Bare Witness Theater Program Description
A noted historian once observed that in order to really understand the Holocaust, one must take a long journey through not only history, but literature, art, memoirs, human psychology and many other disciplines which could shed some light on its origins and its horrific results. Just as there are different types of learners, the meanings and truths discovered through this course will vary for each student. For some, visual art, theater or poetry will make the Holocaust real. For all students, class visits with survivors always have the greatest impact.
This course will bridge the gap between a typical history class and a theater production. In addition to learning about the history of the Holocaust, racism, genocide and World War II students will spend months bonding with survivors and getting to know one another while hearing the survivors' experiences firsthand. Over the course of the school year, students will continue to build relationships, bridging the gap between generations. Students will use journaling, playwrighting, poetry and visual art to process their feelings, thoughts and insights while working collaboratively to create an original play which will incorporate the survivors’ stories in order to bring their experiences to life on the stage. This intergenerational storytelling aims to create new “witnesses” to the Holocaust.
This course will use hands-on experiential learning through the Project Based Learning method, PBL. This method has been shown to truly engage students in a whole learning environment. Students “own” the learning and it becomes a part of who they are. Through the process students will create an original piece of theater based on survivors’ stories which will be performed for the community. This program is essential at this time as our students are the final generation to have the opportunity to meet and interact with the Holocaust generation. Our students have the responsibility to bear witness for future generations, hence the creation of this new initiative, “Bare Witness”, an original student theatrical production.
Bare Witness Theater