About Holocaust Onstage

Dr Samantha Mitschke is a Holocaust theatre historian, specialising in plays and performances that depict the Nazi persecution of Jews and other groups from 1933 onwards. Her research, which focuses on the exploration and teaching of history through human stories, covers a wide range of topics.

Sam’s areas of expertise include:

  • Empathy—what it is, and how it influences all aspects of Holocaust theatre
  • The overall history of plays about the Holocaust—from performances staged in the ghettos and concentration camps to depictions in the present day
  • Adaptations of Anne Frank’s diary
  • Representations of the Nazi persecution of gay men, such as Martin Sherman’s Bent (1979)
  • The use of child protagonists in Holocaust drama—‘Holocaust fairytales’
  • Outraging audiences and the evolution of ‘Holocaust cabaret’
  • Portrayals of perpetrators
  • Site-specific performance at Auschwitz
  • Using theatre to explore contested narratives about the Holocaust
  • Representations of women’s experiences during the Holocaust

Sam has been invited to present her work at international conferences in the UK, Europe, the USA and Canada. As well as speaking to specialist and general audiences, she provides teacher training sessions (CPD) on working with Holocaust plays in the classroom, and runs practical workshops with students and young people.

She has written for edited collections with Palgrave Macmillan and Winter Verlag, as well as for journals including New Theatre Quarterly and Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History.

Sam is an Outreach Educator for the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET), and a member of the Virtual Speakers Bureau of the Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University (HEFNU).

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