The Strength Of Our Spirit
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.
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.
KeywordsAdolescence, Death, Jewish/Yiddish issues, Love, Memory, Parenting/Family, Politics, Religion, War
- Mild Adult Themes
- Minimum Fee: $45 per performance
- Time Period: 1940s / WWII, 1930s
- Duration: 60 minutes (1 hour)
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
- Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
- Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
- Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)
SECOND NAZI SOLDIER
THIRD NAZI SOLDER
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
SECOND ACTOR - Young, may be male or female
- Ensemble cast
- Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
- Expandable casting
- Features Teens
- Flexible casting
- Room for Extras
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.
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.