The Strauss Cabarets

Leo Strauss’s works range from comic songs to sonnets. Although his style is whimsical, his works occasionally have a dark and even despairing edge. With lines like “we are buried here alive” in a poem about the crowded conditions of the ghetto, he confronts the truly desperate nature of the prisoners’ situation. Other pieces, however, appear unrelated to Terezín/Theresienstadt, or engage with life in the ghetto in a much lighter way. Perhaps these works were written for the Blockveranstaltungen held in the hospitals and lodgings of the elderly, where their suffering audiences needed no reminder of the miserable conditions in which they lived. Instead, as Myra Strauss-Gruhenberg wrote in her own essay published here, the most urgent need was “to distract the old and the sick as soon as possible from their cares.” Her single poem in this collection, “The Last Cigarette,” describes a moment of calm enjoyed by a woman who, by all accounts, was the center of a maelstrom of creative activity.
Format: Cabaret songs with poems
Cast Size:Flexible
Notes:

Support materials available in Performing Captivity, Performing Escape: Cabarets and Plays from the Terezín/Theresienstadt Ghetto, ed. Lisa Peschel, Seagull Books 2014.

Snapshot

Original or Prominent Production:
Original productions in the Terezín/Theresienstadt Ghetto, 1942-44.
Nationality of Author: Austrian
Original Language: German
Publisher:

Published in Performing Captivity, Performing Escape: Cabarets and Plays from the Terezín/Theresienstadt Ghetto, ed. Lisa Peschel, Seagull Books 2014.

Production Rights Holder:

For information contact lisa_peschel@yahoo.com

Experience(s) Chronicled: The Ghettos

Browse the Plays

Play Index

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

HTC Insights

Views, reference and research of interest.

A Personal Welcome to the Holocaust Theater Catalog

A Message from Arnold Mittelman After a career in not-for-profit and commercial theater spanning more than 40 years I was honored in 2007 to found the National Jewish Theater / Foundation and in 2010 to assume leadership of its Holocaust Theater International...

Many Questions and a Few Answers

by Robert Skloot 2022 NJTF HTII Lifetime Achievement Award AHO Winter Conference, Miami, FL I’d like to begin my remarks by asking the question that all of us have been asked often: “Why do you do the work you do?” There are, of course, many answers, but I’d imagine...