Emil Sher transformed Karen Levine’s book into a stage play that features parallel narratives in which the past and present merge, punctuated by ghost-like Figures. He worked with the creative team at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People — artistic director Allen MacInnis and dramaturges Stephen Colella and Nancy Guertin — which lead to the world premiere of Hana’s Suitcase in March 2006. Since then, the LKTYP production has toured to Edmonton (twice), Winnipeg, Vancouver and Montreal. Susan Ferley, artistic director of the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario, staged her interpretation of the play in February 2008. Since its U.S. premiere by Metro Theatre Company in St. Louis in January 2007, Hana’s Suitcase has been produced in Lexington, Milwaukee and Chicago. A Hebrew-language production of the play will be staged in Israel in 2010.
The published version of the play – Hana’s Suitcase on Stage – which includes Karen’s original story and Emil’s adaptation in one volume, has been described as “one of the most effective teaching models for Holocaust curriculums available.”
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