Henry (“Hank”) Greenspan, Ph.D.

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REMNANTS is based on twenty years of the playwright's conversations with Holocaust survivors. Forty minutes in length, the piece is stark and minimalist, each segment recreating moments in which survivors reflect not only on the destruction but also on their lives in the aftermath. Typically, performances of the play are followed by a discussion between playwright and audience. Thus, a presentation of REMNANTS lasts from one hour to ninety minutes.

REMNANTS was first produced for radio in 1992 and distributed to NPR stations across the United States. As a stage play, REMNANTS has been presented at more than two hundred venues throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as in Britain, Israel, and the Czech Republic. The play has been a winner of the Henrico National Competition, the Attic Theater Center New Plays Festival (Los Angeles), the New Hope Performing Arts Festival, the National Script Competition of the Midwest Radio Theatre Workshop, and the Michigan Public Broadcasting Focus Award. Recent presentations have included performances at the John Houseman Theater (New York), the British Library (London), the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington, DC), and the Magdeburg attic theatre in the former Theresienstadt concentration camp--a space used for performances during the Holocaust itself.

Response to REMNANTS:

“An incredibly moving work, stark and haunting--an example of Public Radio at its best.”
--Michigan Public Broadcasting

“REMNANTS is as memorable and moving as other major Holocaust works. The play is renowned.”
--The Detroit Jewish News

“I read a lot of plays. I don’t know another one like REMNANTS. It is exactly what it should be. It is exactly right.”
--Ellen Schiff, editor of Classic Plays of the American Jewish Repertoire

“REMNANTS says more about the Holocaust in fewer words than just about anything I know. Its lean, minimalist format is powerfully affecting. This is Holocaust theatre at its best--a work that carries authenticity in every one of its taut, spare words.”
--Alvin H. Rosenfeld, Director of Jewish Studies, Indiana University

“An understated, concentrated, starkly dramatic play. REMNANTS avoids the dogmatic and the sentimental and leaves interpretation up to the cast and response up to the audience.”
--Lawrence Langer, Professor Emeritus, Simmons College

“REMNANTS succeeds in ways I had thought out of the reach of any kind of dramatization, and it does so with great integrity as well as passion.”
--Michael Andre Bernstein, Professor of Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley

"Of the countless attempts to represent the Holocaust, REMNANTS stands out as a uniquely succinct and piercing glimpse into the immeasureable horror of genocide. This play has more to tell us than many learned volumes about the shame we should all feel for crimes committed against the very idea of a shared humanity."
--Omer Bartov, Birkelund Distinguished Professor of History, Brown University

"REMNANTS combines history and scholarship, art and drama, to inform our understanding of the Holocaust in ways that are as moving and poignant as they are challenging and surprising. Penetrating, gripping, masterful--those are only a few of the words that this distinctive work deserves."
--John K. Roth, Edward Sexton Professor of Philosophy and Director, The Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, Claremont McKenna College

Recent Performances of REMNANTS:

John Houseman Theater, New York
Attic Theater Center of Los Angeles
Playwrights Center of San Francisco
Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke
New Hope Performing Arts Festival
Playwrights Studio Theatre, Milwaukee
Pendragon Theater, Saranac Lake, NY
Jewish Theatre-Grand Rapids
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC
World Conference of Jewish Communal Service, Jerusalem
Theresienstadt Memorial, Czech Republic
The British Library, London
City of Vancouver Holocaust Remembrance
City of Victoria Holocaust Remembrance
City of Winnipeg Kristallnacht Remembrance
Cites of Minneapolis-St. Paul Holocaust Remembrance
Holocaust Remembrance Week, Toronto
City of Toledo Holocaust Remembrance
City of Rochester Holocaust Remembrance
City of Wichita Holocaust Remembrance
City of South Bend Holocaust Remembrance
Crichton Club, Columbus, OH
Baycrest International Conference, Toronto
Lessons and Legacies Conference, Minneapolis
Annual Scholars Conference on the Holocaust, Tampa
Jewish Community Center of Metro Detroit
Holocaust Education Coalition of Michigan
Temple Israel, West Palm Beach, FL
Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, TX
St. Mark’s Church, Washington, DC
Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains, NY
B’nai Moshe Congregation, West Bloomfield, MI
Saginaw Art Museum
Yale University
Bard College
Rutgers University
Boston University
Purdue University
Denison University
University of California at Los Angeles
University of Michigan
University of Texas?Austin
University of Texas?El Paso
University of Minnesota
Hebrew University, Jerusalem
University of Glasgow, Scotland
University of Toronto, Canada
Michigan State University
Illinois State University
Kansas State University
Florida State University
State University of New York--Buffalo
Hobart-William Smith Colleges
Kenyon College
Knox College
Berea College
Aquinas College
Albion College

Selected Works

“Holocaust theatre at its best.”
--Professor Alvin Rosenfeld, Indiana University, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
Holocaust Studies
On Listening to Holocaust Survivors: Recounting and Life History
“Unique and remarkably compelling--a psychological document of enormous significance.”
--Robert Coles, Pulitzer Prize winner
Reflections: Auschwitz, Memory, and a Life Recreated
A twenty-five year co-authorship between a survivor-diarist and a psychologist-playwright.

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