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Spirit of Life and Magda and Josef, The - Collection / Anthology, Drama

Spirit of Life and Magda and Josef, The

David F. Eliet, Yaffa Eliach

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Collection / Anthology, Drama

4m, 4f

ISBN: 9780874401134

Adapted by David F. Eliet from Yaffa Eliach's Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust
"Your play showed that human nature was not narrow-minded and through that whole experience the good of the human soul did triumph over evil." - Jennifer L., student

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Rental Materials | Author(s) | Reviews
$8.95
: Acting Edition
$17.95
: Large Print
$19.95
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance
$45 per short play individually


Description

Collection / Anthology

Drama

Adaptations (Literature), Biography, Period, Docudrama/Historic

60 minutes (1 hour)

Time Period - 1940s / WWII

Settings Of Play - THE SPIRIT OF LIFE: The play tells many stories in different locales. It calls only for a few props and costume pieces. The actors all wear the basic costume of a concentration camp prisoner | MAGDA'S STORY: The play covers several sites in Bratislava, Slovakia and Budapest, Hungary and a time span of a couple of years. The shw should be done with only a few simple set pieces that can be quickly rearranged for the different locales.

FEATURES / CONTAINS

Bare Stage/Simple Set

Period Costumes

CAUTIONS

No Special Cautions

TARGET AUDIENCE

Adult, Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18)

PERFORMANCE GROUP

High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Reader's Theatre, Shoestring Budget

Drawing on material from Yaffa Eliach's book, Hasidic Tales of The Holocaust, the play uses some of these moving stories to relate the experiences of individuals, many of them young people, during the Shoah. The play examines some of the mechanisms of the Final Solution and tell of the hatred and prejudice that fueled this unthinkable event.

Among the stories told in the play is that of a young woman, Anna, who was dying of typhus. After crawling to the top of a hill, her father comes to her and tells her to hold out for a couple more days for then the camp will be liberated.  Afer the camp's liberation, Anna discovers her father had been dead for several months, and that the hill she had climbed was a mass grave where he was buried.

There are also the stories of Moshe, a young boy, who saves himself from freezing to death by dancing like an Hasid during a roll call, and that of Margaret who experiences an act of unexpected and almost unbelievable kindness from a German soldier.

Magda and Josef is the true story of a young woman who risked her life to do the right thing when so many ofhters were turning their heads and pretending not to see what was going on around them.  Set during the time of The Holocaust, Magda, a young non-Jewish woman, undertakes a perilous journey to secure a document that will help to save the life of the Jewish man she loves.  Her story is the answer to anyone who has ever said:  "What could I have done, I was just an ordinary person."

"Your play showed that human nature was not narrow-minded and through that whole experience the good of the human soul did triumph over evil." - Jennifer L., student

"The Spirit of Life is a great portrayal of the Jewish experience." - Melissa J., student

The Spirit of Life was originally produced by The Suitcase Theatre of Circle In The Square at the Kaufman Theatre on Theatre Row in New York City. The show was directed by Victoria Pero.

Magda and Josef premiered at The Cleveland Play House. The production was directed by David Eliet.

Characters

CASTING

4m, 4f

CASTING ATTRIBUTES

Ensemble cast, Reduced casting (Doubling Possible), Expandable casting, Parts for Senior Actors

CASTING NOTES

The two plays can be done with a cast of 4 men and 4 women with double casting.  Some of the characters are older but can be played by younger actors.  These are ensemble plays.

The Spirit of Life
6 ATTESTORS - They serve as the narrators of the play and provide historical background information.
MAN ON TRANSPORT
WOMAN ON TRANSPORT
YOUNG GIRL
RABBI OF BLUZHOV
GESTAPO AGENT
ANNA
ANNA'S FATHER
3 PRISONERS IN AUSCHWITZ
COMMANDANT
YOUNG WOMAN 1, 2
SS OFFICER
MARGARET SCHWARTZ
MAN-IN-FUR-COAT
SOLDIER
RABBI OF BOBOV
MOSHE
RABBI OF KALUSENBERG
DANCERS 1, 2, 3
CAMP GUARD

Magda's Story
MAGDA
JOSEF
2 NARRATOR INQUISITORS
GOVERNMENT MAN
BUSINESS MAN
SOLDIER
WOMAN ON THE TRAIN
MAGDA'S MOTHER
SECRETARY

Rental Materials

MUSICAL STYLE

N/A (Not a musical)

Author(s)
David F. Eliet

David F. Eliet

David F. Eliet is a professional playwright, director, and theatre educator. He was the founding artistic director of The Perishable Theatre, director of the Cleveland Play House Lab Company and the Circle In The Square Suitcase Theatre and Acting Ensemble. He was the a co-founder of The Trinity Rep Conservatory and was the 2007 Rhode Island State Council on The Arts Playwriting Fellow. As a ... view full profile

Yaffa Eliach

Yaffa Eliach

Yaffa Eliach is a pioneering scholar in Holocaust studies. She is Professor Emerita from Brooklyn College and is currently teaching across the United States as a visiting Professor. She opened the first Center for Holocaust Studies Documentation & Research in the USA and introduced Holocaust Studies on the American campus. She is the creator of the exhibit the Tower of Life at the United ... view full profile

Other Yaffa Eliach titles:

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