In just about an hour, six actors put a very human face on the horrors of the Holocaust. The numbers and statistics can be mind-numbing, but hearing the real stories of young people who survived unimaginable trauma, and lived to tell their story, is much more emotionally resonant. On a completely bare stage, with just a chalkboard and a few suitcases, the cast takes us right back there to 1930s and '40s Germany, or Poland, or Czechoslovakia. Their similar but uniquely specific stories are interwoven together. Stories of being forced to move into a ghetto with not enough food; of being separated from family members, never to see them again; of having to leave their homeland; of marching across the barren country for miles upon miles; of hiding wherever and however they could; of being subjected to abuse and forced labor; and ultimately, of survival. These ten people (you can read their stories here) were among the lucky ones, and each one vowed to tell the story so that the world wouldn't forget - and 79 years later, their stories still live on through this play.
|the cast of Survivors
The play was written for a modern audience, and draws intentional parallels to today's world. Things like othering, fearmongering, scapegoating, book burning, censorship, and blind devotion to a leader, depicted in this historical play, feel very current, very real, and very scary. Thanks to Six Points Theater for bringing us this play at this time, and the thoughtful programming around it.
Survivors has one more performance on Sunday at 1pm. If you can't see the play, Six Points has an online guide with some great info about the Holocaust and other genocides. Six Points' regular season continues with a world premiere new play The Gentle Jewess of Venice (a sequel of sorts to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice) and Harvey Feirstein's Torch Song.