New York stages one-woman Holocaust play

A HOLOCAUST-survivor is the focus of a one-woman play, The Tin Ring, being performed in New York next month by Jane Arnfield, a Reader in Arts at Northumbria University.

She is performing her award-winning play by Zdenka Fantlova, which tells the story of Zdenka, a Holocaust survivor and a member of the Terezín artistic community who performed in plays during their war-time incarceration in the concentration camp.

“I hope our collaboration of artists, arts organisations, academics and educationalists offers an opportunity to be part of ensuring those memories are kept alive allowing future generations access to that first hand testimony in as many ways as possible.”

In partnership with The Defiant Requiem Foundation and arts organisation The Forge, Jane will perform The Tin Ring at the NYC Czech Centre in New York on 3 May.

She will also appear in a second performance, Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezin Composer, a concert-drama created by Murry Sidlin, two days later.

“We are so fortunate to be able to work with Jane,” said Murry. “Her brilliant talent and the compelling story of The Tin Ring by Zdenka Fantlova align perfectly with the mission of the 2016 Rafael Schachter Institute and The Defiant Requiem Foundation.”

“I see the work of Defiant Requiem, The Forge, and my practice as a researcher as aiming to offer a contribution to continuously documenting that period of history being part of the politics of memory, mindful that when there are no more survivors of first hand testimony then how we choose to remember globally this human catastrophe will be critical to our understanding of that history.”

Jane said: “I am so privileged to be working internationally with such an incredible partner Defiant Requiem and to keep speaking and showcasing Zdenka’s story to the world

“In Hours of Freedom the fact that I am playing the character of a female lecturer, which is my day job after joining academia in 2011 from industry, is amazing.

“There are similarities in the fact that Murry Sidlin and I are both working with material from history and in many ways are presenting performed oral history or performed documents of history. For me, and I am sure Murry too, the work is always rooted in enabling these testimonies stories narratives individual truths to be heard and reheard keeping the testimony alive for future generations.

READ MORE: A Holocaust survivor’s story: “I had to shake Hitler’s hand”

“I see the work of Defiant Requiem, The Forge, and my practice as a researcher as aiming to offer a contribution to continuously documenting that period of history being part of the politics of memory, mindful that when there are no more survivors of first hand testimony then how we choose to remember globally this human catastrophe will be critical to our understanding of that history.

“I hope our collaboration of artists, arts organisations, academics and educationalists offers an opportunity to be part of ensuring those memories are kept alive allowing future generations access to that first hand testimony in as many ways as possible.

“As both academic and actor this incredible collaboration with The Defiant Requiem Foundation fuels my academic research and theatre practice. This relationship provides me with a platform to consolidate my academic research and open up The Tin Ring by Zdenka Fantlova to an American audience. It’s an honour to be flying the flag of Northumbria University internationally as an academic and actor.”

In 2017 Jane will take on another role in a special event, Defiant Requiem: Verdi, at Terezin produced by the Forge.

Tony Harrington, Executive Director of The Forge, said: “The Tin Ring and the educational programme and academic research which surround it are ground-breaking.

“The Forge is proud to work with an artist like Jane Arnfield and the support of Northumbria University has been invaluable in making this happen. It is a great opportunity to share the best of arts and educational practice in the United States with people from all over the world.

“This is just the start of the relationship and we are very excited about the next part of the journey with our American partners when we host a memorable musical event Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin in Durham Cathedral in 2017.”

Jane added: “Working with The Forge and Defiant Requiem in January 2017 offers an extraordinary opportunity to demonstrate high quality research hand in hand with high quality arts practice through performance, debate and discussion.”

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