1st Edition

Enacting History A Practical Guide to Teaching the Holocaust through Theater

    240 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    240 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Enacting History is a practical guide for educators that provides methodologies and resources for teaching the Holocaust through a variety of theatrical means, including scripted texts, verbatim testimony, devised theater techniques and process-oriented creative exercises.

    A close collaboration with the USC Shoah Foundation I Witness program and the National Jewish Theater Foundation Holocaust Theater International Initiative at the University of Miami Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies resulted in the ground-breaking work within this volume. The material facilitates teaching the Holocaust in a way that directly connects students to individual people and historical events through the art of theater. Each section is designed to help middle and high school educators meet curricular goals, objectives and standards and to integrate other educational disciplines based upon best practices. Students will gain both intellectual and emotional understanding by speaking the words of survivors, as well as young characters in scripted scenes, and developing their own performances based on historical primary sources.

    This book is an innovative and invaluable resource for teachers and students of the Holocaust; it is an exemplary account of how the power of theater can be harnessed within the classroom setting to encourage a deeper understanding of this defining event in history.

    How to use this book; CHAPTER 1 Propaganda, the growth of Nazism, the Nuremberg Laws and Kristallnacht; CHAPTER 2 Perpetrators, collaborators and bystanders; CHAPTER 3 Ghettos; CHAPTER 4 Concentration and extermination camps; CHAPTER 5 Fleeing and hiding; CHAPTER 6 Resistance; CHAPTER 7 Liberation; CHAPTER 8 Nazi war crimes and judgment; CHAPTER 9 Survivors and subsequent generations; CHAPTER 10 Deniers and denial; About the plays; Works cited; Index


    Mira Hirsch is Director of Education at Theatrical Outfit (Atlanta), a freelance professional theater director and an educational consultant for the National Jewish Theater Foundation.

    Janet E. Rubin is a faculty member at Eastern Florida State College where she teaches Speech and Theatre and directs theater productions. She is Past President of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education.

    Arnold Mittelman is President of the National Jewish Theater Foundation (NJTF) and Founding Director of NJTF Holocaust Theater International Initiative at the University of Miami Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies overseeing its research, production and education programs.

    I strongly recommend a new teaching guide- Mira Hirsch, Janet E. Rubin and Arnold Mittelman,  Enacting History: A Practical Guide to Teaching the Holocaust through Theater (Routeldge, 2020). As far as I know, it is the first book of its kind to integrate both lesson plans and theatrical materials for teachers of the Holocaust in middle and high schools. Each chapter begins with the historical context and each lesson provides directions on how to use the theatrical material to advance the students understanding of the history. It includes verbatim testimony, scripted scenes and monologues and best practices for performing them. This is a major contribution to our pedagogical toolbox.

    Dr. William (Bill ) Shulman - recently retired President of the Association of Holocaust Organizations.