April 27, 2010
Shalhevet students bring elders’ memories to stage
“Collective Memory,” a theater program at Shalhevet High School last weekend, was the culmination of a process that brought together student playwrights with various seniors who gather at the Westside Jewish Community Center. The students interviewed the seniors about their youths — among them were a Polish-born Holocaust survivor, an African-American woman who traveled through Europe as a young hippie and a man who loved to tell funny stories — and then told their stories in a series of short plays with student actors. Because the stories all were about memories of youth, the very talented teens seemed to connect vividly with their subjects. Led by executive producer Emily Chase and playwriting teacher Laurel Ollstein, with the help of a student stage crew, the program was presented to a sold-out audience that included many of the seniors interviewed, all of whom seemed very pleased to see younger versions of themselves onstage.