From Silence


A rigid but loving grandmother named Esther Gold has preserved her mental balance by keeping her wartime experiences secret. She finds her safe world turned upside down when local authorities place her synagogue on lock down in response to a terrorist threat and her granddaughter is being held inside. During the endless waiting, Esther travels back in her mind seeing the results of her decision to remain silent about the Holocaust and its effect on her family. She re-experiences her years in Ravensbrück, Hitler's concentration camp for women. She relives the many times her daughter and granddaughter begged her to speak about her wartime experiences. Ultimately, she will be shaken out of her fear of sharing her past. She realizes it is her duty to speak out, but will it be too late for her granddaughter to hear?
Format: Full-length play
Cast Size: 9F
Running time: 90 minutes
Character breakdown

Esther Gold—79, Holocaust survivor
Adult Esther—42, New Jersey housewife, inner voice
Young Esther—10, camp prisoner, inner voice
Deborah—42, Esther’s daughter
Elaina—11, Esther’s granddaughter
Erika—43, political prisoner
Young Deborah/Maria Sofia—11, prisoner
Lynda/Marta—40s, NJ housewife, guard’s daughter
Janis/Hostess—40s, NJ housewife


Original or Prominent Production: Presented by Theater for the New City, NYC, November 4–20, 2016.
Original Source Material: Inspired by the book Say the Name: A Survivor’s Tale in Prose and Poetry by Judith Sherman (2005, UNM Press).
Nationality of Author:
Original Language: English
Production Rights Holder:

Anne Marilyn Lucas