The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn. — Gloria Steinem
I’m so honored to be able to share stories about my grandmother’s survival in excerpts from my documentary theatre play, FIBERS, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage this Wednesday, and an original song to celebrate the poet Grace Paley, on Tuesday, March 20th.
Who was my grandmother? Download a Hannah Stochel study guide here, and learn for yourself!
First, on Tuesday, I’ll be celebrating the life of the amazing Jewish female poet, Grace Paley, with an original song I’ve written music and lyrics to, Blip in Time.
Grace Paley (December 11, 1922 – August 22, 2007) was an American short story author, poet, teacher, and political activist.
Her poetry shows the every day lives of women in homes for her fight for inclusion and equality. Her writing and “outspoken activism had profound implications on the societal perception of women. She was a pioneer in forcing the industry to acknowledge the merits of her stories—stories that centered on the daily lives of women.”
The New Yorker called her the “saint of seeing.” “Blip in Time” captures her perspective on how she was able to capture our world in her worlds.
March 20th – 6:15pm – 8:00pm – CELEBRATION
Including songs in the voice of: Rabbi Angela Buchdahl (by Christine Toy Johnson & Bobby Cronin), Josie Earp (by Sheilah Rae & Michele Brourman), Emma Lazarus (by Dana Leslie Goldstein & Jon Goldstein), Bella Chagall (by Sarah Rebell & Teresa Lotz), Lilith (by June Rachelson-Ospa) / Estelle Parsons as Ida Kaminska (by Liz Amadio), Caroline Aaron as Joan Rivers (by Danielle Wirsansky), Cynthia Enfield as Sarah Bernhardt, Romy Nordlinger as Alla Nazimova, Judy Rosenblatt as Peggy Guggenheim (by Lanie Robertson), Autobiographical material from: TAMIR, Luna Kaufman, Amanda Miryem-Khaye Seigel, Eleanor Reissa (performed by Eleanor Reissa & Mimi Lieber), Leah Kornfeld Friedman (performed by Ilene Kristen and Roberta Wallach), and Amy Oestricher. A scene from Indecent (by Paula Vogel, original direction by Rebecca Taichman) and Hannah Senesh (by David Schechter), and more from Eve Brandstein, Stephanie Satie, Sarah Steele, DS Magid, and Susan Cinoman
Wednesday March 21st: Jewish Women in the Holocaust and Its Aftermath, 3-5:30pm
On Wednesday, I’ll be celebrating my grandmother as part of Jewish Women in the Holocaust and Its Aftermath. I’ll be performing parts of my play, FIBERS. There will also be excerpts and full-length readings about well-known women such as Hannah Arendt, Hannah Senesh, Edith Stein, as well as unnamed women of that time.
My grandmother, Hannah Stochel, was 18 years old as a prisoner in Auschwitz. After the war, miraculously, the rest of her siblings survived. Hannah came to New York after the war and met my grandfather on Delancey Street. He was a tailor, and they both sewed for the big department stores of the day. What started out as a quest to know what my grandmother did after the war, and how she survived turned into a the entire tapestry of her story. It also evolved into fascinating study on the relationship between history and memory, the “Other” in society, PTSD and paths to healing, and unexpected parallels with my own story of recovery.
After interviewing relatives I tracked down from seven countries, all about their own survival and their memories of my grandmother, I was inspired to create documentary theatre, fusing monologues curated from 400+ pages of transcribed oral histories and audio recordings, my personal narrative of survival, insights from philosophers, texts and historical archives, and original music in a solo theatre performance exploring how memory is transmitted and communicated after trauma, and what it means to carry on a legacy.
Read about theprocess in an essay for “The Times of Israel,” Is History More Important Than Memory? Questioning Meaning, Holocaust Legacies, and “Questions” Through Theatre: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/is-history-more-important-than-memory-questioning-meaning-holocaust-legacies-and-questions-through-theatre/
My grandmother means so much to myself and my family.
I’ll be sharing the power of passing on a legacy, and talking more about the lessons Hannah Stochel left us in my third TEDx Talk on April 7th in Jacksonville, Florida.
MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE – A LIVING MEMORIAL TO THE HOLOCAUST
IN COLLABORATION WITH
This three-day festival of readings and performances, including theater, music, and conversation, will challenge the stereotypes of Jewish women’s lives and elevate their voices.
Sample events are below; complete schedule available from this link.
Tickets for each day are available, as well as tickets to the Celebration held Tuesday from 6 – 8 PM. Or purchase the All Festival Pass which includes all three days as well as the Celebration.
Day One: Jewish Women Before the Holocaust | Tuesday, March 20, 10 AM – 5 PM
• Excerpts and full-length readings about Biblical figures (Tamar, Lot’s Wife, Devorah) as well as historical figures (Emma Goldman, Stella Adler)
• Lilith Salon: Historical Perspectives on Jewish Women (moderated by Lilith Magazine staff)
Celebration | Tuesday, March 20, 6 – 8 PM
• Songs and monologues by established and up-and-coming writers performed by actors including Tovah Feldshuh, the writers themselves, and more
Day Two: Jewish Women in the Holocaust and Its Aftermath | Wednesday, March 21, 10 AM – 6 PM
• Excerpts and full-length readings about well-known women such as Hannah Arendt, Hannah Senesh, Edith Stein, as well as unnamed women of that time
• Lilith Salon: The Damage of the Holocaust—The Discussed and Undiscussed Toil (moderated by Lilith Magazine staff)
Day Three: Jewish Women in the Twentieth Century to Now | Thursday, March 22, 10 AM – 6 PM
• Excerpts and full-length readings about Lee Krasner, Shirley Jackson, Monica Lewinsky
• Lilith Salon: What IS a Jewish Woman? (moderated by Lilith Magazine staff)
Find out more at http://www.womenartsmediacoalition.org/untold
In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman. — Margaret Thatcher