Theatre of Youth (TOY), Buffalo’s only professional theatre designed specifically for child audiences and their families, is proud to present Number The Stars by Dr. Douglas W. Larche, adapted from the Newbery Medal-winning book by Lois Lowry and directed by TOY Artistic Director Meg Quinn.
The story takes place in Denmark, 1943, as brave Danish citizens coordinated continuous escapes of Jews from the German Nazis. In this historical fiction, young friends Annemarie Johansen and Ellen Rosen embark on a dangerous journey to smuggle Ellen’s family out of the country and safely to Sweden.
In its simplest form, this play tells the story of two 10-year-old girls and the hardships they face as the Nazis occupy their country. In the broader sense, it’s a play about saving lives, about doing what’s right, no matter the cost – a theme that is still relevant today with the issue of bullying and the importance of teaching our children the idea of “see something, say something.”
“I applaud the Theatre of Youth for focusing on themes of friendship, courage, and standing up for important beliefs through the Number The Stars production,” says Amanda B. Nickerson, Ph.D., Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention at the University at Buffalo.
“Abusing power and targeting others based on differences or perceived ‘weaknesses,’ whether based on appearance, sexual orientation or religion, is a parallel between the Holocaust and bullying today,” says Nickerson. “Illustrating the importance of choosing to not stand by passively, but rather to reach out and help others in need is a wonderful way to encourage our kids to become everyday heroes and heroines.”
Number The Stars features all local professional actors, including Renee Landrigan as Annemarie Johansen, Anne Boucher as Ellen Rosen and Katie Harrington/Mia Bedenko double-cast as Kirstie Johansen. National Fuel is the production sponsor for Number The Stars. Independent Health is TOY’s 2015-2016 Supporting Sponsor
After each performance of Number The Stars, TOY is pleased to present the M&T Bank Talkback. The audience is invited to stay seated for an essential moment of learning, when the actors lead a fun and interactive conversation that gives children the fullest understanding of the play.
Theatre of Youth is fully handicapped accessible. For tickets or additional information, call 884-4400 or visit www.theatreofyouth.org.