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The Tin Ring play heads to Washington, DC

4th June 2014

A Northumbria University, Newcastle, Performing Arts academic is taking a one-woman play about the Holocaust to a new audience in Washington DC this month.

Jane Arnfield, Principal Lecturer in Performing Arts, will perform at the 2014 Rafael Schächter Institute for Arts and Humanities for The Defiant Requiem Foundation – founded to honour the hope and inspiration of prisoners of the Nazis in the midst of inhumanity and cruelty.

On 11 June, Jane, who is Director of Fine and Visual Arts Programmes  and a Reader in Arts at Northumbria, will showcase The Tin Ring by Holocaust survivor Zdenka Fantlová and adapted from the book by Mike Alfreds and Jane Arnfield. The performance will take place at the Katzen Arts Center on the American University campus in Washington DC.

The Tin Ring tells the story of Zdenka, a Czech-Jewish woman, who fell in love at the age of 18 but whose life was changed forever when her country was invaded by the Nazis. While in the ghetto of Terezín, her soul-mate, Arno, gave her a ring made from tin as a token of his love. Sadly, Arno did not survive the horrors of the extermination camps but Zdenka, who was 92 in March, is committed to ensuring younger generations never forget the horrors of the holocaust.

Jane said: “This is Zdenka’s story, Zdenka’s truth. The resonance of Zdenka’s story with a contemporary audience provides another vehicle in which to remember the very best of what it is to be human and the very worst.”

Since premiering at The Lowry theatre in Salford in 2012, The Tin Ring has been staged nationally and internationally. Performances include the Edinburgh Fringe Festival part of the British Council International Showcase; the Lit & Phil Library, Newcastle; Speaker’s House Westminster; New York University, and the Fourth Mumbai International Literature Festival in India.

An innovative education programme, Suitcase of Survival, has been developed alongside The Tin Ring theatre production with arts charity, The Forge. Suitcase of Survival is a creative and active learning programme that raises awareness of the Holocaust and promotes individual resilience.

Next week's Washington DC presentation of The Tin Ringplay at The 2014 Rafael Schächter Institute for Arts and Humanities will be followed by a post-performance discussion chaired by Professor Carol Martin from New York University.

The Rafael Schächter Institute for Arts & Humanities was founded in 2011 under the auspices of The Defiant Requiem Foundation, which seeks to honour the memory of the courageous prisoners at Terezín (Theresienstadt), who found hope and inspiration in the arts and humanities in the midst of suffering, depravity and death. The annual Institute is named for one of Terezín’s inmates, Rafael Schächter, a young, talented Jewish conductor who chose to counter evil by organizing and training a choir of fellow prisoners to perform the monumental Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi.

This will be the first time that the Rafael Schächter Institute for Arts and Humanities has taken place in the U.S. It is being hosted at the Katzen Arts Center on the American University campus in Washington DC between June 8 and 12.

As well as watching Jane’s performance of The Tin Ring, visitors to the week-long event will see a screening of the award-winning documentary film Defiant Requiem, hear lectures and music recitals and engage in a panel discussion about the Holocaust and its legacy.

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