Life? or Theatre? is the name that Berlin‑born Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon gave to a sequence of nearly 800 gouaches accompanied by text and musical references that she produced between 1940 and 1942. Before her deportation to Auschwitz at age 26, she handed the work to a local physician, with the message: "Take good care of this… it is my whole life.“Charlotte chronicled the inner life of a young woman coming of age during the rise of Nazism and under the shadow of family suicides.
Life?or Theatre? has been adapted for the stage and screen, transformed into opera, ballet, artwork, puppetry and literature. However, it has yet to be fully realized as a "singspiel," the performance style Charlotte envisioned. Charlotte: A Tri-Coloured Play with Music is a multi-national collaboration with a core creative team from Canada, UK, and Czech Republic, plus seven actor-singers and four musician-performers. The essential quality of our “singspiel” is the total synchronicity of word, image, and music.
This production is based on‘Leben oder Theater ?, einSingespiel’ ( Life or Theatre ? ) a dramatized autobiography in 796 gouaches by Charlotte Salomon ( Berlin 1917- Auschwitz 1943). ‘Lebenoder Theater, einSingespiel’ by Charlotte Salomon is part of the collection of the Jewish Historical Museum Amsterdam, www.jhm.nl/collection/specials/charlotte-salomon
Director/ Scenographer:Pamela Howard (UK) Librettist:AlonNashman(Canada) Composer:AlešBřezina (Czech Republic) With a company of 7 actor-singers and 4 musicians
A Theaturtle production; developed with the support of Canadian Stage, Toronto (Matthew Jocelyn Artistic and General Director, Su Hutchinson, Managing Director), and with a residency at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Kingston (Tricia Baldwin, Director). www.theaturtle.com/charlotte.html