A FAMILY-FRIENDLY SHOW WITH A POWERFUL MESSAGE
In March 2016, Theatre Kavanah and In Tandem Arts will produce an original conception of Brundibár: A Musical Tale. This will be a contemporary staging of a children’s musical folktale written by the Jewish Czech composer Hans Krása just prior to the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Brundibár‘s heroes–the children Aninku and Pepicek–overcome their oppressor, the dastardly organ grinder Brundibár, by rallying the children of the town to sing loudly and beautifully. This simple narrative reminds us that we cannot remain neutral in the face of oppression; we must work together in harmony to truly know how strong we are. With a libretto by Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, our version pays homage to Brundibár‘s past and serves as a rallying point for justice and an end to oppression in the future.
BRUNDIBAR’S INTRIGUING HISTORY
The history of Brundibár is poignant and powerful. Written in 1938 by the composer Hans Krása together with the writer Adolf Hoffmeister, it was meant to be staged in the Jewish orphanage in Belgická Street in Prague. The orphanage director, Rudolf Freudenfeld, produced Brundibár in 1941 with Krása’s help, and drew the attention of fellow composer Raphael Schächter, who brought a copy to the Terezín concentration camp when he was deported there. The Nazis sent thousands of Jews to Terezín under the guise of creating a safe haven for them. Many accomplished artists, musicians, writers, and composers were sent there, including Hans Krása. The Germans infamously used Terezín as a propaganda tool to disguise the truth about their plans. In reality, Terezín was a transit camp; prisoners lived there under horrific conditions until ultimately transported to the “east” to extermination camps.
When Krása was deported to Terezín, he staged the Brundibár with children, many of them boys he knew from the Prague orphanage. The piece was performed 55 times in the camp, delivering a continued message of hope. The production of Brundibár in Terezíin by the children imprisoned there is nothing short of miraculous.
BRUNDIBAR IS A SHOW & SO MUCH MORE!
Brundibár: A Musical Tale is being produced in partnership with Burlington City Arts, the first such performing arts event to be undertaken in this way. Other community participants include the Burlington Public Schools, Very Merry Theatre, the Boys and Girls Club, Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, the Miller Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Vermont, Vermont Commons School…
Come learn a song, help make a prop, and explore this magical production at one of our community engagement days, or sing in the community chorus (details coming soon).