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Harlequin in the Ghetto

  • Harlequin

An event as part of the "Out of the Shadows: Performing the Jewish Archive"

In the World War II Jewish ghetto at Theresienstadt, a young prisoner, Zdenek Jelinek, wrote a play in the commedia dell'arte style about a question of urgent interest to them all: would Harlequin, the lovable clown, escape the clutches of the Capitano? Survivors vividly recalled this play for its poetry, its idealism, and for its humour. The script, titled Comedy about a Trap, was thought lost until recently. This performance explores the political commitment of the young author, his prewar sources of inspiration, and a question for our own day: what are we to make of a comedy written during the Holocaust? A talk back will follow this event.

Audiences at this event will be filmed for research purposes. By attending this event, you consent to your being filmed as part of the audience and resulting footage, which will be used for a research study sponsored and conducted by the University of York, United Kingdom. This footage will remain confidential, and your image will not be published or identified. Please refer to the event/booking page and notices at the event for future information.

Join us for other "Out of the Shadows: Performing the Jewish Archive" events...

New Budapest Orpheum Society Cabaret

Sunday May 1st - 2:00pm - Memorial Union, Fredric March Play Circle

From Helsinki to Theresienstadt: Jewish Cabaret Songs from Europe and Beyond AND Philip and Christine Bohlman perform Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke (The Chronicle of Love and Death of the Flag-Bearer Christoph Rilke)

 Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture

Monday May 2nd - 11:45am - University Club

Lambert Cylinders Talk with Henry Sapoznik & Luncheon

Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society 

Monday May 2nd - 6:45pm - Unitarian Society Atrium Auditorium

European Jewish Composers in America - Pre-concert lecture by Dr. David Fligg discusses the impact that exile and emigration had on this evening's composers. Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society performs chamber music masterpieces by three European Jewish composers, Schoenberg, Bloch, and Korngold, who emigrated to the US and changed the course of American music. 

 Lieder and Piano Music by Wilhelm Grosz

Tuesday May 3rd - 2:30pm - First Congregational Church

American and World Premieres of vocal and piano music from the Viennese composer, Wilhelm Grosz.

Oy, how he sung!: Journeys in Jewish Choral Music 

Tuesday May 3rd - 7:30pm - Mills Hall

Mother Rachel and Her Children

Wednesday May 4th - 8:00pm - Music Hall

Mother Rachel and Her Children is a commemorative oratorio in Yiddish about Jewish suffering and the Holocaust written in Helsinki in 1948. Performed by UW-Madison's choirs. 

Gideon Klein: Portrait of a Composer

Thursday May 5th - 2:30pm - Hillel

with the Pro Arte Quartet

Collage Concert

Thursday May 5th - 7:30pm - Capitol Theater

An all-star event featuring the Pro Arte Quartet, soprano Elizabeth Hagedorn, flutist Stephanie Jutt, pianist Zijin Yao, and members of the Madison Youth Choirs and Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra, "Out of the Shadow" concludes with its Collage Concert featuring world premieres and fresh interpretations of music by Klein, Grosz, Feldschuh, and Wurzburger. 










Presented By

UW Arts Institute

Performing the Jewish Archive

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Restaurants Nearby

Chazen Cafe

Chazen Museum of Art

Der Rathskeller

Memorial Union

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