The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WW2
Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company / Playwrights Deirdre Kinahan, Mary Moynihan, Fiona Bawn Thompson and Paul Kennedy
The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII is a creative re-imagining of moments from the lives of women during WWII recalling stories of bravery, sacrifice and love amidst the horror of war, as women stood up against Fascism and totalitarianism and refused to accept oppression. The performance is followed by a post-show discussion with the artists and invited guest speakers to explore powerful women’s stories in history and themes of gender equality and peace.
The performance features Ode to Ettie Steinberg by internationally-acclaimed playwright Deirdre Kinahan; My Name is Neus by Mary Moynihan and performances including Mary Elmes and Dolores Ibarurri by Mary Moynihan, Fiona Bawn Thompson and Paul Kennedy, remembering stories of powerful women during WWII.
Women’s stories in the performance include Mary Elmes (1908-2002), a Cork woman who was the first Irish person honoured as ‘Righteous Among Nations’ for her work saving Jewish children from the Nazi gas chambers during World War II; Ettie Steinberg (1914-42) the only female Jewish Irish citizen known to have been murdered in Auschwitz; Marta Hillers (1911-2001) from Germany who wrote her autobiography Eine Frau in Berlin (A Woman in Berlin) under the name ‘Anonyma’ (Anonymous), detailing her experiences of the last days of WWII as she and over one million other women were raped and abused by Allied soldiers of the Red Army; Neus Català Pallejà (b.1915) from Spain, a member of the United Socialist Party of Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War, an active collaborator with the French Resistance during WWII and the only living Spanish survivor of Ravensbrück concentration camp for women; and Dolores Ibárruri, or La Pasionaria (1895-1989), from Spain, a revolutionary leader, political activist, Communist and crusader against Fascism during the Spanish Civil War who created the famous cry ‘They Shall Not Pass’.
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