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Jeanmarie Simpson to Direct KINDERTRANSPORT at the Adelson Theatre This November

In Kindertransport, Eva, nine years old, is sent to England by her mother shortly before World War II starts.

Jeanmarie Simpson to Direct KINDERTRANSPORT at the Adelson Theatre This November

Celebrated theatre artist, Jeanmarie Simpson, known for her beautifully innovative stagings of Shakespeare, contemporary plays, adaptations, and her own original works, is set to begin rehearsals September 6th in Las Vegas for a November 3rd opening.

In Kindertransport, Eva, nine years old, is sent to England by her mother shortly before World War II starts. The play begins soon before her train departs from Nazi-occupied Germany. As a foster child in Manchester, Eva changes her name to Evelyn. Her English mother, Lil, tries to help her forget her past. Two timelines are juxtaposed in the play, Eva's childhood and adulthood. Throughout the story, Lil alternates between talking to her granddaughter, Faith, as she learns the truth about her mother's origins and her new refugee charge many years ago.

Simpson is remembered in Las Vegas for her turns as Lusia in A Shayna Maidel and Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and for directing The Diary of Anne Frank, all for Actors Repertory Company. She played Elsa in Zakes Mokae's 2003 staging of The Road to Mecca starring Charlene Sher and produced by the Nevada Conservatory Theatre and Nevada Shakespeare Company.

"Ultimately," Simpson said, "Kindertransport is a play about identity and the way it shapes our choices and the trajectory of our lives. Yes, Eva/Evelyn is Jewish, but the tale is universal. It's a deeply poignant and wildly theatrical piece that transcends the story."

Simpson has been directing since the mid-seventies when she was in drama school in Toronto Canada.

"Directing interests me as much as acting and playwriting," Simpson said. "It's an entirely different artistic endeavor, she continued. "I love acting, and writing is something that possesses me, and when it does, I can't resist it until I've got it done. Directing a play is, in my view, like running a country. There are myriad moving parts, and all need mindful attention. The aesthetics are vital, and collaboration with all the artists and technicians can be a very tricky thing. Compassion is paramount - unlike other art forms, human beings are our medium. Their well-being is vital to the success of the work. My role is primarily to create an atmosphere in which the actors may freely explore the moments, the beating heart of the text, and ultimately let go and fly. I feel both humbled and entirely sure of my approach as we launch into rehearsals of this gorgeous piece with these marvelous actors."

The cast:
Evelyn - Charlene Sher
Faith - Lisa Berg
Eva - Ashlee Grubs
Helga - Melanie Ron
Lil - Barbara King
The Ratcatcher, Nazi Border Official, English Organizer, Postman, Station Guard - Brian Sloan

The play opens on November 3rd at the Adelson Theatre. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased online. 100% of proceeds benefit Jewish Nevada's Holocaust Education and JFSA's work with Holocaust survivors.




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