Steven Katz had been looking to reprise an older, Yiddish play at St. Paul’s Legacy Musical Theatre. But seeing the alarming rise nationwide, and locally, of antisemitism and hate crimes, Katz decided a Holocaust show was more appropriate.
Katz is producing the world premier of Echoes of the Holocaust, which plays at 7 p.m. Jan. 26-29, 2023, at Glanton Theater at Calvary Church (2608 Blaisdell Ave. S., Minneapolis). The show is directed by Barbara Hynes Tomczyk, and the music director is David Lohman.
“Our world is changing we have and are seeing an increase of hatred and antisemitism in the world and here in Minnesota,” Katz said. “We all have a moral mandate to perpetuate the memories of the many of the Holocaust who were not saved.”
Katz is still looking for actors to play some of the parts.
“We’re really short of men,” Katz said. “The response that we’re getting so far has been people in their 30s, and we need older people.”
Katz said the stories are “maybe” four paragraphs long — and some shorter. There are also short poems to be read, and archival music that was written in the ghettos or concentration camps will also be part of the performance, as well as slide projections of photos.
“There is very limited rehearsals for this,” Katz said. “People will get the script, learn their parts, and we’ll work on character development and blocking.”
The show is based on the stories of survivors collected by Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg. Katz said the show starts from Kristallnacht and then follows survivors as they enter concentration camps.
“We’re working on the beginning and end to give it more of a plot than ‘readers theater,’” when actors get up on stage with the script and read it, Katz said. “They are memorizing their lines. And we added the music into the script because it was very important for people in camps to have music.”
If you’re interested in auditioning or getting more information, email [email protected].