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...
The Singer of Shanghai, Radio Play
The Singer of Shanghai Cast
Featuring Special Guests:
SA Man- Jakob Innes
Magistrate- Eric Kisch
G.I. Soldier- Bert Reiner
Guide: Gary Sternberg
Berthold Rosenthal: Harry J. Abraham
Valparaiso, IN – The graduate students in the Valparaiso University Arts and Entertainment Administration program have written and produced a new radio play titled “The Singer of Shanghai.” It is a privilege to honor former Shanghai Jewish refugee Harry Abraham’s mother, Ida Abraham, as the central focus for the production. To take a full account of this growing history, Ida’s Singer sewing machine is used as a symbol to connect her past to our present.
Shanghai, China, was a beacon of hope for Jewish refugees escaping the horrors of Hitler’s regime. This city became a new home on foreign land for all in search of refuge to begin anew. Shanghai was the only city in the world whose doors remained open that did not require any documentation for those in search of a new home. The city was a melting pot of varying national backgrounds of Jewish immigrants; Sephardic Jews, Russian Jews, Austrian, German and Polish Jews to name a few. Restarting their lives in unknown territory revealed their tenacity, courage and comradery.
According to one of the actors, Kayla Owens, who plays multiple roles in the production, “Our play is reaching new heights bringing these guest stars on board. The cast is happy to welcome four surviving WWII refugees Harry Abraham, Eric Kisch, Gary Sternberg and Bert Reiner to our production. Though Shanghai ties all these men together, their experiences are not the same. Some were born in Germany during the height of Hitler’s regime while others have no recollection of anything before Shanghai.” Thankfully, with photographs and shared memories, students in the program get to learn the rich history of the Shanghai Jewish Refugees and their stories.
Owens adds, “We are fortunate to have them continue to share their stories with the world in an effort to prevent the past from repeating and inform people of a little-known history.” Danny Spungen, board member of the Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation, also plays a big role in promoting awareness of the history of Shanghai Jewish refugees and will join the cast.
For more detailed facts on Shanghai refugees please visit the website https://the-singer-ofshanghai.weebly.com
Historical Theatre: Valparaiso University Arts and Entertainment Administration program
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