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“Theatre in the Museum” Program

This new program puts emphasis on the availability of the content and the themes of the museum to visitors through theatre.  The components of the program include the play “Dance of Joy and Sorrow” and seven dramatized monologues throughout the museum’s exhibits, which are integrated into the visit.

 

Holocaust remembrance among young adults is an important goal that presents a complex challenge for educators.  The Yad LaYeled educational staff sees itself as an active partner in reaching this goal.  The museum’s exhibits, as well as the educational and artistic activities, are age appropriate for young visitors who are invited during this first meeting with the subject, to connect to and start a dialogue with Holocaust child survivors.  Art workshops accompany the educational activity in the exhibits of Yad LaYeled whose purpose is give the visitors an opportunity to process what they experienced through music, creative writing, plastic arts, movement and drama.

 

The “Theatre in the Museum” program was recently launched at the Yad LaYeled museum.  The program is geared for visitors from the upper elementary and middle school levels, as well as the general public, including soldiers, senior citizens, teachers and pre-service teachers. 

 

Since the opening of the museum in 1995, there have always been theatre performances based on testimonies of Holocaust child survivors. Four monodramas were produced throughout the years and were integrated into the educational program and now a new play with two actors has been added to the repertoire:

 

  • The play “Dance of Joy and Sorrow” is performed three days a week and takes Lea Fried, a Holocaust survivor who saw her parents for the last time at the age of five, back to the stories, memories and experiences through memory boxes and personal possessions from the past.
  • The play “Avramale, the Boy From There” continues the story of a boy who survived the Holocaust and presents the difficulties and conflicts that accompanied his re-integration into life and society in Israel. The play adds an extra dimension to the contents of the exhibition “Here Began My Childhood” (stories of children who survived the Holocaust) and creates ties to other social issues.
  • The newest play is performed in the Korczak exhibition.  The name of the play is “A Hundred Times Better to Be a Child…”  (in the words of Korczak).  The play brings to life the story of Korczak and Stefa Wilczyńska based on the five stages of the exhibition, through a multimedia theatrical experience. Korczak’s life story, his educational philosophy and his artistic works are conveyed through the character of Stefa Wilczyńska, who worked with Korczak in the Jewish orphanage both before and during the Holocaust, as well as a young boy who represents Korczak as a child as well children who lived in the orphanage. The play integrate key events in the life of Janusz Korczak that influenced and shaped his path and actions. The play will be performed in two languages, Hebrew and Arabic, and will be presented in three formats: bilingual, Hebrew, or Arabic. The play raises questions and an open discussion on issues relevant to the world of its audience today.

  • New Performance of Jewish Lullabies in Yad LaYeled - The Yad LaYeled museum is launching a new performance titled "Come Mother – Lullabies for Bedtime", a musical journey following the evolution of Jewish lullabies from the Diaspora to Israel. This performance complements a new exhibition on display at the museum, "My Home There", which is based on artworks from the museum’s art archives. The exhibition revolves around the themes of home and family, from before, during and after WWII.

    This moving performance is for all ages, especially senior citizens who enjoy recalling songs from their childhood.

    Produced and performed by the museum team:
    Writer, actor and singer: Efrat Feldman
    Producer, director and writer: Havah Cohen
    Set design: Liat Lipin-Scheferman
    Arrangement, music and recording: Adi Drucker

  • "A Butterfly's Confession" - The Yad LaYeled team has produced a video and dance performance based on Janusz Korczak's coming of age diary, "A Butterfly's Confession". Korczak was a doctor, an educator and an author. He put his three skill sets to use to create a new literary genre that he called "fiction research" – a combination of scientific writing and literature.

    The multimedia presentation is based on the final part of Korczak's text. The issues raised during the performance relate to the encounter between the world of grown-ups and that of children, individuality versus conformity, compliance versus free choice, free thinking and liberty.

    Produced and performed by the museum team:
    Production, directing and adaptation: Havah Cohen
    Acting and choreography: Liat Lipin-Scheferman
    Recording: Adi Drucker
  • The play “Aunt Lily’s Doll” is based on the story of Irna Livman, in which a Holocaust survivor, who possesses a doll from her childhood, meets a young Israeli girl who does not understand the obsession with the doll.  Through their meeting, the young girl learns about the world of the Holocaust survivors and their memories. The play was performed between the years 1995-2006.
  •  The play “Mother, Mother Can You Hear? is based on the testimony of the late Nehamka Rahav from her book To Live in Two Worlds.  Nehamka, who was a young girl in the Vilna Ghetto, was thrown into the arms of German soldiers by her mother and by this action saved.  Throughout the play, the hero of this story tries to find the answer and meaning behind her mother’s actions.  . The play was performed between the years 2003-2006.

 

The last two plays, which are not performed today, were integrated into the museum space and brought to life for children the silent reality with the exhibit displays.

 

Seven monologues of Holocaust child survivors were dramatized and are performed throughout the museum space by an actress as part of the guided tour of the exhibits.  The monologues focus on subjects such as losing one’s home, separation from parents, life in hiding and living under a false identity, as well as the signs of physical and emotional stress, intuition, life in deportation camps and the image of the rescuer. The “Theatre in the Museum” program, with all its components, reveals the world of those adults who today make sure that the subject of the Holocaust will never be forgotten even if the number of testifiers is disappearing from the stage of history.

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