In 1942, 12-year-old Raja Englanderova was sent to Terezin, a Czechoslovakian ghetto that was a way station for Jewish prisoners bound for Auschwitz. In addition to the fear and hopelessness threatening to swallow her, she also finds Irena Synkova, a teacher who is secretly conducting art and writing classes among the children in the camp. At first, Raja resists the very idea of creating beauty in such a joyless place, but gradually she comes to see that Irena's classes are keeping the children alive and preserving their hope. When Irena learns she is to be shipped to Auschwitz, it is Raja who has the strength to take her place as the children's mentor and teacher. Despite the tragic undertones in I Never Saw Another Butterfly, the play is a celebration of the vibrancy and humor in children, the transformation of a young girl and the passions of a teacher who inspires students to survive. It is a powerful story of strength and hope for audiences of every age and faith.
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