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LETTERS TO SALA, Starring Original Off-Broadway Cast, Set for Museum of Jewish Heritage

LETTERS TO SALA, Arlene Hutton's stirring drama about a New York family coming to grips with the sudden disclosure of its matriarch's hidden Holocaust past will have two concert performances on May 15 at 12 P.M. and 3:30 P.M. at the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

Based on Ann Kirschner's book, Sala's Gift, the original Off-Broadway cast, led by Anita Keal and Britian Seibert, portrays how Sala risked her life to keep a forbidden diary while in seven Nazi forced-labor camps.

Tickets are $20, $15 members/students with valid ID, $10 children (for ages 10+). To purchase tickets, call 646.437.4202 or visit www.mjhnyc.org/calendar. For group sales, call 646.437.4202.

The play is based on the true-life account by Ann Kirschner of her mother's remarkable ordeal surviving seven Nazi labor camps in five years, from 1941 to liberation in 1945, and how this story was almost never shared with her family or the outside world. The trove of 350 letters, which Sala Garncarz, a Polish teenager, managed to hide and somehow spirit away from the camps, also remained hidden in her home in New York City in subsequent years. (They are now a permanent part of the Dorot Jewish Division at the NY Public Library.)

LETTERS TO SALA dramatizes the fascinating family dynamics of a survivor's instinct to protect those around her from the horrors of the Holocaust, and the act of courage that it sometimes takes to share this legacy.

Beyond their historical significance - the letters not only shed light on labor camp conditions, but also on how the genocide was being portrayed by the Nazi war machine on the outside - Sala's letters proved just how deeply relics of the atrocities of the Holocaust can affect and even divide successive generations of survivors.

Kirschner, the former Dean of Macaulay Honors College at City University, published "Sala's Gift" in 2007. Sala Garncarz Kirschner, who still lives in New York City, will be portrayed in later years by television and stage veteran, Anita Keal. Young Sala is portrayed by newcomer Britian Seibert.

Hutton's LETTERS TO SALA had its New York premiere in October 2015 at TBG Theatre, 312 West 36th Street, directed by Eric Nightengale. The production was co-produced by The Journey Company and F.A.B. Women@TBG.

For the actors' biographies, visit www.letterstosalany.com.

The Museum's exhibitions educate people of all ages and backgrounds about the rich tapestry of Jewish life over the past century-before, during, and after the Holocaust. Special exhibitions on view are Seeking Justice: The Leo Frank Case Revisited (through August 2016) and Stitching History From the Holocaust (through August 14, 2016). The Museum is also home to the award-winning Keeping History Center, an interactive visitor experience, and Andy Goldsworthy's memorial Garden of Stones. In Edmond J. Safra Hall, the Museum offers visitors a vibrant public program schedule celebrating the richness of Jewish culture and ideas. The Museum is the new home of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, now in its 101st season. The Museum receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts.

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