Performing Captivity, Performing Escape: Cabarets and Plays from the Terezin/Theresienstadt Ghetto

Performing Captivity, Performing Escape: Cabarets and Plays from the Terezin/Theresienstadt Ghetto

by Lisa Peschel

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Overview

Performing Captivity, Performing Escape: Cabarets and Plays from the Terezin/Theresienstadt Ghetto by Lisa Peschel

The concentration camp and Jewish ghetto at Terezín, or Theresienstadt, in what is now the Czech Republic, was a site of enormous suffering, fear, and death; but in the midst of this was a thriving and desperately vibrant cultural life. While the children’s drawings and musical pieces created in the ghetto have become justly famous, the prisoners’ theatrical works, though a lesser-known aspect of their artistic endeavors, deserves serious attention as well.

Performing Captivity collects eleven theatrical texts—cabaret songs and sketches, historical and verse dramas, puppet plays, and a Purim play—written by Czech and Austrian Jews. Together these works reveal the wide range of ways in which the prisoners engaged with and escaped from life in the ghetto through performance. The anthology opens with an insightful preface by novelist Ivan Klíma, who was interned in the ghetto as a child, and contains a detailed introduction by editor Lisa Peschel about the pre-war theatrical influences and wartime conditions that inspired the theater of the ghetto.

The array of theatrical forms collected in Performing Captivity speaks of the prisoners’ persistence of hope in a harrowing time and will be moving reading for students of the Holocaust.

 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780857420008
Publisher: Seagull Books
Publication date: 04/15/2014
Series: Seagull Books - In Performance Series
Pages: 446
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Lisa Peschel is lecturer in the Department of Theater, Film and Television at the University of York.

 

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