Mania

A-96210

Solo Performance 1997

Writing, Directing and Acting: Shay Samuel Kadimi

The play is based on real life testaments of holocaust survivors:

Ada Lichtman, Esther Hershkovits and Ruth Eliaz

May they rest in eternal peace 

 

Mania Horowitz, a survivor of concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, widow, mother of two, resident of Tel Aviv, Israel.

 

The play follows the first and final testament of Mania, who was asked to share her story in front of an audience, after many years of painful silence, during which she was unable to bring the words and sentences to her lips, horrified by the threat to her sanity should she ever chose to go back to her memories. One small step at a time, worried and pained, she is immediately thrown back to the horrors of her days at Birkenau. She returns to the experiments at Block 10, to the clinic of Dr. Joseph Mengele "The Doctor of Auschwitz," to the miraculous moments of the birth of her daughter, whom she was forced to kill with a morphine shot after five agonizing days of dying.

Overwhelmed with feelings of pain and excitement, Mania allows herself to be swept away by the nuances of unfiltered feelings and memories, extracting the words from the painful well of her horrid memories, tainted by constant feelings of self-guilt and shame and the unrelenting question: "to be or not to be?" Collapsing under the impossible task, she falters, and regrets arriving to tell her story. An audience member steps up to the stage, forgetting he is an audience, and offers her a glass of water, asking if she would like to leave. But now it is too late to tread back, she is already 'there,' crossed over the boundaries, and insists to go on despite the immense hardship of her own personal reality that has surpassed all human imagination. And so, in one single hour, the tower of cards she had labored so much to build during the past seventy years of her life comes tumbling down as she tries to explain actions and scenarios that have no explanation.

"Only those who were there can understand." In the final battle for her life, she decides to let everything out without compromise, "even if you don't understand at least you will know – just don't forget us." When the images and memories in her mind take hold the words end, and still she offers hope, concludes her words and turns to leave.

After she exists from the stage, a 4 minutes video is played, showing the entire process the actor undergoes as he prepares for his role, at which point the audience realizes Mania is a male actor.

At the end of the video, the actor returns to the stage as himself, takes his make-up off in front of the audience and relates to the audience the process of building the character, the play, and the stories behind Mania, who is a combination of three women: Ada, Esther and Ruth. In this way, the actor explains the way their stories and memories can be immortalized, passed from generation to generation by a prototype of people who were brave enough to tell their story.

 

The play is appropriate for teenagers and adults, and can be integrated into a social or educational activity, and/or as part of the preparation process of going on a delegation to Poland (inter-generational evening).

The entire artistic performance is approximately two hours.

*for lack of available dates, we recommend booking in advance.