Unique one-woman performance coming to Vermillion October 24

Unique one-woman performance coming to Vermillion October 24 Lily, a unique theatrical performance, is coming to The University of South Dakota.

Lily is a compelling one-woman show by actress Karine Koret. It details the true story of her grandmother, Edna Davidoff, who is a Holocaust survivor.

The Chicago Sun-Times hailed Lily as "a moving, admirably unsentimental work."

The play is produced by Still Point Theater Collective, an interfaith community of artists dedicated to creating performances which focus on matters of spirituality and issues of peace and justice. This performance of Lily is sponsored by St. Thomas More Newman Center, the Luther Center and the United Ministries Center, all student ministries at USD.

The performance is Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in Farber Hall inside Old Main. The performance is free to the public, but reservations for seating should be made by calling (605) 624-2697 or (605) 624-3902. Groups of seats or for individuals are available. The theater has eight spaces for handicapped patrons.

Edna Davidoff was 16 years old when the Nazis came to Ungvar, her village in Hungary. During the first selection at Auschwitz, Edna encountered four of her schoolmates. After these young women saw their families lost in the crematoriums, they resolved to stay together, doing whatever possible and necessary to sustain each other.

Koret tells the story exactly as her grandmother told it to her over her dining room table in Jerusalem. Over a period of about three years, Koret gathered these stories, urging her grandmother to tell her everything she could remember; to explain in detail how it was that she managed to survive. Koret then transcribed the taped interview and translated them from Hebrew.

The performance that this sensitive, marvelously talented actress sculpted from these conversations includes the day-to-day thought, experiences and adventures of five young women, four of whom survive to this day, and remain friends in Israel. The girls' resilience, devotion to one another, and will to live are both heartwrenching and incredibly inspiring to witness.

Koret, the actress, writer and educator for Lily, is a member of Still Point Theater Collective, a teacher of refugee children with the Heartland Alliance, and a member of the Stone Soup Collective in Chicago. She received a BFA in acting from Boston University's School for the Arts in 1999, and has since acted on stage and in film in productions dedicated to social change. Koret's vision is to use Lily performances to inspire discussion about the issues raised by the play; and she often facilitates workshops connecting her grandmother's story with issues of genocide, hate crimes and violence directly affecting our lives today. Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times lauded Koret as a "beguiling young actress ? with a disarmingly physical performance style."

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