indeed necessary, addition to the resources available to educators and scholars of the Holocaust
and to the theater community. There is no other comprehensive archive
devoted to this subject in existence. It will serve as a repository for and creator of a
wide range of theater pieces that can be made available for performance, education and research."
Association of Holocaust Organizations
The National Jewish Theater Foundation/National Jewish Theater (NJTF/NJT) under the leadership of its President and Producing Artistic Director, Arnold Mittelman, has embarked on the creation of the first comprehensive research and production oriented Holocaust-related Theater Archive (HTA). This vitally needed initiative has as its Advisory Board the renowned Holocaust scholar, Dr. Michael Berenbaum, William Shulman, Pres. of the Assoc. of Holocaust Organizations, the legendary actor Theodore Bikel and Dr. Haim Shaked, Director of the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies, University of Miami, Dr. Al Goldfarb, prominent Holocaust theater historian, Dr. Jeffrey R. Solomon, President of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, Kim Simon, Managing Director of the Shoah Foundation Institute at the University of Southern California, and Teresa Eyring, Executive Director of Theatre Communications Group (TCG). The Miller Center and other Jewish Studies/Holocaust related institutions have been in ongoing discussions with NJTF/HTA to serve as the permanent home(s) of the NJTF/HTA.
The goal of the NJTF/HTA will be to research, catalogue and produce theater and theater-related activity that immediately preceded the Holocaust, took place during World War II and/or has been created since 1945 in remembrance. The NJTF/HTA will chart events from the 1930’s to the present, and chronicle them with related history, creative artists, plays and productions that were written and/or produced on the subject. These thousands of plays and productions will include drama, musicals, cabaret and revues that record or represent this over 80 year period. Music, dance, visual art/design when part of a theatrical production will be included and notated as will related video and films. Perhaps more than any other art form live theater has the power to create identification and remembrance as it depicts human behavior through theatrical storytelling. Imagine Holocaust education and awareness without the plays The Diary of Anne Frank , The Deputy or the musical Cabaret. Leading by example NJTF/HTA recently produced The Soap Myth as stage play and film.
However, to merely archive this information, no matter how completely, would inadequately serve the victims, their families and society. A theater archive must not only record to remember but it must inspire and help create future productions of relevant works of theater art for the widest possible population. It must give access to the scripts and production information needed for others to mount their own events. It must place the archived material in a context that confirms its validity and it must record, broadcast and disseminate digitally the productions in script, audio and video formats for future generations. A concerted effort involving various academic and artistic organizations has been launched to research, evaluate and produce the material. This includes a working relationship with the Shoah Foundation at the University of Southern California, Museum of Jewish Heritage/NYC and world wide museums, memorials and theaters throughout the world. The NJTF/HTA will coordinate the relevant organizations, universities, artistic institutions and individual leadership whose combined talents and resources will support this goal.
The NJTF/HTA welcomes all donors to help create the secure home(s) where students, the public and scholars can read and view these productions and, in this digital age, create a central archival website with links worldwide to other related resources. NJTF/HTA and its international strategic partners will together inspire new research, exhibitions, conferences, curriculum development, global education and dynamic productions, including new work for younger audiences that would dramatize the significance of the Holocaust and related issues. Inevitably the world will lose all living survivors and their impassioned voices. The work of the NJTF/HTA will ensure that they and all other victims who needlessly suffered and perished will forever be honored by the dramatic arts and its audiences.Please Click Here to Read Our Articles and Letters of Support >>