Authored by Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel, Samantha McLaughlin, and Karen Shulman, the 188-page ebook is intended for teachers, students, and everyone who wants to learn more about the subject. The handbook has bibliographies of plays about women and the Holocaust, plays about the Holocaust written by women, and relevant books. There are nine personal essays by playwrights and scholars who share their thoughts and experiences about using theater to teach about women and the Holocaust, as well as a sample lesson plan. Links, videos, and QR codes allow readers to delve further into the subject and the various plays.
The new Women, Theater, and the Holocaust Resource Handbook was launched at a sold-out event held at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan on April 20, in partnership with the JCC and featuring readings from four plays. The program of dramatic readings included two premieres that introduced the audience to historical women who should be better known: Little Louis by Michael angel Johnson is about Josephine Baker, an American performer who was part of the French Resistance, and her friend, jazz trumpeter Valaida Snow. The short play was directed by Adrienne D Williams and performed by April Armstrong and Justine J Hall. The Match by Cynthia L. Cooper, directed by Tasha Gordon-Solmon, was performed by Steph Van Vlack and Nadia Diamond and tells the story of German-Jewish author Anna Seghers, whose books were burned in Berlin in 1933.
In addition, excerpts from Laura Ferri’s The Ruins of Memory: Women’s Voices of the Holocaust, directed by Dr. Meghan Brodie, featured Dr. Brodie’s Ursinus College theater students, Sophia Bush, Evan Chartock, Kate Isabel Foley, Abbie Painter, Zara Tabackin, and Annie Zulick. And The Last Dinosaur, a monologue written and directed by Eleanor Reissa, was performed by Robert Zukerman. A talkback with the playwrights followed.