This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust. In remembrance and honor of those who lost their lives because of the Holocaust and the second World War, Clarks Summit University’s Kindred HeARTs theater group is performing the play “Remember My Name” by Dr. Joanna H. Kraus, on February 27 through 29. “Remember My Name” is a touching story about a young Jewish girl who is sent away from her family and becomes involved in the French Resistance. CSU’s director of theater, Dr. Dawn A. Schluetz, says, “we have to pass on the stories and remember. We need to pass on the ability to say ‘no.’”
“We have to pass on the stories and remember…”
In an effort to do this, and in conjunction with the play, Clarks Summit University is setting aside three special chapels to discuss the history and significance of the Resistance during the time period in which the play is set. The “Remember My Name” Lecture Series will be held in the Recreation Center on CSU’s campus at 10:05 a.m. Community members are welcome to attend. The series will also be streamed live on the university’s Facebook page and available after the lecture at the university’s YouTube channel.
History of Resistance
On Wednesday, February 26, Susan Cagley, associate professor of social studies education, will be illuminating the historical context of the play. Cagley hopes to challenge people to see that the past isn’t all that different from the present, stating: “Every generation deals with the issues that are common to man, and each person must answer to God for what he or she does with what they’ve been given.” The next day, Dr. Bill Higley, CSU’s vice president for student academics, will present on the life and teachings of the missionary Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the author of “The Cost of Discipleship” who was killed in a concentration camp. Higley will discuss how the choices that Bonhoeffer made during the war evidenced his “costly” view of grace.
“Every generation deals with the issues that are common to man, and each person must answer to God for what he or she does with what they’ve been given.”
Discussions with the Playwright
On February 28, the last day of the “Remember My Name” lecture series, Kraus and Schluetz will be interviewed in person about the play. Kraus is an award-winning playwright of 20 published and widely produced plays, as well as short stories, reviews, articles and children’s books. She currently lives in California and will be travelling to CSU to watch the play and give talkbacks at two of the performances. Schluetz says, “It’s not every day that you get to have the person who did all the research come and not only see it but share her point of view.” The Kindred HeArts players will also perform the first scene of “Remember My Name” to preview the full performances that week. CSU welcomes the community to attend this free lecture series to reflect on World War II, remember the Holocaust and the Resistance Movement and honor the courage and hope that fights in the face of great hardship.
Theatre and Talkbacks
Full performances of “Remember My Name” will be February 27–29 at 7:30 p.m. in CSU’s Phelps Student Center. A 9 a.m. matinee will be held Thursday, February 27. Schluetz will moderate a talkback with Kraus and Cagley after the performances on Thursday morning and Friday evening. The audience will be given a chance to ask questions about the play, CSU’s production of it and historical events during this time period. Tickets will also be available at the door, and discounted tickets are available in advance online.
By Taylor Stuck, Communications-Writing major