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Inspired by Mary Berg’s account of life and death in the Warsaw Ghetto, as well as drawing parallels with Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the production recreates life in the ghetto through the eyes of Prospero and Miranda. Craftsmen work, children learn the Torah at school, a family prepares for a wedding. Gradually Nazi persecution emerges. The people rebel but they cannot escape deportation to the extermination camps. In the final scene, a choir sings as paper blackbirds fly over the heads of spectators, representing those who were lost.
Format: Street theatre


Original or Prominent Production: 1997—the production appeared in five countries as street theatre.
Original Source Material: Mary Berg’s diary was serialized in American newspapers in 1944 and published as a book, Warsaw Ghetto: A Diary, in 1945. Berg wrote her firsthand account of life in the Warsaw Ghetto while interned there as a teenager from 1940 to 1943. She and her family were able to escape deportation to the extermination camps due to the fact that her mother possessed dual Polish-American citizenship. After being moved around Europe with other prisoners of war, the family finally sailed to the U.S. as part of a German prisoner exchange.
Nationality of Author:
Original Language: Italian
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