The Strength Of Our Spirit

by  Cynthia Mercati

Short Play, Drama  /  7m, 10f

Who were the people that silently fought the Nazis by hiding Jews during the Holocaust? This is the story of the good people Anne Frank would have called her friends. 

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The Strength Of Our Spirit

by  Cynthia Mercati

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    7m, 10f
  • Duration

    Duration

    60 minutes (1 hour)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Biography, Docudrama/Historic
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13)
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

Some of us found a way to fight.

Some of us sang on our way to death.

Some of us could only hope.

All of us had a name.

So starts the powerful  play, The Strength of Their Spirit, based on actual events and real people. It is the story of what Anne Frank might have witnessed from her attic window, as her spirit pleaded for peace in the midst of the horrors around her.

It is set in Amsterdam, Holland, our narrator is Miriam, Anne's best friend, the last person to see Anne alive at the Bergen Belson concentration camp where they were both held prisoner. We follow the stories of several real people, as they gather courage from one another to fight for freedom and dignity for all.

Miriam, Anne Frank's closest friend, and the last to see her alive, at the Bergen-Belson concentration camp, survived the ordeal. Anne we know did not. It is Miraim who tells the story.

There are dark moments in the play -- but it leaves us with hope for the future, and a determination not to let such a thing happen again. As Rachel, Miriam's mother tells her, "Let your spirit soar like the gulls! In the strength of your spirit there is freedom!"

Interspersed in the play are actual poems written by young people during their times of hiding.

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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Church / Religious Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $45 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1940s / WWII, 1930s
  • Duration: 60 minutes (1 hour)
  • Setting:

    Representative set pieces are suggested so that a variety of locations can be indicated simply. Platforms are also suggested. The set pieces should be constructed from rough materials, rough hewn wood, rusted metal, barbed wire to give us the symbolic feelings of a prison, a cage.  Lighting cues can also suggest mood.

    The costumes should be simple and representational, made out of rough material. Nazi uniforms can be worn, or indicated by the Nazis wering black with swastika armbands. Those portraying Jews, wear the yellow star of David.

  • Additional Features: No intermission
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

7m, 10f
FIRST NAZI SOLDIER
SECOND NAZI SOLDIER
THIRD NAZI SOLDER
OLDER MIRIAM
YOUNG MIRIAM - She is 13 at the start of the play, 15 at the end
MRS. GOLDSMIT - An upstairs neighbor of the Frank family
RACHEL - Miriam's mother
MR. PRESSER - Miriam and Anne's teacher
LIESE - A young dutch resistance fighter
ELLIE - Liese's employer
JOHANN - A young dutch farmer's son
RILKE - Johann's sister
MOTHER - The mother of the young children hidden by Rilke and Johann
KARL - A young Jewish Partisan 
JACQUELINEA young French Partisan
FIRST ACTOR
SECOND ACTOR - Young, may be male or female
THIRD ACTOR
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Features Teens
  • Flexible casting
  • Room for Extras

Casting Notes

Casting is flexible. Additional soldiers may be added, additional students may be added in the schoolroom scene, or roles may be doubled. The poems are read in a spot on an upper platform. These actors should not be doubled in the show.

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Authors

Cynthia Mercati

Cynthia Mercati has had shows performed in each of the fifty US states, as well as Australia and Canada. Many of her plays are published by Samuel French. As Playwright-in-Residence at the Des Moines, Iowa, Playhouse, Ms. Mercait wrote a show each season for Actors on Tour, the professional childre ...

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The show was premiered at the Des Moines Community Playhouse in 1998, and has received numerous performnces since. It is a great favorite for one act play competitions. It was originally produced in conjunction with performances of the play The Diary of Anne Frank at the Des Moines Playhouse.

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