Friday, March 13, 2009

Class Acts performance open to the public

Sangamon Auditorium, UIS will host a special public performance of My Heart in a Suitcase on Tuesday, March 24, at 12:15 p.m. The daytime Class Acts performances are normally only open to area students and teachers who come on field trips, but Sangamon Auditorium has decided to open this performance to anyone who would like to attend. Although this play was designed for student audiences, the historical and educational content of this presentation make it particularly interesting to many community members.

Based on actual events chronicled by Anne Lehmann Fox in her book My Heart in a Suitcase, this play tells the story of a young Jewish girl named Anne living in Berlin in the 1930s. Following the Kristallnacht (“Night of the Broken Glass”), Anne’s parents no longer feel safe and realize that in order to protect their daughter, they may have to send her away. During these events Anne struggles to bring meaning out of despair and cling to love and hope in a world that seems to be filled with hatred and violence. A video including interviews with author Anne Lehmann Fox and members of the cast is available online at our website.

The one-hour performance will conclude with a 15-minute question and answer session with Dr. Heini Halberstam, a retired faculty member of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. As a child, Dr. Halberstam traveled from former Czechoslovakia to England on the Kindertransport, an organized movement of nearly 10,000 Jewish children out of Nazi territories before World War II.(Dr. Heini Halberstam with the cast of My Heart in a Suitcase from a performance at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.)

Tickets are $5.50 and can be purchased the day of the performance at the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office. Plenty of tickets are available, so it is not necessary to purchase tickets in advance; however tickets may be purchased over the phone by calling the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office at 217.206.6160 or 800.207.6960. All phone orders are assessed a $3 processing fee.

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