Your Voice Matters (YVM14)
This week we have a story about a group of young actors playing some very serious roles. The Youth Performance Company, out of Minneapolis, MN, recently ran nineteen performances of And a Child Shall Lead, by Michael Slade. This play…
…is a heroic story of children coming of age in Terezin, the “Jewish City” established by the Nazis as a way station before the death camps. In the face of unspeakable horror, these children use their determination and creativity to build lives filled with hope and beauty – playing, studying, making art, and writing an underground newspaper – all at the risk of being killed. Their actual poems and stories are woven into a fast-paced drama, evoking the universality of children caught in the insanity of war.
In a story for the Star-Tribune, Jeremy Olson introduces us to two members of the cast: Bella Blackshaw (11) and Scarlett Thompson (13). These two young actresses understand the importance of the message they are trying to get across to the audience. In Olson’s article, Thompson says:
[The children of Terezin] still managed to bring art and humanity into their lives, while they were mistreated so horribly.
These young people are making their voice matter by portraying characters whose voice mattered and endured through their artwork. Of the approximately 15,000 children interned at Terezin, it is estimated that fewer than 200 survived. You can learn more about Terezin and see an example of the artwork on this page from the Jewish Museum at Prague.
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