This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Monday 3 June 2024, 1pm to 2pm
  • Location: Online only
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

In 2017, two teams of artists and scholars – one at the University of Sydney in Australia, another at Stellenbosch University in South Africa – worked together to re-imagine a satirical musical called The Bedridden Prince. The musical was originally created by Czech-Jewish prisoners in the Theresienstadt Ghetto in 1943 and, according to survivor testimony, it put a comic spin on corruption and favouritism in the ghetto.

Although the script was not preserved, the creative teams had just enough material - the songs, a souvenir poster with a list of characters, and survivors' memories of specific moments - to create a plot outline that they subsequently developed, with local actors, into two fully staged performances. 

Join us as we celebrate the edited volume, A Holocaust Cabaret, which documents the creative process and presents the two final scripts.  Artists and scholars from both projects join Lisa Peschel, the editor, to discuss the tremendously moving experience of working with The Bedridden Prince.

Find out why they decided to embark on this project and what did they discovered through the process of bringing this work back to life.

This event will take place live on Zoom Webinar. You will receive a link to join a couple of days before the event and a reminder an hour before. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function, but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.

About the speakers

Amelda Brand is a Lecturer in Applied Theatre at Stellenbosch University. She obtained the degrees BDrama (Performance) and MDrama (Community Based Theatre) at Stellenbosch University and holds a masters in drama therapy from Concordia University, Montreal. As a theatre practitioner her focus includes workshop processes, collective storytelling and clowning. 

Leonore Bredekamp is a Lecturer in the Music Department, Stellenbosch University, in the fields of music technology and musicology, including film studies.  Until recently, she also had a parallel tenure at the Drama Department, lecturing on cabaret in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. She holds an MPhil in Technology Enhanced Learning and is currently busy with a master’s degree in music studies. Her interests include composition, gender studies and interdisciplinary research in the arts.

Petrus du Preez is an Associate Professor and current Chair at the Stellenbosch University Drama Department. His main research is on puppetry and object theatre, as well as contemporary South African theatre and performance. As a theatre practitioner, he focuses on acting and directing comedies, as well as on works created through arts-based research methodologies.

Laura Ginters is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Sydney. She is a member of the Seymour Theatre Centre’s Advisory Group and also works as a script assessor and dramaturg. Her translations of German and Austrian plays have been performed, published and adapted (including for Belvoir St. Theatre, Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company). She is a theatre historian, and her ongoing research into both historical and contemporary rehearsal practices informs the rehearsal studies courses she teaches at undergraduate, Honours and postgraduate levels.

Kevin Hunt is a jazz pianist, educator and researcher residing and working in his home city of Sydney, Australia. In 2018, he was appointed to the position of Academic Fellow in Jazz and Improvised Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Since 2020, he has held the position of program leader of the Jazz and Improvised Music Bachelor of Music courses at the Conservatorium. In 1992, Kevin travelled to Poland and Austria to study improvisation with Josef Zawinul; a three-month residency in Warsaw has informed his work on Prinz Bettliegend.

Ian Maxwell is an Associate Professor in the discipline of theatre and performance studies at the University of Sydney. He is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts School of Drama, where he trained as a theatre director. He subsequently completed his PhD, an ethnography of hip hop culture in suburban Sydney, published as Phat Beats, Dope Rhymes: Hip Hop Down Under Comin’ Upper by Wesleyan. He has published extensively in the history of Australian theatrical modernism, on the health and wellbeing of actors, and in theoretical phenomenology.

Lisa Peschel is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in theatre in the School  of Arts and Creative Technologies at the University of York. She has been researching theatrical performance in the Terezín/Theresienstadt ghetto since 1998. Her articles on survivor testimony and scripts written in the ghetto have appeared in theatre- and Holocaust-related journals and she has been invited to lecture and conduct performance workshops in several countries. Her anthology of rediscovered scripts, Performing Captivity, Performing Escape: Cabarets and Plays from the Terezín/Theresienstadt Ghetto, was published in 2014 (Czech- and German-language edition 2008).

Joseph Toltz is a researcher and administrator at the University of Sydney and, in 2017, directed the festival ‘Out of the Shadows: Rediscovering Jewish Music and Theatre’ in Sydney. Former Barbara and Richard Rosenberg Fellow at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, he has co-authored a book on the first collection of Holocaust songs (Manchester University Press, 2023), researched the life and music of the Austrian-Jewish composer Wilhelm Grosz, and recently staged a 1943 theatrical revue produced by the Dunera Boys, a group of Jewish German-Austrian internees, in Melbourne in 1943.


University of York