Charlotte: Life? or Theatre?

Author(s): &

Charlotte Salomon grew up in Berlin in the twenties, and died in Auschwitz in 1943 at the age of 26. In 1939, in refuge in France, she discovers the truth about a lineage of suicides in her family. To make sense of her existence she begins to paint Life? or Theater?, over 800 paintings with text and musical references. The musical follows Charlotte’s journey towards life, beginning and ending in the South of France in the room where she is struggling to give birth to Life? or Theater?.
Format: Musical
Cast Size: 5F/3M
Character breakdown
Woman, owner of a pension in Southern France
Charlotte, a young painter
Amadeus Daberlohn, a voice teacher
Franziska Knarre-Kann, Charlotte’s mother
Dr. Knarre, Charlotte’s grandfather
Mrs. Knarre, Charlotte’s grandmother
Dr. Albert Kann, Charlotte’s father
Paulinka Bimbam, Charlotte’s stepmother, a well-known opera singer
Man in the mask, Nazi official, Anatole, Voices, etc., played by the actors and/or puppets.



See also, Mary Lowenthal Felstiner: To Paint Her Life, HarperCollins, 1994

Original or Prominent Production: Prince Music Theater, Philadelphia, PA.
Original Source Material: Charlotte Salomon: Leben? oder Theater? Viking Press, 1981.
Nationality of Author:
Original Language: English
Production Rights Holder:
Elise Thoron and Gary Fagin