Holocaust Play Written Here to Open in London

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- J&B Production Arts Services, the company that controls the performance rights to A Light in the Darkness: A Story of Hope During the Holocaust, recently announced that play written here will have its first production overseas. Written J.E. Ballantyne Jr., the drama will be presented by the American School in London this fall, the playwright said.

Based on The Promise by Eva Schloss and Barbara Powers, the play deals with the life of Schloss (Anne Frank’s step-sister) during the time that her family went into hiding from the Nazis and follows them through their time in Auschwitz and eventual return to Holland after World War II. The play had its world premiere at the Victorian Players here in October 2011 and essentially was the last show that former managing director Marilyn Higgins produced for the theater before she died at the end of the year.

The show has since seen productions at Liberty High School here and Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle. Ballantyne says other productions are in the planning stages elsewhere and that he’s received many inquiries from theaters and schools across the country.

The play was the winner of six Marquee Awards including a special award for community service. Schloss attended the premiere in Youngstown and is expected to attend the opening in London.

Ballantyne is at work on a second play about Schloss based on her latest book, After Auschwitz. This play will deal with her early life, the years in hiding and in Auschwitz but spend considerable time examining what Eva has done since the end of World War II, he said. She has traveled much of the world telling her story and educating people about the Holocaust.

When she no longer can travel, Ballantyne hopes the new play can speak for her. He is designing it as a one-woman show with accompanying video that will incorporate other characters.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
CLICK HERE to subscribe to our twice-monthly print edition and to our free daily email headlines.