Friday, February 17, 2017

Still time for a, sadly, always-relevant 'Terezin'

The Actors Studio of Newburyport will stage Anna Smulowitz's
award-winning "Terezin, Children of the Holocaust" Saturday
It's a small theater and the time is running out, but you might be able to slip in, just under the wire, for a new production of "Terezin, Children of the Holocaust," the award-winning play by Anna Smulowitz being staged Saturday at The Actors Studio of Newburyport. That's one-night only, folks. 

This story is set in a “showcase” prison camp, Terezin, known as Theresienstadt in German, in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. The camp was designed to show the occasionally meddlesome international community that the Nazis weren't being too mean to the Jews. It tells the story of six children and the truths they face in the two days leading up to their deportation to the death camp at Auschwitz, Poland. In heartbreakingly childlike ways, these characters reveal the resilience of the human spirit and the psychological barbarism of the Nazi war machine — and, sadly, resonates in new ways, going beyond ”just” never again and tapping into new hot-button issues like homophobia, xenophobia — any phobia in the Trump years — even good old-school schoolyard and big league political bullying. There will be a talkback after the performance — and plenty to talk about.

This is the 46th anniversary of the original production, which won the 1984 American Children's Television Award and has been performed at Terezin for the child survivors and their families, and at Auschwitz as part of the 50th anniversary commemoration of its liberation. Translated into German and Spanish, "Terezin" has been performed in high schools in Central America and has toured all over New England high schools. It also grabbed five stars at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and enjoyed an Off-Broadway run. This performance is a fundraiser for an upcoming tour to Cuba.

The show will be staged at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at The Actors Studio of Newburyport, 50 Water St., The Tannery, Mill #1, Suite #5, Newburyport. Tickets are $18 or $16 for seniors and students. There's more info at or call 978-465-1229.

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