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Lockerby presents “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” December 9th and 10th

Staff and students in Lockerby Composite School’s Drama Department have been busy rehearsing “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” which will take to the stage in the school auditorium on Friday, December 9th and Saturday, December 10th at 7:30 pm.

“I Never Saw Another Butterfly”, by Celeste Raspanti, illustrates the power of art to overcome the atrocities of war. It is the story of what it takes to survive in the face of adversity: courage, strength and tenacity.

The play, directed by teacher Ashley Paige Fraser, unfolds inside the Terezin Concentration Camp where only 150 of 15,000 children survived.

The production follows Raja Engandorova as her teacher illegally instructs the children in painting, poetry and theatre to help them deal with the horrors of their everyday experiences. Raja uses these skills as a way to cope.

The use of art therapy in the play mirrors the sentiments of Terezin survivors.

As work on the play progressed, students began to develop a deeper understanding of what it was like to be in a concentration camp.

“The realities of life in the concentration camps are hard to fathom for students,” says Fraser. “Through the arts, the students are learning the emotional ramifications associated with the Holocaust.”

The experience has guided students to a greater understanding of this time in history.

“I’ve learned so much about the Holocaust,” says Emma Persi, who plays teacher Irena Synkova in the play. “It’s one thing to learn about the period in history class, but another entirely to actually act it out. I have a lot of respect for those who experienced this first-hand.”

“These children needed Irena to help them through Terezin,” says Bryden Casselman who plays the lead role of Raja. “She showed them, through art’s therapeutic nature, that they could find respite from the terrors of life and solace in their imagination.”

“This show demonstrates how powerful art truly is,” adds Lighting Designer Chance Rivet. “Art really does help you understand the world around you, both its celebrations and struggles.  This allows you to not accept the world for what it is, but to change it into what you want it to be.”

Admission to the play is $5. Tickets will be available at the door or by contacting Ashley Paige Fraser at Lockerby Composite School at 705-522-1750 or frasera@rainbowschools.ca

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Media Contact:

Heather Gaffney, Lockerby Composite School
Rainbow District School Board, 705-522-1750.