I Never Saw Another Butterfly

By Celeste Raspanti

A Staged Reading Directed by Elise Stone


A Part of the 5th Annual National Jewish Theater Foundation International Initiative: Remembrance Readings commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Presented at The Nyack Public Library (Community Room), 59 S. Broadway, Nyack, NY 10960

From 1942 to 1945 over 15,000 Jewish children passed through Terezin, a former military garrison set up as a ghetto. It soon became a station, a stopping-off place, for hundreds of thousands on their way to the gas chambers of Auschwitz. When Terezin was liberated in May, 1945, only about one hundred children were alive to return to what was left of their lives, their homes, and families. The phrase “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” comes from a poem written by a young man named Pavel Friedman. Before the war ended his poem and other artwork and poetry were buried so it would not be discovered and destroyed by the Nazis. At the war’s end Willy Groag, a former Terezin prisoner, was appointed coordinator of the children and youth department at the ghetto. His responsibilities included the rapid repatriation of the ghetto’s young population.

He was given two suitcases of children’s drawings and poems which he gave to the Prague Jewish Community. Authorities initially showed little interest in the poems and drawings, but after collecting dust for 10 years they were rediscovered and exhibited. The story of those years at Terezin remains in drawings and poems collected in I Never Saw Another Butterfly adapted by Celeste Raspanti into a moving play of remembrance and hope.


OR CALL 212-352-3101

Tickets are $30 and 80% of proceeds will be a direct donation to Rockland Holocaust Museum & Center for Tolerance and Education whose mission to educate our community about the lessons and legacies of the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights. We strive to do this work with authenticity, dignity, and compassion so that all people are engaged to create a society of mutual respect and understanding – devoid of past hatred. Beyond education, the Museum will serve as a community memorial space, committed to paying tribute to all victims of Nazi persecution, as well as our local survivors and liberators.

“Phoenix Theatre Ensemble is proud to participate in the 2019 5th annual National Jewish Theater Foundation Holocaust Theater International Initiative – Remembrance Readings. This play reading or performance commemorates International Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27, Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) on May 1 & 2 and Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), November 9 & 10. With our talents we honor the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. Our collective artistic goal is to keep alive their memories, stories and must never to be forgotten lessons. May the power of live theater serve as a moral compass in todays world and for future generations.”  

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