by Oscar Speace
This year (2015) commemorates the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps by Allied forces at the end of the Second World War. To celebrate, Roust Theatre Company embarks on a production of one woman’s journey of survival and hope, from the beautiful Romanian town of Sighet, through two of history’s most notorious death camps - Auschwitz and Dachau, to the shores of the United States and the embrace of the American Dream. JANKA, adapted from Janka Festinger’s sixty page hand-written letter to her uncle of the events following the Nazis’ internment of Romanian Jews in 1944, provides a deeply personal, moving, and often humorous account of her courageous life.
Written by her son, award-winning producer, director and writer, Oscar Speace, and performed by her daughter-in-law, nationally acclaimed actress and singer, Janice Noga, JANKA is ‘a grueling odyssey of self-realization that is testimony to her love of life and her will to survive’, and poses the ultimate dilemma of whether or not to share painful personal information to illuminate an incomprehensible and unbearable truth.
JANKA has been performed in California, Romania, Australia, and the International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. This production will be JANKA’s New York premiere and is made possible through the generous support of California’s Central Valley theatre patrons, Dan Pessano/Good Company Players, ValleyPBS and the Fresno Regional Foundation with the fiscal sponsorship of The Fresno Arts Council.il.
WHAT: JANKA by Oscar Speace
WHERE: The June Havoc Theatre, Abingdon Theatre Complex, New York City
WHO: Producer: Tracy Hostmyer for Roust, Director: James Phillip Gates, Set Design: Richard Hoover, Lighting Design: Travis Sawyer, Assistant Set Design: Kevin Kedroe, Production Stage Manager: Gina Costagliola, Assistant Stage Manager: Tochi Shilow, Sound Design: Dan C. Crambel, Acting Company: Janice Noga