Stories of the Kindertransport at Miller South

Stories of the Kindertransport at Miller South
Posted on 10/25/2018


AKRON, OH …. Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts—an Akron Public Schools (APS) specialty school for grades 4-8 – will present the acclaimed drama, “Stories of the Kindertransport,” this fall, with three public performances in Miller South’s Margo Snider Auditorium on Thursday, November 8th, at 9:00 am, and Friday, November 9th, and Saturday, November 10th at 7:30 pm. Now widely considered a modern classic, Kindertransport has been read and studied the world over. Between 1938 until the outbreak of World War II, nearly 10,000 Jewish children were taken from their families in Nazi-occupied Germany and sent to live with foster families in Britain. Diane Samuels’ seminal play delves into the life of one child survivor, deftly intertwining fact and fiction, and exploring past and present. Hailed as a “moving, thought-provoking play” by Variety magazine, it premiered in the United Kingdom in 1993. Following its United States premiere, The New Yorker called it “a powerful contribution to Holocaust literature... presented with emotional clarity and intense sympathy.”
     “The year 2018 marks the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport, and the 25th anniversary of this play,” explains Miller South theatre teacher, Alex Funk. “ Given the emotional journey of the production’s characters and its painful relevance to current events, Kindertransport isn’t an easy show for middle schoolers to undertake. But the story is an important reminder that we must learn from history to keep from repeating it.” As part of the rehearsal process, the cast participated in the “Face-to-Face” program sponsored by Congregation Shaarey Tikvah in Beachwood, OH, through which students are introduced personally to a Holocaust survivor, a liberator, or a child of survivors. Funk notes that his students are uniquely qualified to share this journey with the audience: “Our students were deeply moved while researching the stories of children separated from their families, placed in uncertain circumstances and assimilated into another culture. They recognize that many were their age, and wonder how they would have handled this seemingly insurmountable challenge.” Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts is located at 1055 East Ave in Akron.

Tickets for the performances are $15 for reserved VIP seating, $10 for adult general admission, and $5 for student and senior general admission. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Miller South Box Office Line (330) 822-3762 or online at Brown Paper Tickets: Groups of 10 or more are welcome at a special discounted price; call Drama Parents Association President Heather Meeker at 330-338-4267 to make arrangements.

ABOUT THE KINDERTRANSPORT: In November 1938, after nights of violence against Jews across Germany and Austria, the British government introduces a program called the Kindertransport (children's transport), which gave Jewish children - and only children - safe passage to the UK. Spared the horrors of the death camps, the Jewish "Kinders" were uprooted, separated from their parents and transported to a different culture where they faced, not the unmitigated horror of the death camps, but a very human mixture of kindness, indifference, occasionally exploitation, and the selflessness of ordinary people faced with needy children.

ABOUT MILLER SOUTH SCHOOL FOR THE VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS – Akron Public Schools (APS) constructed the Miller South building in 1956 and was originally opened as South High School. The school closed in 1980 but reopened as Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts in 1993, following a parent, student and staff interest survey that indicated community support for a visual and performing arts school. The school first became the South Education Center, but was renamed George C. Miller South Education Center in honor of
Akron's first African-American principal. Miller South students take daily classes in their main art interest area as well as receive top academic instruction to prepare them for high school and beyond. Students have many opportunities to perform and show their work throughout the community. Specialties include Band, Dance, Drama, Keyboard, Orchestra, Visual Arts and Vocal Performance.

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