Tags: Terezin

And a Child Shall Lead

A true story of children living in the Terezín ghetto who, despite the horrors of Nazi rule, use their creativity to write poems, make art, and produce an underground newspaper. Their actual poems and stories are interwoven through the play.

Drawing Life

Drawing Life, a Jewish Music Institute (JMI) production, is inspired by a collection of poems and drawings made by children imprisoned in Terezín. Based on original poems and drawings of the camp inmates, the performance is a dramatized song cycle featuring archive film and survivor testimony.

Harlequin in the Ghetto

Based on the play Comedy about a Trap performed in the Terezín ghetto during World War II. Survivors recall performances of the original play, written by Zdenek Jelinek in the commedia dell’arte style about the relationship between Harlequin and Capitano. Harlequin in the Ghetto explores the young author’s experiences and inspiration, and examines the role of comedy during the Holocaust.

Signs of Life—A Holocaust Drama with Music

The true story of the Czech ghetto Terezín, renamed by Hitler, Theresienstadt, in his bid to fool the world and to hide the truth about what he was actually doing to the Jews. The “City for Jews” disguised the facts with a façade of beautification to fool the Red Cross inspectors—populating the city with artists, writers, musicians and scholars forced into lying. The alternative: being sent to Auschwitz.

Terezín

Two Jewish girls, Alexi—a brilliant violin player—and Violet are forced to act for their lives in a propaganda film in the Terezín concentration camp. At every turn, the girls face a desperate struggle for survival. Soon Violet mysteriously disappears and Alexi’s musical ability attracts the unwanted attention of the Nazi commandant. He gives Alexi a Faustian bargain: teach him to play the violin and he will reveal Violet’s whereabouts. But how can Alexi trust an evil man, who orders the deportation and extermination of her own people?

The Insult

The author humorously portrays one of the lesser-known institutions in the ghetto: its court system. The system included a criminal court that mostly addressed cases of theft, a labor court that resolved issues of work discipline, and a civil court that dealt with private conflicts among ghetto residents. Survivor Ruth Bondy wrote of the civil court: "Most of the plaintiffs were older people, mainly from Germany, who were more sensitive about their dignity [. . .]. But perhaps what these people sought most of all was the reassurance that there was still justice, and a judge, in the world." In the sketch the conflict is resolved in a humorous way that not only disarms the plaintiff and charms the judge but entertains the courtroom—as well as the Terezín/Theresienstadt audience.

The Model Ghetto

A dramatic representation of the model ghetto/camp of Terezín/Theresienstadt.

The Star on My Heart

Based on survivor Inge Auerbacher, the play follows Inge's life in back-and-forth vignettes. At age seven, Inge and her family are taken from their home in Germany and sent to the Terezín concentration camp. Three years of harsh conditions, death, and fear follow her. When she is liberated from Terezín in 1945, Inge falls ill with tuberculosis. She spends two years on complete bedrest in a New York City hospital ward. Once released, Inge attempts to fit in at her new high school, and discovers a love of science. She graduates after two years of schooling and goes on to become a successful chemist and author.

Un Opera pour Terezín

Commemorates the annihilation of the European Jewish artists who were confined to the ghetto of Terezín in Czechoslovakia and is structured like a Passover seder. The piece is to last all night long and to be staged in sites across the world. Forty scenes show the fate of Terezin prisoners, based on the lives of camp musicians. There are no Nazis represented in the piece.

Way to Heaven

About the sham Jewish settlement at Theresienstadt, or Terezín, in what is now the Czech Republic, set up by the Nazis to persuade observers that Jews were held in humane conditions. A make-believe utopia, Theresienstadt (the German name) was an effective propaganda tool. In reality, it was a concentration camp, and a way station leading to Auschwitz and other death camps.

Why We Laugh: A Terezín Cabaret

An adaptation of the Terezín cabaret combines scenes and songs from the original cabaret with new scenes that reflect upon a scholar’s attempts to imagine how that original cabaret might have been performed. This performance marked the first time that scenes and songs from Why We Laugh returned to Terezín since its original performances in 1944.
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