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Kindertransport

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Performance dates 8/19/2016 – 9/4/2016

 

During 1938-39, almost ten thousand children, mostly Jewish, were sent from families at risk in Nazi occupied German to safety in Britain. Samuel’s play explores the lives of mothers and daughters torn apart and brought together by this “Kindertransport.”

 

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Cast and Crew

 

Eva: Hannah Ryan

Helga: Kelley Weber

Evelyn: Michelle Hand

Faith: Katy Keating

Lil: Kirsten De Broux

Ensemble: Brian J. Rolf

Director: Deanna Jent

Asst. Director – Ariella Rovinsky

Vocal Coach: Nancy Bell :

German language coach Marlene Rene Coveyou:

Stage Manager: Traci Clapper

Assistant Stage Manager:  Maram Samaha

Lighting Design: Michael Sullivan

Set Design: Kyra Bishop

Costume Design: Jane Sullivan

Sound Design: Zoe Sullivan

Props: Meg Brinkley

Playwright’s Note

by Diane Samuels

Three incidents led me to write Kindertransport. The first was a discussion with a close friend, in her late twenties and born into a comfortable, secure home, who described her struggle to deal with the guilt of survival. Her father had been on the Kindertransport and I was struck by how her parent’s feelings had been passed down to her. The second was the experience of another friend who, at his father’s funeral, overheard his mother recalling her time at Auschwitz. Until that moment he had no idea that his mother had been in a concentration camp. The third was the ashamed admission by a fifty-five year old woman on a television documentary about the Kindertransport, that the feeling she felt most strongly towards her dead parents was rage at their abandonment of her, even though that abandonment had saved her life.

Past and present are wound around each other throughout the play. They are not distinct but inextricably connected. The re-running of what happened many years ago is not there to explain how things are now, but is a part of the inner life of the present.

I interviewed a number of the “Kinder” as part of my research. They were all very open about their lives and feelings. Many of their actual experiences are woven into the fabric of the play. Although Eva/Evelyn and her life are fictional, most of what happens to her did happen to someone somewhere.

I used to dedicate this play to those “Kinder” and the rest of the 10,000 who left Europe over seventy years ago. Now I see that, by entering the exceptional experience of those children who caught the trains to safety when many of them, like Eva, were too young to bear it, a crucial connection can be made with the clinging child inside us all that never wants to let go, no matter what. So, now I dedicate the play also to those fortunate children who have the opportunity to leave their parents when they are ready. And to the parents who raise their children to take that leave.