A New, Original Theatrical Performance!
We are pleased to announce the newest artistic offering in the Foundation’s stable of Terezín performances. Mass Appeal, 1943, conceived and written by Murry Sidlin, is a one-act play composed of two scenes with musical interlude. It tells the dramatic story of conductor Rafael Schächter, a prisoner in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp in Czechoslovakia, who argued passionately against the strong objections of the camp’s Council of Jewish Elders regarding his intention to perform Verdi’s Requiem Mass with a prisoner choir.
The play forcefully presents the moral and ethical arguments, both pro and con, for a performance of the Requiem, and ultimately asks the question, why would Jewish prisoners in a Concentration Camp under brutal Nazi control sing a Catholic Mass? Based on true accounts, and with no written record of what actually happened during the meeting in 1943, Sidlin creatively and passionately imagines these arguments and the clash of personalities as both sides battle to determine what it meant to be a Jew during the darkest days of WWII.
A staged reading with professional actors was held in June in New York City at the Czech Center. The performance received rave reviews from the audience and will be presented again in Washington, DC, in March 2018, by The Defiant Requiem Foundation.
The play is also a terrific vehicle for student performers and will be part of our University Residency Project when we bring Defiant Requiem and other events to university campuses.
For more information about the play, or to schedule a reading, please contact the Foundation office at 202-244-0220.