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.”
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
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.