Stav's new play, The Escape Act (formerly Run Away, Join the Circus) is under production and will be have its debut in 2019. Read about Stav's research work on the website of Diverging Fates, an academic project on Traveling Circus People in Europe under National Socialism.
This is the true story of Irene Danner-Storm, a young Jewish acrobat who survived the Holocaust hiding and working at the German Althoff Circus. Irene and her family were embraced by Adolf Althoff and his wife, Maria, and passed the war years performing publicly at their circus, running to hide whenever the Nazis came for inspections. The tale of Irene and her rescuers is one full of hope, love and courage. Irene lit up the stage every night doing what she loves most, defying the dangers of frequent inspections and visits from Nazi officers. The Althoffs and their circus troupe stood by Irene and her family through hardships and threats, knowing in their hearts it was the right thing to do - because "circus sticks together". In one of history's darkest hours, the story of Irene and the Althoffs shines as a beacon of pure courage and humanity in the face of the cowardice and hatred of fascism. A one-woman theater show complete with circus arts and puppets, the show will be offered in conjunction with an exhibition and a workshop: before the show, the audience will enter the venue through an exhibition of the people whose lives the show was based on, photographs that will bring to life the time and place and those who inhabited it. The workshop, following the show, will offer audience members a chance to learn basic circus skills - juggling, acrobalance and more - from the show's creator and performer.
The show will be in residency at the Loviisa Festival in Finland in Summer 2019 under the theme TransFolk, and we are currently looking for residencies in NYC, London and Israel for the 2018-2020. If you know of available residencies or grants, please Contact Stav.
If you are personally interested in donating to the production, we gratefully accept donations via PayPal --->
From the staged reading held at the 14th Street Y in New York, April 2017. Above: Irene interrogated by a Nazi officer as she struggles to keep juggling. On the left: Peter woos Irene with a sleight of hand flower bouquet.