Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Premier of Ten-Minute play about Holocaust survivors


January 17, 2020

Robert Cunha

Mark Davids and Cindy Karr perform as the lead characters in "Rosa & Leo."

The Playwright's Round Table Launch 2020 will feature "Rosa & Leo" as one of eight original, Ten-Minute plays from emerging playwrights at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre in Loch Haven Park, Jan. 17-19 and Jan. 24-26.

Directed by Kate Thomas-Denson, "Rosa & Leo" is about a couple who secretly fell in love in a Nazi concentration camp and rediscover each other on opposite sides of the world five decades later. Mark Davids and Cindy Karr play the title characters.

"Rosa & Leo" was written by Adam Szudrich, a Jewish "Bartie" award-winning playwright from Australia whose work has been selected for 79 festivals and received 34 awards. It recently won Best International Play at The International Festival of Ten-Minute Plays.

When asked about the origin of "Rosa & Leo" Szudrich said, "The story was inspired by my grandparents, who suffered in Nazi concentration camps. My grandfather survived Auschwitz and my grandmother endured the horror of three camps. Some of my earliest memories are of their stories of survival, shared with strength in the hope that I would tell my children. These stories are the backbone of my play. I'm horrified how little people know about the Holocaust. I regularly bring people to my grandmother, who is the last survivor in my family, to hear her stories. She speaks with such strength, heart and humor in the face of unimaginable loss and heartache. She inspired the central character Rosa."

Szudrich added, "I wanted to write a story that was accessible to a new audience and be authentic and respectful to those that had survived.

'Rosa & Leo' is a brutally honest emotional journey through one of history's darkest and most horrible times. It speaks with humor and passion of our strengths and frailties, our fears, hopes and longings. It takes the audience on a journey through pain, despair, hope and love. The horrors of the Holocaust are not staged, but manifest in memories. They illuminate humanity through a universal perspective that reflects and questions the world we live in today."

PRT is Orlando's only theater dedicated solely to new stage work. Its mission is to find and nurture new local, national and international playwrights, give a home to their new stage works, and enliven the page-to-stage process.

"Rosa & Leo" will be shown along with seven other plays on Friday and Saturday (Jan. 17,18,24,25) 8:15 p-m. - 10 p.m.; and Sundays (Jan. 19 and 26), 3 p.m.-5 :15 p.m.

Tickets for PRT's Launch 2020 can be purchased in advanced at Orlandoatplay.com or at the door. More information on Playwrights' Round Table can be found on their Facebook page.


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