Playing for Time


Based on the autobiography of Fania Fénelon, a Parisian singer who became part of the Auschwitz orchestra made up of female prisoners. The musicians play for the camp's Nazi leaders and for fellow prisoners leaving for work details and crematoria. Their position in the orchestra is a means to survival but also forces them to ask moral questions about how their artistry is being used.
Format: Drama
Cast Size: 4M/18F



For additional reading, see Gene A. Plunka, Holocaust Drama: The Theater of Atrocity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp. 57–65.

Original or Prominent Production: 1985
Original Source Material: Based on Fania Fénelon’s autobiography. First developed as a screenplay in 1980, later presented in a stage version.
Nationality of Author:
Original Language: English

Published in A Terrible Truth: Anthology of Holocaust Drama, v. 2, compiled by Irene N. Watts, Playwrights Canada Press.

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