Dr. Lisa Peschel will present the opening talk of the 2015 Shannon Lecture series, 1:30 PM Friday, September 18, 2015, in the Multi-Media Lab, Discovery Centre, MacOdrum Library.

Cabaret scene illustrated

Ferdinand Bloch: Terezín Cabaret, PT 3958, Terezín Memorial, Herman´s Collection, © Zuzana Dvořáková

The talk, “Theatre and the Holocaust: Recently Rediscovered Scripts from the Terezín/Theresienstadt Ghetto,” illustrated by scenes and songs from scripts uncovered during Dr. Peschel’s interviews with survivors, will examine how artists performed their experience of life in the World War II Jewish ghetto at Terezín. The Jewish ghetto at Terezín (in German, Theresienstadt), just 40 miles northwest of Prague, was a site of great suffering and deprivation. It was also the site of a desperately vibrant cultural life initiated by the prisoners themselves. Although the vast majority of the artists perished in the Holocaust, dozens of musical compositions and hundreds of drawings created in the ghetto were preserved. Scholars believed that most traces of the prisoners’ theatrical activities had been lost—until recently.

Lisa Peschel in front of brick wall

Dr. Lisa Peschel is a lecturer in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of York, England. She has been researching theatrical performance in the Terezín/Theresienstadt ghetto since 1998. Her publications on survivor testimony and scripts written in the ghetto have appeared in English, Czech, German and Hebrew, and she frequently lectures and conducts performance workshops on Terezín/Theresienstadt theatre in Europe and North America. Her anthology Performing Captivity, Performing Escape: Cabarets and Plays from the Terezin/Theresienstadt Ghetto was published in 2014. She is a co-investigator on the £1.8 million project ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Click here for further information on the entire 2015 Shannon Lecture series, “Performing History: Re-staging the Past.”