In 2018, the play Survivors debuted at the Louis S. Wolk JCC of Rochester’s CenterStage. Commissioned by JCC CenterStage Artistic Director Ralph Meranto, and written by playwright Wendy Kout, the play takes the stories of Holocaust survivors, and weaves them into a play that’s beautiful, poignant and touching.
Wendy used the videos of the Rochester Holocaust Survivors Archives as a springboard to create this work. She weaves the actual words and testimonies of Rochester’s Holocaust Survivors into a dramatic tribute to those who experienced the Holocaust.
I had the good fortune to interview Ralph and Wendy last year when the show was initially premiered. We spoke about its creation, purpose and how it was developed. As the two point out, many living now were not alive at that time, so the stories of the Holocaust and its devastation are being forgotten. There are people alive now who even dispute that the Holocaust actually happened.
At a time when hatred and divisiveness seems to be on the rise, it is essential to share these stories..
Survivors was created, with great sensitivity, to be shown in Rochester and then toured across the U.S. The goal is to bring the stories of these brave Survivors to communities throughout the country, in the hopes of dispelling ignorance and promoting understanding and compassion.
The play is designed to be appropriate for middle school age students through adults. If you are interested in bringing this play to your community, contact Ralph Meranto at (585) 461-2000, ext. 236 or by clicking here to send him an email.
Many thanks to Wendy and Ralph for this fascinating and insightful conversation.