During World War II, the Nazis sent more than 15,000 children to Terezin, a concentration camp on the outskirts of Prague. Fewer than a hundred survived. The children who died left behind an extensive collection of drawings and poems that detail both the horrors of the Holocaust and their hope for a better world. This artwork is the inspiration for the play, I Never Saw Another Butterfly, which comes to Sabes Jewish Community Center this month.
Raja, a teenager at Terezin, serves as both protagonist and narrator of the story. “Raja takes us through what it was like to live in the camp,” says director Ben Layne. The play “is really trying to bring forward the stories of the children who lived through this horrifying time, most of whom didn’t survive.”
Rehearsals began in December, but the all-student cast has been busy for months learning the history of the Holocaust.“We didn’t want them to just go up there on stage and memorize a bunch of lines without understanding what the play is really about,” explains producer Rachel Bohnsack. And what is it about?
“Hope,” she says. “There is always hope in the darkest moments, the darkest times you will ever see. There is always hope, and there is always love.”
All ages. $7–$10. February 16–18 at 7 p.m. February 19 at 2 p.m. Sabes Jewish Community Center. For tickets and more information, visit the website here.