Staten Island Advance video journalist Shira Stoll has produced “Rise Up,” a deeply moving 12-minute video documenting the creation of a musical play featuring Wagner College students portraying the testimonies of Holocaust survivors living on Staten Island.
“It’s a story that has to be told: what human beings can do to each other,” says survivor Egon Salmon.
An early version of the play, entitled “In Light of One Another: A Meditation on Resistance Drawn from the Testimony of Survivors,” premiered on March 15, 2018 in Wagner College’s Stage One studio theater. Among the audience were the six Holocaust survivors whose stories were being told: Egon Salmon, Margot Capell, Romi Cohn, Gabi Held, Rachel Roth and Hannah Steiner.
Following the performance, Capell said, “I’m so touched to see myself as a young person so many years ago. I’m still not myself, because I’m so touched and overwhelmed with what these young people did. I’ll never forget it.”
“In Light of One Another” was written by Lori Weintrob, a Wagner College history professor and director of the college’s Holocaust Center, and Martin Moran, an Obie-winning actor and stage writer, with original music by Grammy-nominated orchestrator and composer David Dabbon. It was directed by Wagner theater professor Theresa McCarthy.
A year later, the play was reworked by Wagner College theater professor Mickey Tennenbaum. Using actors from the Wagner College Theatre program, it was staged at Staten Island’s historic St. George Theatre and retitled “Rise Up: Young Holocaust Heroes.” It will be restaged each year for the next 5 years for Yom Ha’Shoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.
To learn much more about the project, read Shira Stoll’s story on the Staten Island Advance website.
Photo above: Margot Capell, a Holocaust survivor who lives on Staten Island, celebrated her 99th birthday with Wagner College students and faculty members at the Oct. 10 Spiro Hall screening of Shira Stoll’s film, “Rise Up.” Margot Capell is seated center right with her birthday cake. Also in the shot are professors Theresa McCarthy and Lori Weintrob, on the left, and filmmaker Shira Stoll on the far right. (Photo courtesy Rebeca Zoicas/The Wagnerian)