PEPPERMINT CREEK THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF VIRTUAL PRODUCTION
“Holocaust Cantata: Songs from the Camps”
PCTC releases virtual musical event in honor of Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month
Lansing, MI – Peppermint Creek Theatre Company is proud to announce the third event in their 2020 -21 season, the release of the virtual musical, Holocaust Cantata: Songs from the Camps, in honor of Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month.
Based on research of original music sung by incarcerated inmates in Holocaust concentration camps and written by Donald McCollough, this 40-minute cantata is an emotional, musical journey through one of the bleakest episodes in human history. Working from translations of original Polish materials found in the archives of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and starting with just a single line of melody, McCullough has fashioned a haunting choral tribute to the 6 million Jews who were systematically persecuted and murdered as well as to the millions of other individuals the Nazi Party classified as “undesirables,” including Poles, Romanian gypsies, homosexuals, transsexuals, political opponents, religious dissidents, the mentally ill and the physically disabled. What emerges from the insanity of one of history’s worst examples of man’s inhumanity to man is a sense of music’s life-affirming powers.
“Peppermint Creek’s 2020-21 season not only challenges our audiences to engage in both timely and historical topics, but it also challenges US as a theatre company as we explore new and radical ways to connect with audiences during a time when gathering together in a theatre building as we typical do isn’t permitted,” said Chad Swan-Badgero, Artistic Director of PCTC. “And yet, this couldn’t be a more important time for us to be producing theatre that stays true to our mission. Holocaust Cantata, in the intimate and immediate ways it gives voice to those who lived through the atrocities of concentration camps, asks us to examine and explore how far we’ve come from those methods of segregation and hate, but also to find similarities in our humanity and ways we find joy in life.”
"Holocaust Contata: Songs from the Camps" features musicians from across the entire United States, and guest appearances from Kristy Allen, David Bendena, Amy Handelman, Diego Love-Ramirez, Kammal Reffigee, Zach Riley, and Alex Zikakis.
Director Matt Eldred had this to say about why this piece felt especially important for today’s audiences, “There was an article in USA today late last year that noted a large percentage/majority of millennials, teenagers and young adults had little to no knowledge of the Holocaust and that 6 million Jews died during this time, and also that 10% of those surveyed had no problem or specifically endorsed Nazi/neo-Nazi beliefs. This lack of knowledge as well as the aggressive spread of some of these neo-Nazi thoughts that we thought were dead or only in the past brought the show back to my mind in a really pressing way. I feel like anything we can do to connect people back to and educate them about this thing that happened to people in our history was really important.”
"Holocaust Contata: Songs from the Camps" will be available for free viewing on Peppermint Creek Theatre's YouTube channel beginning April 23, 2021 at 8 a.m.. PCTC is also making the piece available for schools and community groups who are interested in using the piece as an educational tool. If you're interested in using the piece within your organization, please email us at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find a 10-minute interview with Director Matt Eldred on Peppermint Creek’s Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0Q6zXYwXsE