Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Now that I'm back from the land of make believe, it's time to catch up on a blogging.  Theatre is a great place to be, but for me, it has to be in limited helpings.  More on that later.

On Friday, our book group will be discussing Night by Elie Wiesel.  In 1944, Wiesel, along with his family, was taken from his Transylvania home to Auschwitz and then to Buchenwald.  Wiesel freely admits to not understanding why his life was spared.  He was small, weak, frightened.  The miracle of survival is only one of the many reasons he chose to tell his story.

 Wiesel speaks of the struggle to find the right words to convey the magnitude of the horrors dealt in this dark time in history.  He fears that the truth - the reality - of these hate filled actions will be forgotten or not believed.  However, he rationalizes that some people may dismiss the Holocaust because they simply cannot accept that existence of such inhumanity.  

"Could men and women who consider it normal to assist the weak , to heal the sick, to protect small children, and to respect the wisdom of their elders understand what happened there?  Would they be able to comprehend how, within that cursed universe, the masters tortured the weak and massacred the children, the sick, and the old?"

In 120 pages, Wiesel informs, inspires, teaches, and questions.  He speaks with honesty and sadness about the breaking and eventual loss of his faith,  Somehow, without graphic details, he communicates the blackness and pure evil that existed in the concentration camps.  For me, he has chosen all the right words.  The Holocaust did happen.  Anyone who denies that, well.....they deserve words I prefer not to use here.  

Woven between the accounts of winter marches, days without food or water, and the emotionless murder of children, is Wiesel's meta cognitive journey through sadness.  He is astutely aware of how each day, each incident, each enemy word tore at his joy and left him hopeless, unable even to fear what was coming next - welcoming the possibility of death.  

Weisel has written many books, but I am anxious to read the follow-ups to Night entitled Dawn and Day.  Those titles hint that may have found peace.  


So, the theatre stuff...our UW-Manitowoc/Heart-A-Rama show ended on Saturday, so now I'm in my "I'm never doing that again" phase.  That will change.  It always does.  Truth is, theatre is one of the few things that I can do a half way decent job with.  UW-Manitowoc is home for me.  Directors there gave me opportunities that I would not have gotten elsewhere.  Eventually, the theatre became my sandbox when I stepped in to do some adjunct teaching.  From that time forward, I have been lucky to be asked to take on a number of different projects over the years.  Everywhere I turn, someone on staff is asking "How can I help?" So nice working in a 100% positive environment.   How can I walk away from that?  

Thanks to everyone who came to the show and supported the Office of Continuing Education and Heart-A-Rama.  Your support has helped both education and heart health.  YIPPEE!!