Past Event! Note: this event has already taken place.

Shannon Lecture with Dr. Lisa Peschel, “Theatre and the Holocaust: Recently Rediscovered Scripts from the Terezín/Theresienstadt Ghetto”

September 18, 2015 at 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Location:482 Discovery Centre MacOdrum Library
Key Contact:Professor David Dean
Contact Phone:613-520.2828

The lecture will take place in the Multi-Media Lab, Discovery Centre (482), 4th floor MacOdrum Library starting at 1:30 followed by a reception in the History Lounge (433PA).

Theatre and the Holocaust

Recently Rediscovered Scripts from the Terezín/Theresienstadt Ghetto

Dr. Lisa Peschel
University of York

1:30 PM Friday, September 18, 2015, Multi-Media Lab, Discovery Centre, MacOdrum Library.


The World War II 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. During Dr. Lisa Peschel’s interviews with survivors in 2004-2008, several previously unknown scripts came to light. In this lecture, illustrated by scenes and songs from the scripts, we examine how the Terezin artists performed their experience of life in the ghetto for themselves and for their fellow prisoners.

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.

Shannon Lectures in History, 2015