The problems of hatred, prejudice and indifference are present in our communities and in our schools. In a moving and inspiring performance featuring young actors, Terezin: Children of the Holocaust provides an historical context within which to examine these critically important issues. Inspired by the art and poetry of the children of Terezin, playwright and director Anna Smulowitz, the daughter of Auschwitz survivors, wrote the play in order to sustain the memory of the victims, including her many family members who did not survive. The play depicts two days in a cell at Terezin or Theresienstadt, a concentration camp outside of Prague that imprisoned many European Jews, including over 15,000 children.
It is the story of six of these children, and chronicles the last two days of their lives before being deported to their deaths at Auschwitz. While the play suggests the grim reality of what lies ahead, it is also a portrait of the hope that children naturally possess, and how these particular children achieved a triumph of spirit through their personal relationships and their artwork.
Terezin can be used to introduce some very difficult subjects to students, such as racism, anti-Semitism, intolerance and discrimination, whether on the basis of religion, gender, age, national origin, race or sexual orientation. The play can also serve to educate students about the Holocaust and other devastating chapters in our history, and to ensure that this kind of event never takes place again.
Target Grades: 7-12
Audience Limit: 500
Duration: 75-80 Minutes (including Q + A)
Sessions offer classes or small groups of students an opportunity to go deeper with playwright Anna Smulowitz. She shares personal history about her family’s experience in the holocaust, explores the art and poetry of the children of Terezin which served as her inspiration for the play, leads a writing exercise to help students reflect, and facilitates discussion about how modern day prejudice, xenophobia and acts of hate can be transformed through awareness and mutual respect. Students are invited to envision a positive cultural evolution in which respect and tolerance replace prejudice and hate.
Target Grades: 7-12
Participant Limit: 30
Duration: 45-60 minutes
Terezin Performance Requirements
Terezin Study Guide
Brief History of the Ghetto of Terezin
Children’s Drawings From the Terezin Ghetto, 1942-1944
Terezin Concentration Camp, History and Overview
“Coping Through Art”
Single: $1,650 Double: $2,500 Triple: $3,300
Post-performance Workshop: $125 each
Travel Fee: $100/day
“This is the most empowering thing I’ve ever seen” – Hannah Verdun, 8th grader, Marblehead Veteran’s Middle School
“Terezin: Children of the Holocaust is one of the most powerful tools I have seen to eradicate hate.” -Derek Shulman, Former New England Regional Director of the Anti Defamation League
“The play is an important tool, not just for Jewish children, but for all children to learn about racism, social responsibility and individual choice.” — Judith Kamber, Dean Emerita of Professional Development, Northern Essex Community College
“If you’ve not seen this play, you have missed a very deep involvement of your heart . . . and soul.” — Millie Blaustein, audience member
“What a brave production from Anna Smulowitz and her team. This was an assured, mature performance from a group of very young Americans. All were equally strong in a play that called for a depth of emotion that must be way out of their experience. Anna Smulowitz produced an imagined but all too real, individual, human side to the story, telling of the children’s courage beyond their years and also the depths to which they could succumb in order to survive.” -Christine McDerment, Audience Member
Five Star Fringe Review
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Mileage Rates Note: Double mileage calculated below to account for initial and return trip