Theatre CHARLOTTE: A Tri-Coloured Play with Music


Fri, 06/16/2017 -
Sun, 06/18/2017

The Theatre Centre

A Canadian-European work-in-progess exploring artist Charlotte Salomon

Presented by the Luminato Festival with the Goethe-Institut 

Theaturtle's CHARLOTTE is an ambitious genre-bending chamber musical based on the life and artwork of Charlotte Salomon, and the creative team is ready to embark on the final stages of its development.

This is Charlotte’s story. She was a playwright without a stage, a graphic novelist before such a thing existed, and a young woman struggling to claim her voice and affirm her existence. She recorded her remarkable life story, coming of age under the shadow of family suicides during the rise of Nazism.

Charlotte produced over 1,000 paintings between 1941 and 1942 while in hiding in the south of France. She imagined her life as a “singspiel,” or “song-play,” with narration, dialogue, and vibrant, raw images, painted with increasing desperation as the walls of history closed in on her. Before her deportation to Auschwitz, aged 26 and pregnant, she handed the work to a local physician, with the message: “Take good care of this... it is my whole life.” 

CHARLOTTE: a Tri-Coloured Play with Music realizes Salomon’s graphic book "Life? or Theatre?" as she originally envisioned.

Theaturtle is a Toronto-based theatre company run by performer, director and producer Alon Nashman. The production is a tri-national collaboration with a core creative team from Canada, the UK, and Czech Republic, plus seven actor-singers and four musician-performers. The show will further travel to Taiwan with the help of the Goethe-Institut Taipei. 

Charlotte Salomon (born in 1917 in Berlin) was a German-Jewish artist. She is primarily remembered as the creator of an autobiographical series of paintings "Leben? oder Theater?: Ein Singspiel" consisting of over 1,000 individual works painted while hiding from the Nazis. In October 1943 she was captured and deported to Auschwitz, where she and her unborn child were gassed to death by the Nazis soon after her arrival.

Luminato Festival is a comprehensive art festival that brings together visual art, music, theatre, dance and more. With nearly one million visitors, 11,000 artists and 3,000 events, it is one of the most important cultural events in North America. As a mark of Luminato’s commitment to suporting artists needing time, space, and resources to realize their dreams, the festival brings the CHARLOTTE company together to continue their exploration of this work and to present a semi-staged production. 

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