A searing drama of the Holocaust—and the remarkable, moving story of the Auschwitz Women’s Orchestra
Paris, 1942. Fania Fénelon, a popular Jewish nightclub singer, is arrested by the occupying Germans. Sent to Auschwitz in a packed freight-car, shorn of her hair, tattooed with an identifying number, starved, and subjected to harsh labor, she loses all traces of her former self. But her life at the camp changes dramatically when she is drafted into the Women’s Orchestra, a desperate little ensemble that marches the prisoners out to work and gives concerts for the German high brass. Led by Alma Rosé, a sternly ambitious German-Jewish conductor who knows that her job is a matter of life and death, Fania and her fellow musicians must confront the horror taking place around them while pushing themselves to create beauty in the midst of despair.
Based on Fania Fénelon’s memoir of the same name, Arthur Miller’s Playing for Time was first produced as a CBS television drama starring Vanessa Redgrave before being adapted for the stage.