Local play will remember Jewish uprising

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 20, 2001

Fifty-eight years ago this week a group of Jewish people rose up against the Nazis in Warsaw.

As people around the world celebrate the uprising this weekend, by pure chance young people with Jefferson Street United Methodist Church will tell the same story with &uot;The Wall&uot; – a three-act play that tells the story of the uprising.

Director John Hudson said he did not realize the connection until he received an email from a rabbi Thursday – the actual day of the uprising.

&uot;It just knocked me off my feet when I read it&uot; and learned of the anniversary, he said.

Hudson said he had just asked the rabbi, who thought the youth picked this weekend on purpose, to write something inspiring to the cast.

&uot;I thought that was pretty significant that by coincidence it fell on the same weekend as a memorial to the uprising that occurred there in Poland,&uot; Hudson said. &uot;I’m not one to believe that it’s a total coincidence that it happened this way.&uot;

&uot;The Wall&uot; tells the story of several Jewish families forced to live in the Warsaw Ghetto during the early 1940s. The play explores the different ways they respond to the situation.

Hudson said the public should be able to identify with the struggles the families encounter.

&uot;All the characters depict different personality traits that exist in all of us,&uot; Hudson said.

And true to life, the characters in the play are not great heroes or knights in shining armor.

&uot;They’re just ordinary human beings caught up in a horrific experience,&uot; Hudson said.

The youth group at Jefferson Street United Methodist Church have been performing annual plays since the 1970s and performing dinner theaters since 1985.

With the plays, the young people step into the shoes of the characters as they face tough moral questions. This, in turn, can help the youth with their spiritual development, Hudson said.

&uot;The question always comes up could something like that (ever) happen again,&uot; Hudson said.

The answer of course is yes, Hudson said.

The public is invited to attend the performances in the church’s fellowship hall.

The dinner theater will take place at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday and at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for youth 12 to 17 and $3.50 for children under 12.

All proceeds go to the Jefferson Street United Methodist Church Youth Fund