The Holocaust has been portrayed in fiction, film, memoirs and poetry; however, there has been a lack of information about the theatre of the Holocaust.
The immediacy of theatre affects us emotionally, subliminally and intellectually, in a direct way that few other art forms can duplicate.
Risen Like The Phoenix From The Ashes
In the outset of the Jewish congregation in Amsterdam, there appeared to be a semblance of growing, renewal and revival, like the legendary phoenix in the play “Diálogo dos Montes” - “The Controversy of the Mountains” which was written in Amsterdam in the Portuguese language by Rehuel Jessurun. The play was performed in the Beth Jaacob synagogue in the year 1624. It is about seven mountains arguing on which of them the Torah will be given.
After the introduction in which are speaking the earth, the seven mountains and Jehosaphat who is the judge in the dispute, each mountain expresses in his sermon his arguments before the judge. Subsequently the choir representing the people of Israel, speaks.
After the sermon of mount Hahar, the people of Israel turn to him and say: “what is the miracle that this fire will keep spreading until we, like the phoenix, will be reborn from the cold ashes”?
At the end of the sermon of mount Grizim the people express the hope that “the sun that is now hidden will cause the growing of new branches from the dry roots”.
At the concluding sermon judge Jehosaphat rules that Mount Sinai is the winner and hopes that from the ruins of the holy temple “will rise the divine creation, like the phoenix reborn from the ashes”.
The play was written by Rehuel Jessurun (originally named Paulo de Pina), born in Lisbon in a conversos family. He was the founder of the Beth Jaacob congregation in Amsterdam, together with Saul Levi Morteira, the rabbi of the congregation, who wrote the sermons of the play and whose pupils were Baruch Spinoza and Moses Zacuto.
The Holocaust Theatre Online Collection: 'Theatre about life and hope', is a uniquely accessible teaching tool that will educate a new generation about a little-known aspect of the Holocaust.
Despite unspeakably difficult circumstances, Jewish actors, singers, musicians, dancers, filmmakers and other artists regularly performed in the Nazi ghettos and concentration camps. Their remarkable creative output was a triumph of the human spirit over barbarism.
UNESCO applauds this innovative initiative, which highlights the astonishing power of art and creativity to prevail over hatred, destruction and genocide. In so doing, it forges dynamic links between the past, present and future.
Read full letter of support here
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A new invitation to “Come to the Cabaret” By Judi Herman (Play) read here
An English Tragedy tell the true story of John Amery By Judi Herman (Play) read here
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David Natale in The Westerbork Serenade (Solo Performance) read here
Diane Samuels' Kindertransport at Echo Theatre -Dallas (Play) read here
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Dr Korczak’s Example David Greig's Moving Holocaust story simply told for a young audience by Judi Herman (play) read here
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I Can Cry! a powerful Holocaust memory .(Solo Performance) read here
If The Whole Body Dies: Raphael Lemkin and the Treaty Against Genocide by Robert Skloot (Play) read here
Irena Gut: An ordinary girl doing extraordinary things under extraordinary circumstances by Miri Ben-Shalom (Play) read here
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Jewish Cultural Centres in Nazi Germany by K. K. Duewell (Article ) read here
Jonathan Lichtenstein shares some of the memories that inform his play ‘Memory’ by Judi Herman (Play) read here
Mamet Strikes again--“Race” on Broadway By Irene Backalenick (Play) read more
Michael Halperin's " Mela "(Solo Performance) read here
Morag McLaren in Tonight-Lola Blau (Solo Performance) read here
Naava Piatka - Better Don't Talk!(Solo Performance) read here
Olga's Room, a searing play about an extraordinary Jewish heroine on both sides of the Atlantic
by Judi Herman (Play) read here
Our Class by Tadeusz Slobodzianek:Unsparing account of a wartime massacre and its repercussions by Judi Herman(Play) read here
Paul Webster in Hitler Alone (Solo Performance) read here
Razia Israely in The Dentist (Solo Performance) read here
Remembering a Forgotten Hero: Aristides de Sousa Mendes By Judi Herman (Play) read here
Richard Greenberg’s “The American Plan” By Irene Backalenick (Play) read here
Sendak and Kushner Let Humor Get Through by Mel Gussow (Article ) read here
Shelley Mitchell in Talking with Angels (Solo Performance) read here
Simon Wiesenthal Nazi Hunter (Solo Performance) read here
Steve Lambert in The Devoured (Solo Performance) read here
Susan Stein in Etty (Solo Performance) read more
Terezin, the greatest farce ever by Jacobo Kaufmann (Topic) read here
The Captain of Köpenick - Carl Zuckmayer by Judi Herman (Play) read here
The Glass Room by Ryan Craig at the Hampstead Theatre London, by Judi Herman (Play) read here
The excellent Tovah Feldshuh in “Irena’s Vow” by Irene Backalenick (Play) read here
Ten thousand Jewish children who escaped Nazi Germany on London Stage Kindertransport by Judi Herman (Play) read here
The Jewish Kulturbund Theatre in Nazi Berlin By Rebecca Rovit (Topic) read here
The many voices behind the Anne Frank legacy by Rachel Viola (Artist) read here
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Judi Herman (Play) read here
'This Is a Man' on Film, Premieres on HBO Television by Irene Backalenick (Film) read here
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'Way to Heaven' Explodes Off-Broadway by Irene Backalenick(Play) read here
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