Remember This: Walking with Jan Karski
Following the tremendous success last spring of a staged reading of the new play, Remember This: Walking with Jan Karski, and two subsequent readings in Warsaw, Poland, all starring Academy Award® nominee David Strathairn, The Karski Theater Project Committee is proud to announce two staged readings of the play this winter in Washington, D.C. and in New York City.
Mr. Strathairn, Golden Globe® and Academy Award® Nominee for Good Night and Good Luck, will be featured as Jan Karski (1914-2000), a hero of the Polish Underground who tried to shake the conscience of the world in 1942 when there was still time to act to stop the Holocaust. A Roman Catholic, Karski volunteered to undertake a mission on behalf of the underground government to carry eyewitness reports to the free world about the destruction of the Jewish people of Poland. The play is both a tribute to the heroism of Karski for his clandestine work during World War II and an enormously powerful evening of theatre.
Strathairn, who has played roles like broadcaster Edward R. Murrow and Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State William Seward, is no stranger to playing imposing historical figures, and says, “it was an unbelievable privilege and an honor” to play the role of Karski.
"Karski is an extraordinarily compelling figure in history. His life is so moving and heroic in such a quiet way. He’s part of an age-old tradition of whistleblowers, people who bear witness to events. He put himself in grave danger, and I believe saw it as his mission, his duty, what he was on earth for."
-- David Strathairn
The performance last April in the historic Gaston Hall at Georgetown University received a standing ovation from the audience of public officials, educators, students, patrons, and members of the Polish government. It has since been invited to be performed in Warsaw, Poland, where on October 29th and 30th, it will be presented in conjunction with the opening of The Core Exhibition of The Museum of the History of Polish Jews. The Jan Karski Educational Foundation is organizing and sponsoring the performance, with the Laboratory for Global Performance (the Lab) and Politics, Teatr Imka, and StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance.
To see the Gaston Hall production of Remember This: Walking with Jan Karski, click here.
Strathairn will reprise his role in the upcoming productions of the play, which was co-written by award-winning playwright and director Derek Goldman, Professor of Theater and Performance Studies and Artistic Director of the Davis Performing Arts Center at Georgetown, and playwright Clark Young, a Georgetown alum. The Spring production was part of the Jan Karski Centennial Celebration at Georgetown, presented by the Lab, which was co-founded by Dr. Goldman and Ambassador Cynthia Schneider.
The first of the two showcase presentations in the US will be a keynote performance at the Association for Jewish Theater Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, December 9th. Following that the play will come to New York City for a second showcase performance on Thursday, December 11th. Both are invitation-only events.
The Karski Theater Project Committee supports the costs of workshops, rehearsals, and showcase performances in the hope that this will lead to a professional theatre production to ensure that the heroism of Jan Karski will not be forgotten and that it will continue to inspire young people to have the courage to follow their consciences.
Committee members to date include: Robert L. Billingsley, Steven P. Buffone, Janet Daley, John DiGioia, David Fogel, Roger Hertzog, Paul J. Maloy, Michael H. Mrozek, Leo J. O’Donovan, Adelaida Palm, Andrzej Rojek, Jeffrey L. Rothschild, Marc Sulam, Laurence Tosi, Wanda Urbanska, Lloyd Williams, and Robert Wolfson. The Jan Karski Educational Foundation has been a key partner and contributor in moving this project forward.
If you are interested in being a part of this effort, please visit our Support page for details.