Evening of Performances Launches Women, Theatre, and the Holocaust Resource Handbook Newly Published Second Edition
May 2, 2016
Remember the Women Institute’s new 90-page Women, Theatre, and the Holocaust Resource Handbook was launched on May 2, 2016, in commemoration of Yom HaShoah, at a program presented by Remember the Women Institute and American Jewish Historical Society at the Center for Jewish History, New York City. The full-house audience had the opportunity to see dramatizations of three different aspects of women’s experiences during the Holocaust, all moving and poignant. The event was also part of the national Remembrance Readings Day of the National Jewish Theater Foundation.
Performances included a play written by a survivor of Ravensbrück and Auschwitz, an original contemporary short play, and a personal history set to music:
• Excerpts of Charlotte Delbo's classic play, Who Will Carry the Word?, were performed by Angela Bey, Mya Flood, Indira Joell, and Allison Rohr--Dr. Meghan Brodie’s students in the Ursinus College Department of Theater and Dance, directed by Dr. Brodie.
• The Spoken and the Unspoken, the premiere of a short play written by Cynthia L. Cooper especially for this occasion, focused on researching and uncovering stories of sexual violence. The play, based on the work of Remember the Women Institute and the resistance we have faced in bringing this subject into the open, featured two professional actors, Stacey Linnartz and Jessica Litwak
• Cantor Shira Ginsburg performed excerpts from her acclaimed Bubby’s Kitchen, a musical reminiscence of growing up with grandparents who were heroes of the Resistance in Belarus.
A panel discussion with Dr. Saidel, Dr. Brodie, playwright Cooper, Cantor Ginsburg, and Arnold Mittelman, President of National Jewish Theater Foundation, followed the presentations.
Available as a free downloadable PDF, the new edition of Women, Theatre, and the Holocaust Resource Handbook has bibliographies with annotated hyperlinked descriptions of plays about women and the Holocaust, plays about the Holocaust by women, and related books. The handbook was written by Remember the Women Institute's founder and executive director Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel and educational consultant Karen Shulman. Following an introduction by Dr. Saidel and the bibliographies, there are two personal essays on staging plays about women and the Holocaust. Dr. Meghan Brodie, Assistant Professor of Theater, Ursinus College, describes her experience working with her students at University of Southern Maine on In the Underworld, a translation of a play written in Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp by Germaine Tillion. Dr. Alice Shalvi, an Israel Prize awardee for Lifetime Achievement, writes about the initiation and implementation of Refidim Junction, a musical theatre piece that originated with the discovery of letters written by her mother in 1930s Germany. The resource handbook also includes a study guide for educators, designed by Ms. Shulman.
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