Josh Davis and Mary Williams act out a scene where Williams is forced to the gas chamber. Jenny Walling / LTN Photo
Torturous experiences and great human strength combine and bring powerful images to the stage in the Lincoln Theatre Guildâ€™s production of â€œAnd Then They Came for Meâ€¦ Remembering the World of Anne Frank.â€
The play, written by James Still, combines history and drama in telling the life stories of two individuals who lived through the holocaust â€” Eva Schloss and Ed Silverberg.
â€œItâ€™s more than a holocaust pity piece. Itâ€™s more about people, their families, hope and violence,â€ said the showâ€™s director, Peggie Boring.
When Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940, Schloss and Silverberg were Jewish children living in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam.
Schloss was a friend to Anne Frank; Silverberg knew Frank for a summer.
â€œSo itâ€™s like a crossing of paths,â€ said Boring.
The play shows striking scenes where youth are taught to torture and destroy.
An ensemble cast acts out emotional scenes while interviews show on TV screens. The interviews include accounts of life during the holocaust from people who survived it.
â€œItâ€™s powerful and intense,â€ Boring added.
The cast of the production has done extensive behind the scenes work to prepare for the production. They have watched films, looked at pictures and had group discussions.
â€œWe had lots of talks. We had a lot of soul searching about the people and what it meant to us creatively and personally,â€ said Boring. â€œItâ€™s a very character-driven play.â€
The holocaust was immersed in cruelty and violence. Boring said it has been a challenge to display the imagery without creating a horribly violent show. She feels her production crew and cast have done a good job tackling the task, but admits the show may be inappropriate for young children.
Students at North Lincoln High School will see the play first hand at the school Tuesday, April 20.
A North Carolina Grassroots grant through the Lincoln Arts Council will provide funding to bring the show to the school.
Boring said the subject matter is perfect for high school students.
â€œThe holocaust and Anne Frank are part of the curriculum. Itâ€™s very beneficial,â€ she said. â€œIt will bring reality to their studies.â€
The director said that in addition to a history lesson, the play teaches its audience a valuable life lesson.
â€œRacial bigotry still exists. Itâ€™s important that we learn from history and donâ€™t repeat those mistakes.â€
â€œAnd Then They Came for Meâ€¦ Remembering the World of Anne Frank,â€ sponsored by First Federal Bank, will be performed Thursday, April 15, through Saturday, April 17 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 18 at 3 p.m. at the Lincoln Cultural Center.
Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door, $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. For more information call 704-735-2281.by Diane Turbyfill