Coming to See Aunt Sophie is a play about the extraordinary true story of Jan Karski, a young Catholic activist in the Polish resistance who tried to stop the Holocaust.
Newsweek labelled Jan Karski one of the most prominent personalities of the 20th century, and his mission was described as one of the ethical milestones of our civilization. The story of Karski’s mission encapsulated some of the most challenging ethical and historical dilemmas of the 20th Century. Jan Karski epitomised the essence of the tragic fate of European Jews but his story is also a lesson about the best and the worst qualities of human nature.
The play is set in 1978 when Karski, a revered professor at Georgetown University, breaks his vow of silence about his past and recounts his harrowing missions during World War II to save the Polish Jews. Tortured by the Gestapo, he escapes a Nazi hospital and is smuggled into the Warsaw Ghetto and a concentration camp to witness and record first-hand the Nazi atrocities. He escapes Nazi-occupied Europe to report to Allied leaders about the Holocaust, eventually securing a meeting with US President Franklin D. Roosevelt – with devastating results.
Coming to See Aunt Sophie is the remarkable story about a quiet hero, in conflict with his younger self; haunted by what he saw and struggling with what he failed to do. It is a story of universal significance which reverberates well beyond the Jewish community.
The play premiered in Germany in May 2014. To celebrate the centenary of Karski’s birth, the Polish government sponsored a national tour, culminating in a moving performance in Warsaw on the grounds of the Old Jewish ghetto. The play has been performed with acclaim in Chicago and Indiana in the US. This will be its premier season in Australia.
Presented by Moira Blumenthal Productions and Encounters @Shalom.
Directed by Moira Blumenthal. Cast: Alan Lowell , Tim McGarry, Beth Aubrey & Graeme McRae
30 July – 23 August
Monday to Thursday 7.30pm Saturday 7.30pm Sunday 2pm & 7.30pm
The Fig Tree theatre UNSW
Gate 4, High St, Kensington
More information and bookings www.encounters.edu.au