Shtetl Stories

Shtetl Stories chronicles the lives of ten Lithuanian Holocaust survivors. Adapted verbatim from interviews that CENTROPA, the Jewish historical institute dedicated to preserving 20th century Jewish family stories from Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, conducted, Shtetl Stories preserves the memory of the world that was destroyed–not just its destruction.

Production History:

  • Commission & Workshop – The Miller Theater, Columbia University, New York, 2016 (starring members of the Broadway cast of Fiddler on the Roof)

Poster from the 2016 workshop atThe Miller Theater

Reviews:

“I was — as I always am when confronted with stories of the Holocaust — stunned by what these people had been through. It requires a significant mental adjustment to absorb the magnitude of destruction and death perpetrated by the Nazis and their eager assistants.Yet, in listening to the stories of the Lithuanian Jews, what struck me was something I hadn’t expected: the simple, elegant dignity of their daily lives… What I left with was something different: a portrait of an old world like a Klimt painting, in which a thousand modest symbols and shapes coalesce into something larger — something that shines like gold… But the pain of remembrance is an opening to something much deeper: a connection with a world that hardly exists except for in pictures and interview transcripts. And from simple words and images, that world glows anew.” – Ari Feldman, Forward (June 2016)

Read more: http://forward.com/culture/looking-back/343317/remembering-the-simple-life-in-eastern-europe/