Holocaust Survivors' Stories Come to Life in Spring Term Production
Tara Roberts, a first-year student from Breckenridge, plays Holocaust survivor Paula Bolton in Up From the Ashes: Michigan Holocaust Survivors Share Their Stories, a production of Dr. Joanne Gilbert's Spring Term "Perfoming Advocacy" class. Roberts holds a photo of a young Bolton.
Dr. Joanne Gilbert, Alma College associate professor of communication, is giving life to Holocaust survivors' stories. Using her research specialty in marginalized segments of the population, Gilbert has interviewed survivors of one of history's darkest moments to create a play based on their memories.
The production, "Up From the Ashes: Michigan Holocaust Survivors Share Their Stories" is a performance of narratives Gilbert collected during interviews with six Holocaust survivors from the Detroit area. The production is staged by students enrolled in her Spring Term "Performing Advocacy" course, and will include a question and answer session with several of the survivors following the performance.
The survivors, originally from Germany and Poland, came to the United States after being imprisoned in concentration camps with the exception of one who escaped the Nazis before the mass roundup of Jews in Germany and Poland. They frequently tell their stories of ethnic intimidation, family separation and deaths of relatives and friends to students and community groups.
Their goal in relating their painful experiences is to ensure an event like the Holocaust does not happen again and encourage people to speak out about injustice. Gilbert, the director of the production, uses her Performing Advocacy course to promote community service and enlighten people about peace and justice issues.
"This is truly a unique production both conceptually and technically. Students will use a rehearsal technique called Everyday Life Performance working with audio files and transcripts of interviews attempting to replicate the survivors' paralinguistic behavior. The production is an important piece of advocacy for marginalized voices," Gilbert says.
The production is Wednesday, May 24, at 7 p.m. in the Remick Heritage Center Presbyterian Hall on the Alma campus. There is a special performance at 12:45 p.m. for area high school students. A question and answer session with the survivors and the performers takes place at the end of the performance.
There is no charge for the performance, but seating is reserved. Reserved seating tickets for Remick Heritage Center events may be reserved by visiting the Box Office Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. or calling (989) 463-7304. VISA, Discover and MasterCard sales are accepted. Tickets can be ordered via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Free tickets are not released until the day of an event or on Friday for a weekend event. Reserved tickets not claimed by 30 minutes before performance time will be made available to the general public.
Jim Abrams, a sophomore from Manistique, reads the story of survivor Martin Lowenberg during a visit to the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills Wednesday. Abrams plays Lowenberg in Dr. Joanne Gilbert's Spring Term play based on Holocaust survivors' stories.
Posted: Thu, May 4th, 2006 at 3:38PM