By Celeste Raspanti
Directed by Sandra Assarian
Performance Dates - March 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, & 24, 25, & 26 , 2017
All performances are at 8 pm except Sundays, which begin at 3 pm.
From 1942 to 1945, during WWII, over 15,000 Jewish children passed through Terezin, a former military garrison set up as a ghetto in Czechoslovakia. It soon became a station, a stopping-off place, for hundreds of thousands of Jews on their way to the gas chambers of Auschwitz. When Terezin was liberated in 1945, only about a hundred were still alive. The story of those years at Terezin remains in drawings and poems collected and published in the book, I Never Saw Another Butterfly .
One of the survivors, Raja, having lived through it all, teaching the children when there was nothing to teach with, helping to give them hope when there was little enough reason for hope, creating a little world of laughter, of flowers and butterflies behind the barbed wire, tells the true story of the children. It is her play and it is theirs. This play is an imaginative creation of her story from documentary materials: poems, diaries, letters, journals, drawings and pictures.
There were no butterflies at Terezin, of course, but for the children, butterflies became a symbol of defiance, making it possible for them to tolerate and endure the hardships of their lives.