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Hana's Suitcase on Stage
     

Hana's Suitcase on Stage

by Karen Levine, Emil Sher
 

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Hana's Suitcase, which has been translated into more than thirty-five languages and is currently being developed into two feature-length films, tells the incredible true story of a Japanese Holocaust educator who traveled the globe to track down information about the owner of a suitcase found at Auschwitz. Her search led her to the owner's long-lost brother

Overview

Hana's Suitcase, which has been translated into more than thirty-five languages and is currently being developed into two feature-length films, tells the incredible true story of a Japanese Holocaust educator who traveled the globe to track down information about the owner of a suitcase found at Auschwitz. Her search led her to the owner's long-lost brother and a history of both love and tragedy.

Since its publication in 2002, the story of Hana Brady, a little girl who wanted to become a teacher, has captured the hearts and minds of schoolchildren and adults around the globe. Now, with a stage play touring North America, Hana's story becomes even more alive. Hana's Suitcase on Stage is a unique volume that combines the story and images of the original book with the complete script of award-winning writer Emil Sher's theatrical adaptation. It's a must-read-and a must-see-for teachers and schoolchildren from coast to coast.

Karen Levine has won several awards for her radio work, including two Peabody awards. Levine originally produced Hana's Suitcase as a radio documentary and later made it into a book. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Emil Sher is a multitalented, award-winning writer whose works include stage plays, radio dramas, short fiction and essays. Sher lives with his wife and two children in Toronto, Ontario, and Morin Heights, Quebec.

Hana's Suitcase on Stage opened to very positive reviews and lots of press in St. Louis in January 2007. Here are a few of the review comments:

—- Riverfront Times
"This is a big deal for St. Louis, and the exquisite production merits the widespread support it is receiving... The set design by Dunsi Dai enhances the story's emotional power... Late in the evening, when Hana lit a birthday candle, I was reminded of a speech from William Hanley's little-remembered 1964 drama, Slow Dance on the Killing Ground. A former railroad engineer on the Auschwitz line who delivered countless Jews to their death says, "Every year a bunch of Jewish people get together and light a fat candle for the 6 million Jews the Nazis killed. A candle. For 6 million people you light the sun, maybe. But a candle?" Hana's Suitcase is only a candle, but it burns brightly.

—- Jewish In St. Louis
Article - "Real Characters from Hana's Suitcase Get 'Rock Star Ovation' at Holocaust Museum"

—- Jewsweek
Article - "'Hana's Suitcase' has premiere in America"

—- St. Louis Post Dispatch
"Metro Theater Company and The Edison Theatre recently celebrated their sold-out opening night performance of the U.S. premiere of "Hana's Suitcase," a true story of the Holocaust. A champagne and dessert reception was held to honor featured guests including the real-life Hana's surviving brother, George Brady and his family, who flew in from Toronto; the playwright Emil Sher, also from Canada; Fumiko Ishioka, a principal character in the play who flew in from Japan; and the consuls general from Israel and Japan."

—- KSDK NewsChannel 5
"Hana's Suitcase is a thought provoking new play that is making its U.S. premiere right here in St. Louis... It's a powerful production, about two children caught in the holocaust and a young Japanese teacher's determination to tell their story.
It's a production you'll want to make sure to see with your kids."

—- This Week In St. Louis
"This compelling new play for families and young people delivers a sensitive message about why we must teach tolerance and acceptance."

—- Washington University in St. Louis Record
Article - U.S. Premiere of Hana's Suitcase Comes to Edison
Carol North, artistic director for Metro Theatre, directs the cast of nine, which is led by Haruna Tsuchiya as Fumiko and Leah Schumacher as Hana... "We are thrilled to be partnering with Edison Theatre to bring this powerful play to St. Louis audiences," North said. "Emil Sher's script weaves past and present in a seamless theatrical journey that takes us through the darkness of the Holocaust and into the light of hope."

"Hana's story isn't sugar-coated. But there's also a moment of redemption in that the Japanese children are able to rescue her story from oblivion. By emphasizing their active involvement, Hana's Suitcase shows that children can play a positive role in shaping their world and responding to injustice—that they're not just passive victims."

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 5 & Up - This volume includes Levine's 2003 account of a Japanese educator's efforts to uncover the story behind the original owner of a child's suitcase she received from a Holocaust center in Europe. Since the publication of Hana's Suitcase(Albert Whitman, 2003), numerous visits and programs have been held for children and adults around the world by Levine; Fumiko Ishioka, director of the Tokyo Holocaust Center; and George Brady, surviving brother of Hana Brady. Now a play has been written that weaves together the story of the child's past and the incredible investigative journey that Ishioka undertook. Set in the Tokyo Holocaust Center, the two-act play opens with the woman and two of her student helpers questioning and searching for answers to the suitcase's history. As the production notes state, the play includes ghostlike characters in the background that silently appear and disappear at various key moments, emphasizing the victims and casualties of the war. Act II blends characters of Ishioka and her students with Hana and her family, each group individually recounting their stories in alternating voices. As with the original book, this title succeeds in re-creating a striking representation of one child's tragic and beautiful life in a terrifying world of hate and prejudice. This volume will serve as one of the most effective teaching models for Holocaust curriculums available. Photographs and facsimiles of Nazi documents are included.-Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MI

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781897187050
Publisher:
Second Story Press
Publication date:
03/01/2007
Series:
Holocaust Remembrance Series
Pages:
175
Sales rank:
645,883
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
9 - 16 Years

Meet the Author

Emil Sher is a multitalented, award-winning writer whose works include stage plays, radio dramas, short fiction and essays. Sher lives with his wife and two children in Toronto, Ontario, and Morin Heights, Quebec.

Karen Levine has won several awards for her radio work, including two Peabody awards. Levine originally produced Hana's Suitcase as a radio documentary and later made it into a book. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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