cartanews.fiu.edu
FIU Theatre Professor Collaborates with Jewish Museum of Florida
A+couple+is+desperate+to+escape+their+home+country.%C2%A0+They+write+a+letter+to+relatives+in+the+United+States+hoping+to+find+a+way+into+the+country+so+they+can+escape+the+horrors+of+war.%C2%A0+Attached+to+the+letter+are+some+dress+sketches+the+wife+made%2C+thinking+that+demonstrating+her+work+skills+will+move+immigration+to+admit+the+couple.%C2%A0+They+never+make+it+to+the+United+States%2C+however%2C+because+changes+to+the+country%E2%80%99s+immigration+policy+closed+up+the+borders+to+refugees.%0D%0A%0D%0AAlthough+it+may+sound+like+this+story+is+ripped+from+today%E2%80%99s+headlines%2C+it+is+actually+the+story+of+Paul+and+Hedwig+Strnad+in+1939+Czechoslovakia+as+they+seek+a+way+to+escape+from+Nazi+persecution.%0D%0A%0D%0ATheir+story+is+being+told+in+a+short+play+and+exhibit+presented+by+the+Jewish+Museum+of+Florida.%C2%A0+The+play%2C+%3Cem%3EA+Stitch+in+Time%2C%3C%2Fem%3E+is+written+by+Susan+Westfall%2C+Literary+Director+of+City+Theatre+in+Miami%2C+and+directed+by+FIU+Associate+Professor+Michael+Yawney.%0D%0A%0D%0A%E2%80%9CWhen+we+started+working+on+this+play%2C+we+had+no+idea+how+relevant+it+would+be%2C%E2%80%9D+he+said.%C2%A0+%E2%80%9CI+thought+we+were+going+to+be+working+on+a+play+about+a+historical+tragedy+and+it+turns+out+we%E2%80%99re+working+on+a+play+about+issues+we+face+today.%E2%80%9D%0D%0A%0D%0AThe+play%E2%80%99s+action+centers+around+the+December+11%2C+1939+drafting+of+the+letter+the+Strnads+sent+to+their+family+in+America.+%C2%A0After+the+play%2C+the+audience+is+able+to+see+the+actual+letter+in+the+related+exhibit%2C+%3Cem%3EStitching+History+from+the+Holocaust%3C%2Fem%3E%2C+where+Hedwig%E2%80%99s+beautiful+dress+designs+are+also+brought+to+life.%0D%0A%0D%0AThe+exhibit+was+initially+commissioned+by+the+Jewish+Museum+Milwaukee+after+the+Strnad%E2%80%99s+letter+and+sketches+were+discovered+in+their+family%E2%80%99s+basement.%C2%A0+The+Museum+then+enlisted+the+costume+shop+of+the+Milwaukee+Repertory+Theater+to+construct+the+garments+from+Hedy%E2%80%99s+designs.%0D%0A%0D%0A%E2%80%9CHedy%E2%80%99s+designs+are+gorgeous+and+whimsical%2C%E2%80%9D+said+Yawney.%C2%A0+%E2%80%9CThey+have+an+exuberance+that+shows+Hedy%E2%80%99s+spirit+survived%2C+even+as+the+darkness+closed+in.%E2%80%9D%0D%0A%0D%0AWhen+the+exhibit+came+down+to+Miami%2C+the+Jewish+Museum+of+Florida+commissioned+Westfall+to+write+the+one-act+play+to+accompany+the+exhibition.%0D%0A%0D%0A%E2%80%9CI+think+it+speaks+to+the+vision+of+the+Jewish+Museum+of+Florida+because+rather+than+just+archiving+the+history+of+a+people%2C+this+institution+looks+forward+to+see+what+wisdom+that+history+can+offer+future+generations%2C%E2%80%9D+said+Yawney.%0D%0A%0D%0ARemaining+performances+take+place+Wednesday%2C+February+1+and+Sunday%2C+February+5+at+the+Jewish+Museum+of+Florida%2C+301+Washington+Avenue+in+Miami+Beach.%C2%A0+The+exhibit+runs+through+March+19.