Alice's Gift is a musical play in one act. For highlights of the play and interviews with the playwright, director and audience members, click here.
"Music was our food"
Alice Herz-Sommer was born in Prague and lived through World War II playing piano recitals in the Theresienstadt ghetto. At the time of her death, at 110 years of age, she was the world's oldest Holocaust survivor. Besides having a remarkable story of a cultured upbringing, and a story of endurance and survival, Alice had an extraordinary ability to embrace life and the people she met. In the play, the audience is invited into her living room and given the opportunity to hear some of her stories, her music and her simple but profound wisdom.
The play integrates the music of Chopin (in particular, selections from his Etudes), Beethoven, Bach, Schumann and Rachmaninoff to enhance the poignancy and drama of Alice's story. Specific performances may include somewhat different repertoire, with the script built around options from which the pianist can choose.
The play draws on material primarily from these sources: Alice Herz-Sommer's biography Alice's Piano (Mueller/Piecocki), A Century of Wisdom (Caroline Stoessinger), and two documentary films, Malcolm Clarke's The Lady in Number 6 and Christopher Nupen's Everything is a Present.
The play provides another way to share the inspiring life and music of Alice Herz-Sommer.
Running time: 60 minutes.
Casting: female actress, pianist
Full interviews follow here with director Kate Rubin and an audience member. Additional interviews are available at the following links: audience member 1, audience member 2 and Writer/producer Elisabeth Wagner