In 1941, Sarah and Jacob Fishkin’s world shifts dramatically when World War II comes to their tiny shtetl of Rybczewice, Poland. Jacob wants to become a Partisan, while his sister Sarah chooses to use her strongest weapon: her words. Adapted from the memoir of Jacob Fishkin and the translated entries of his sister’s diary, TIKVAH tells the poignant and painful true story of just one family out of millions affected by the war. From the rise of Nazi influence in their shtetl to its eventual liquidation on May 16th, 1942, the Fishkins are faced with the dire question: Would you give up hope when there’s nothing else left?
“Tikvah” is Hebrew for “hope.” The play began its journey in 2007 when I met with Jacob Fishkin to discuss adapting his family’s story for the stage. I was ecstatic when he agreed. Stone Soup Theatre Project extensively workshopped the script and with Organizations of the Northeast hosted a reading mid-August in support of Ceasefire, a violence prevention organization active throughout Chicago.
“It’s time we stopped hoping and started doing.” ~TIKVAH