February 8-17, 2019

Advance Tickets: Adult $15 | Senior/Student $13
Day of Show: $3 additional

Advance Tickets: Adult $15 | Senior/Student $13
Day of Show: $3 additional

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At the height of Hitler’s campaign to rid the world of Jews, children of the condemned arrive in Terezin, where they are assigned to a teacher, Raja, who watches over them until they are separated and sent to concentration camps. Raja survives to tell their story, a story that celebrates the human spirit and ability to uplift oneself, a story about children who bring light to the dark and love to a place surrounded by hate. (Drama)


During World War 2, over 15,000 Jewish children passed through Terezin, and only about one hundred were still alive when Tererzin was liberated at the end of the war. These few then went back to the scattered pieces of their lives, their homes and families.

One of the survivors, Raja, having lived through it all, teaching the children when there was nothing to teach with, helping to give them hope when there was little enough reason for hope, creating a little world of laughter, of flowers and butterflies behind the barbed wire, tells the true story of the children.

It’s her play and it’s theirs. There were no butterflies at Terezin, of course, but for the children, butterflies became a symbol of defiance, making it possible for them to live on and play happily while waiting to be transported.

This play is her story.

It is history as much as any play can be history, showing the best and the worst of which the human heart is capable.

By Celeste Raspanti

Directed by Judy Dove

Content: This is a family-friendly show in which death is openly discussed, although there is no violence on stage. The subject matter is emotional and might not be appropriate for children in the lower elementary grades.  You might also want to consider attending either the February 10 or 16 performance, when we’ll hold a talk-back session following the play. Please refer to the events listed below.


Renaissance Centre
405 S Brooks St
Wake Forest, NC 27587
Box Office: 919-435-9458
Box Office Hours and Map

Post- and Pre-Show Events

We’ve lined up some additional pre-show entertainment as well as two post-show talk-backs with Holocaust Educator Sheldon Bleiweiss.  The audience on these dates are encouraged to arrive early and stay after for the special events:

Sunday, February 10th and Saturday, February 16th Post-show
Please join Wake Forest resident, Holocaust Educator, and son of two Holocaust survivors, Sheldon “Shelly” Bleiweiss, for a group discussion after the show.  This program is at no additional charge and appropriate for audience members (both adults and children) to help process the issues raised by the play.  It is an opportunity to learn more about Terezin, the Holocaust, and to help remind us how we can, as global citizens of today, make a difference in preventing hate crimes in our world.

Sheldon Bleiweiss Biography: http://www.holocaustspeakersbureau.org/speaker-biographies.html

Lauren Van Hemert’s RDU on Stage interview with Judy M. Dove, Director, and Sheldon Bleiweiss, Holocaust Educator:

Friday, February 8, 7-7:20pm Pre-show
Martin Middle School String Orchestra

Saturday, February 9, 7-7:20pm Pre-show
Jenny Dove, Harpist

Saturday, February 16, 7-7:20pm Pre-show
Wake Forest Children’s Choir



The Children of Terezin and Their Teacher
(David Leone, Photographer)

“Gripping and Powerful”, “haunting right from the start”, “a riveting can’t-look-away show”  — Susie Potter, Triangle Arts Review. Read the full review.

“[Celeste] Raspanti’s play steers the conversation in a timely direction by focusing on the question, ‘What about the children?’ How does a catastrophe like this appear through the innocent eyes of children? How do children deal with the loss? How can they possibly survive? How can they ‘move on”’in a world without ‘butterflies’?” — Pamela Vesper and Kurt Benrud, Triangle ReviewRead the full review.

“It is fitting that I Never Saw Another Butterfly is presented at this time in our history…It is vital that this understanding of what the Nazis actually did to people be kept alive; it is imperative that we never forget, and never allow to recur, the events that were a part of the War in Europe under the Nazis.” — Alan R. Hall, CVNC Online Arts Journal. Read the full review.

Amanda Smith as Raja Englanderova, with Those Who Have Died
(David Leone, Photographer)



Amanda Smith
Bill Segreve
Gayle Snyder
Louise Farmer
Micah Jones
Talia Barbieri
Bonnie Webster
Catherine Pope
Brooke Willse
Liam Barbieri
Bill Segreve
Paige Brady
Adam Kotynski
Livia Loverso
Ellie Manfreda
Marina Segreve
Kylee Squires


Jochen Wachter

Production Crew

Director: Judy Dove
Craig Johnson: Stage Manager
Alyssa Petrone: Lighting Designer
John Maruca: Sound Designer
Ketti Shum: Wake County Visiting Guest Artist Costume Designer
Gayle Jordan: Associate Costumer
Craig Johnson:Music Consultant
Bob Baird: Producer