Prime Stage and the Holocaust Center present ‘The White Rose’ for Genocide Awareness Month

Each year Prime Stage Theatre and the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh engage the world in education, understanding, and actions against the atrocities of genocide. This year’s enGAGE production is a virtual performance of James DeVita‘s The White Rose.

“Co-producing The White Rose with the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh for our annual enGAGE International Genocide Awareness program shares this important, timely true story of college students and a professor who showed what people can do against tyranny, propaganda and when it feels like things are beyond our control. The White Rose symbol represented purity and innocence in the face of evil. The White Rose leaflets made their way into occupied countries and even concentration camps. People wept when they read them. Let us remember and act on what Sophie wrote on the back of her indictment – Freedom,” said Wayne BrindaPrime Stage Theatre, Producing Artistic Director

Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered six million Jews across German-occupied Europe, around two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population. The White Rose and the accompanying live global discussions are thought-provoking experiences. They initiate dialogue on how we as a society confront violent actions and current and ongoing threats of genocide throughout the world. The experience offers an opportunity to learn from the past and honor those affected by genocide.

“The true story of The White Rose is an important one. Young German students stood against the Nazis when they did not have to, simply because they knew it would be right. We must keep these kinds of stories alive, and share them with as many people as possible, to hopefully inspire action whenever there is injustice,” said Dr. Lauren Bairnsfather, Director of the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh.”

Julia Paul (Sophie Scholl) and Jared Lewis (Hans Scholl)
Photo credit: Laura Slovesko

The performance dramatizes the life of a twenty-one-year-old German university student, Sophie Scholl. During World War II, she was put to death for her anti-Nazi activities with the underground resistance group called The White Rose. Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans, and their friends Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell, Willie Graf – college students – and Professor Kurt Huber were the driving forces behind their resistance group to speak out against Adolf Hitler and his regime.

In the summer of 1942, leaflets calling for resistance against the Nazi regime began appearing around the city of Munich, Germany. They were found in the mail and left on trains and buses, in phone booths and theater lobbies, and in and around the university. Soon they began appearing in other cities around the country. It was some of the very first overt resistance against the Nazi regime. Acts which, at a time of war, were considered high treason.

The White Rose reminds us that there is a “hero” inside us. It teaches that there is indeed an inherent moral code for humanity. When that code is violated, it is not only our right but our duty to defend our fellow man and take action against cruelty and injustice. The message of The White Rose couldn’t be more timely for the current state of both our country and our world,” said Art DeConciliis, Director. 

This production is virtual and accessible to everyone and is available with audio description, closed captioning, and subtitles in German. 

Recorded streaming available on demand April 24 – May 8, 2022

For tickets visit: https://wwwprimestagecom.anywhereseat.com

The production includes a free online special event on Zoom on April 24 at 1pm ET, free and open to the public featuring a dialogue between Art DeConciliis (Director), Marcel Walker (Artist), and Wayne Wise (Writer), all of whom have told the story of The White Rose through artistic media. These creatives will discuss the process of depicting The White Rose, why it continues to inspire audiences and the importance of sharing the story with future generations. The conversation will be hosted by Dr. Lauren Bairnsfather, Director of the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, and Dr. Wayne Brinda, Artistic Director of Prime Stage Theatre.AnywhereSeat – Prime Stage Theatre-Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh – The Legacy of The White Rose-A Global Conversation

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