The University of Northern Colorado's Schulze Interdisciplinary Speaker Series continues its fall schedule Thursday, Oct. 10, when a renowned theater historian leads theater students in the reading of a play written and first performed in a World War II Jewish concentration camp.
Lisa Peschel, professor of Theatre, Film, and Television at England's University of York, will present verse drama The Death of Orpheus at 7 p.m. in Michener Library's Lindou Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
Written by prisoner George Kafka in Terezin, a Jewish concentration camp in what is now the Czech Republic, The Death of Orpheus is an example of theatrical performances the prisoners used, along with music and visual art, to help them cope with their plight.
Peschel discovered scripts for performances ranging from cabarets and musical revues to historical and verse dramas during her interviews in 2004-08 with survivors of the camp. Scholars previously believed that most traces of the prisoners' theatrical activities had been lost forever.
A re-telling of a part of the myth of Orpheus, the script addresses some of the most profound questions that confronted Kafka's fellow prisoners: How much is one prepared to sacrifice for a loved one? What is the nature of artists' responsibility toward those that rely on them? Can one make peace with death by embracing it?
In addition to her appearance as part of the Schulze series, Peschel will present "Theatre and The Holocaust: Recently Rediscovered Scripts form the Terezin/Theresienstadt) Ghetto" from 4:30-5:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, in Milne Auditorium (Kepner 2050). The lecture is free and open to the public.
Peschel's appearance is co-sponsored by UNC's Life of the Mind program, the School of Theatre Arts and Dance and the College of Performing and Visual Arts
The remaining presentations in the series are:
- Bernie Krause, founder of the Wildlife Sanctuary, will present "The Sound and the Furry: Recording the Natural World Through Soundscape Ecology" at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 in the University Center ballrooms. Co-sponsors: Department of Geography, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Marc Bekoff, professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado in Boulder, will present "The Emotional and Moral Lives of Animals: Rewilding Our Hearts and Compassionate Conservation" at 7 p.m. in the University Center ballrooms. Co-sponsors: School of Psychological Sciences, School of Biological Sciences.
All presentations are free and open to the public. Free parking is available in UNC lots after 5 p.m.
The speaker series is co-sponsored and coordinated by UNC's Schulze Fund for Interdisciplinary Studies and the Life of the Mind program.