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FHS Dramatic Arts Club to Appear in Upcoming Documentary

Cast and crew of "Letters to Sala" Sala Garncarz Kirschner spent five years in seven different Nazi labor camps during World War II. She kept her experiences a secret for over fifty years until she shared letters from that time with her grown daughter Ann.

The Freehold High School Dramatic Arts Club brought Sala’s story to life with their fall production of “Letters to Sala.” The play draws from the emotional journeys that begin for both Ann and Sala when the letters resurface. Through scholarly research, Ann discovers that her mother has made a historically significant impact on Holocaust documentation. As Ann processes her own reaction to her mother's story, her daughters, Caroline and Elisabeth, also realize for the first time the weight of their Jewish heritage. Simultaneously, Ann's study of the letters throws Sala into the past again. She relives her youth, recalling her naïve desire for adventure, the disillusionment of her life in the work camps, and her loss of communication with the outside world as the war progressed around her.

Award-winning filmmakers Murray Nossel, Edward Marritz, and Tim Messler have been creating a documentary, “Sala: The Letter Carrier,” to showcase Sala’s incredible story. The play "Letters to Sala" was written by Arlene Hutton. According to Mr. Marritz, Ms. Hutton drew a good portion of her script from interviews the "Sala: The Letter Carrier" team conducted. Along with the letters themselves, the words Sala spoke in the documentary interviews give the play an authenticity and clear insight into Sala's heart. The team learned of Freehold High School’s production and contacted advisor KasiAnn Sweeney to film a portion of a rehearsal to include in their production. The production team visited Freehold High School on November 4th.

“We're deeply grateful to Freehold High School, Kasi Sweeney, and her wonderful acting troupe for their dedication to the play and their remarkable unselfconscious approach to their art. This is what makes for great documentary filmmaking,” Mr. Marritz said.

More information on the documentary can be found here.

Freehold High School’s performances of “Letters to Sala” will be on November 18 at 7 p.m. and November 19 at 1 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.