Students perform children's opera based on the Holocaust

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

WEINER, AR (KAIT) - Region 8 students will take the stage to share the story of the most innocent during the Holocaust.

Students at Weiner Elementary School of Innovation are set to perform Brundibar this weekend.

Patricia Hesse, who is directing, said it's a unique children's opera.

"Brundibar is the play that was performed in a concentration camp called Terezin, and that camp was unique to all the camps," Hesse said. "It was here that the Nazi's came up against a weapon they had no defense against and that was the arts."

Hesse said Brundibar was smuggled into Terezin and performed by children 55 times.

While the subject matter can be heavy, Hesse said the play has a great message for all ages.

"Children, I believe, are at an age when it's time to develop empathy, and sometimes I'm afraid we wait too long to begin to do that," Hesse said.

With handmade bunk beds and costumes, the performance came to life Thursday as students performed for students from Newport and Cross County.

"The story of Brundibar, I believe, it shows children the importance of how they treat others," Hesse said. "Particularly, those they may view as different than they are. It also shows them that every person matters."

There are several performances planned for other students and the public.

It's something Hesse said people are going to want to see.

"This is a historic play," Hesse said. "It was also done in a concentration camp, so when the audience comes to watch Brundibar, they are actually watching a performance that was witnessed by thousands of individuals during the Holocaust."

Public performances are set for March 10 at 6:30 p.m. and March 12 at 2 p.m. at the Weiner cafeteria.

Brundibar will also be performed March 14 at 6:30 p.m. in Harrisburg at the Harrisburg High School Fine Arts Center.

To learn more about Brundibar and these performances click here.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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