Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society (JCRS) in August 1929. Caption misidentifies director Maurice Schwarz's New York company, the Yiddish Art Theatre, as the [by-then defunct] Jewish Art Theatre. JCRS Sanatorium superintendent Herman Schwatt, M.D. is shown in the upper row, second from left. The newpaper clipping is from the Jewish Daily Forward, and was found in a scrapbook created by singer and actor...
1929 August 4
May Arno Schwatt and her traveling theater company. May Arno Schatt was the sister-in-law of Dr. Charles Spivak, a founder and executive director of the Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society (JCRS). Schwatt and her theater company performed at the JCRS. She was born in Pitava, Russia to Saul and Chaya Shamus Charsky. Her mother died when she was young and she immigrated to America with a sister in the early 1880s to join her father and older sister Jennie Charsky at the Rosenheym Jewish...