“If the Whole Body Dies: Raphael Lemkin and the Treaty Against Genocide,” by Robert Skloot, will be staged by the Kansas University Theatre with the playwright in the title role.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Dec. 3, 4 and 5 and at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Inge Theatre in Murphy Hall, 1530 Naismith Drive.
Tickets are $10, or $9 for seniors and KU faculty and staff. Student tickets are $5. They can be purchased online at kutheatre.com or by calling 864-3982.
Published by Parallel Press in 2006, Skloot’s play dramatizes the life-long dedication of Lemkin, a Polish-born Jew who served as a public prosecutor in Warsaw, to fight genocide. The one-act drama imagines the last day of Lemkin’s life and his obsession to stop genocide, the word he coined in 1944, through the international treaty he wrote.
Some related activities are planned in conjunction with “If the Whole Body Dies:”
• Talkbacks will take place after two performances. On Thursday, Skloot will conduct an audience discussion. On Dec. 2, assistant professor of theatre Rebecca Rovit will moderate an audience talkback with the cast and director.
• An intra-university colloquium titled “Genocide: The Arts, Memorializing Trauma, and Reconciliation” is planned for noon to 5 p.m. Friday at the Hall Center for the Humanities, 900 Sunnyside Ave.
• Skloot will speak to a Script Analysis class at 11 a.m. Dec. 3, in Room 341, Murphy Hall. “Theatre as a Means for Peace-building,” an hour-long film screening of “Acting Together on the World Stage,” will be from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Dec. 4, also in Room 341, Murphy Hall. Both sessions are open to the public.
“If the Whole Body Dies” was presented as a staged reading at KU in March, also with Skloot, professor emeritus of theatre at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the leading role of Lemkin.
John Gronbeck-Tedesco, professor of theatre, is directing the production. Tatyana Wilds, Lawrence doctoral student in scenography, is the scenic, lighting and costume designer.