Theatre Lawrence to host panel discussion on tolerance in conjunction with Anne Frank show

photo by: Journal-World File Photo

Theatre Lawrence is at 4660 Bauer Farm Drive.

Theatre Lawrence is hosting a free event Wednesday night that will include Holocaust survivor stories and a discussion of tolerance in what it calls today’s “climate of fear.”

The special event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the theater, 4660 Bauer Farm Drive. It’s in conjunction with the theater’s production of “Yours, Anne,” a musical adaptation of Anne Frank’s “Diary of a Young Girl.”

Theatre Lawrence does not always host special events related to its shows, but Marketing Coordinator Dani DeGarmo said the show’s themes were relevant today and provided an opportunity for community engagement and discussion.

Piet Knetsch, director of the production, wrote in an email to the Journal-World that the special event will present and explore ideas “evident in the play, but asks us to be aware of the relevance of those ideas in our own time and place.”

The event will start with a presentation by Rachel Black, religious school director and cantorial soloist at the Lawrence Jewish Community Congregation and executive director of the Americana Music Academy. Black will share the story of her grandparents, who were Holocaust survivors, and perform her tribute ballad, “Edyka.”

Following Black’s presentation, there will be a short intermission followed by a panel discussion titled “Tolerance in a Climate of Fear.” Panelists will include Peter Luckey, former pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church, Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel, director of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life at the University of Kansas, and Samuel Hayim Brody, assistant professor in KU’s Department of Religious Studies. The panel will be moderated by Brad Allen, executive director of the Lawrence Public Library.

DeGarmo said the special event was scheduled for Wednesday so that cast members of “Yours, Anne” who would like to attend may do so. The final performances of the show are this Thursday through Sunday.

Visitors to Theatre Lawrence may also view the lobby display, a collection of Holocaust survivor photos and stories on loan from The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education through the run of the show. DeGarmo said the curated exhibit features Holocaust survivors who moved and made their life in Kansas City.


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