Trans-Planted Memory: A Play About Shanghai Jews During WWII

Thursday, October 21, 6 pm at Crane House, 
Admission is free

More than 20,000 Jews fleeing the Holocaust found safe haven in Shanghai, one of the few places in the world that did not restrict immigration.

This historic rescue effort that intertwined the lives of the refugees with the Chinese and Japanese serves as a backdrop to a fictionalized play, “North Bank, Suzhou Creek,” developed by Louisville resident David Chack in conjunction with the playwright William Huizhou Sun and director Jeffrey Sichel at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center.

Chack, a theatrical producer and writer who works out of Chicago, will present a lecture about the history and production of the play and staged reading of excerpts of the play on Thursday, October 21, at the Crane House, the Asian cultural center, at 1244 S. 3rd St., at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

“The play provides a historic touchstone and dramatic account of this phenomenal tale of Jews, Japanese and Chinese under extraordinary conditions,” Chack said. Centering on a Jewish father and daughter who own and operate a popular café in the French quarter of Shanghai during World War II, they must “confront the evil and love that fatally bring them to this unique moment and place,” Chack explained. “Framed within the culture and songs of the time in Chinese, American, German, European and Yiddish cultures, the play crafts an inter-cultural portrayal and the results of the costs of survival.”

Chack is president of the Association for Jewish Theatre (AJT), serves on the boards of All About Jewish Theater, and The International Institute of Jewish & Israeli Culture, and is an alumnus of the Mandel Teacher Educators Institute in Israel. He is currently writing a book about Jews in performing arts in America. He did master’s work in drama at Tufts University, and Ph.D. work at Boston University. His focus was on “An Integration of Jewish Studies and the Performing Arts.” Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, who is professor of humanities at Boston University, was his mentor.

All programs are held at Crane House For program details, call 635-2240 or

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