Westport Playhouse Offers Free Film Screening, Dec. 10

Westport, CT - In conjunction with Westport Country Playhouse’s presentation of the musical memoir, “The Pianist of Willesden Lane,” a documentary film, “Finding Leah Tickotsky: A Discovery of Heritage in Poland,” will be screened, free-of-charge, on Monday, December 10, at 7 p.m., in the Lucille Lortel White Barn Center, on the Playhouse campus. The event is presented in partnership with The Westport Library. 

Following the screening of the 48-minute, color film by Sarah Golabek-Goldman, there will be a Q&A with Mona Golabek, star of “The Pianist of Willesden Lane,” and aunt of the filmmaker.

Finding Leah Tickotsky: A Discovery of Heritage in Poland” tells of Stanford University student and filmmaker Sarah Golabek-Goldman’s excursion to Poland to teach English in the village of Zakliczyn. While there, she also visited the towns where her family lived before World War II to search for Poles who remembered her relatives. In the village of Jasionowka, Golabek-Goldman discovered the gravestone of her great-great-grandmother Leah Tickotsky.

Golabek-Goldman’s film explores Polish-Jewish relations as well as her personal journey to discover her family roots. Through Golabek-Goldman’s eyes, “Finding Leah Tickotsky” provides a perspective on pre-World War II history and serves as a reminder of the extraordinary contributions Jews made to Poland over nine centuries.

“It is my hope that ‘Finding Leah Tickotsky’ will inspire students to explore profound ethical issues, such as the dangers of apathy, as well as encourage Polish-Jewish dialogue,” said Golabek-Goldman.

The documentary furthers the mission of the Hold On To Your Music Foundation, established in 2003 by Mona Golabek, to expand awareness and understanding of the ethical implications of world events, such as the Holocaust, and the power of the arts, especially music, to embolden the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Registration for the film is suggested as space is limited. Call Westport Country Playhouse’s box office at 203-227-4177.

“The Pianist of Willesden Lane” runs from December 5 through December 22.  The production returns to the Playhouse by popular demand after a successful run in April 2017. 

Based on the book “The Children of Willesden Lane: Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival” by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen, and adapted and directed by Hershey Felder, the play is set in Vienna in 1938 and in London during the Blitzkrieg. Fourteen-year-old Lisa Jura spends her time practicing piano, dreaming of becoming a concert pianist.  But with Hitler’s armies advancing into Vienna, her parents obtain passage for her on the Kindertransport, forcing Lisa to leave her family behind and put her future on hold. 

The stage presentation features Lisa’s daughter, Grammy-nominated pianist and storyteller Mona Golabek, who shares her mother’s gripping tale of escape and the people she met on her journey, intertwined with piano selections by Grieg, Chopin, Beethoven, Debussy, Bach, and Gershwin.

The family-friendly show is appropriate for children age 10 and up. 

Tickets for “The Pianist of Willesden Lane” start at $30; ticket for students/educators are $20.  Performance schedule is Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. 

Education Partners for this production are Judy and Scott Phares.

For more information or tickets, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available online 24/7 at www.westportplayhouse.org. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), or view Playhouse videos on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).

The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage the community through the power of professionally produced theater worth talking about and the welcoming experience of the Playhouse campus.  The not-for-profit Playhouse provides this experience in multiple ways by offering live theater experiences of the highest quality, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos; educational and community engagement events to further explore the work on stage; the New Works Circle Initiative, a program dedicated to the discovery, development, and production of new live theatrical works; special performances and programs for students and teachers with extensive curriculum support material; Script in Hand play readings to deepen relationships with audiences and artists; the renowned Woodward Internship Program during the summer months for aspiring theater professionals; Family Festivities presentations to delight young and old alike and to promote reading through live theater; youth performance training through Broadway Method Academy, WCP’s resident conservatory program; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round.


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