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7.29.16 Issue

Donna Walter, Education Coordinator, Institute for Holocaust Education

In 2014 the book, My Broken Doll: A Memoir of Survival of the Vichy Regime was first published. As cover states: “By Bea Karp as told to Deborah Pappenheimer.”

Deborah, Bea’s daughter, interviewed her mother over several years. The Institute for Holocaust Education (IHE) and The Circle Theatre are proud to announce that the book is now a play. Ernie Nolan, a Chicago based playwright, was commissioned to adapt the book into a play.  Fran Sillau, a well-respected member of the Omaha theater community and Artistic Director of The Circle Theatre, is directing the production. Fran was the driving force for telling Bea’s story in play form and an invaluable resource connecting us with Ernie Nolan. Bea and her family, along with Fran Sillau and the IHE, were involved in reviewing and editing the various drafts of the play.

My Broken Doll is a 35 minute play designed to be performed in a single class period in schools. The brevity of the play allows time for follow-up discussion. The play is very travel friendly, with a cast of three and a minimalistic set design. Some cast members play more than one role.

During the 2016-2017 school year, the play will travel to approximately 12 different schools across Nebra-ska. Educational materials will be provided to those schools for pre – and post-lessons. The play will be performed in the metro area as well as in areas of the state where special opportunities for Holocaust education may be limited.

Bringing Bea Karp’s story to life on the stage provides yet another lens through which students may examine and learn from the Holocaust. Students will witness Bea’s story in dramatic form and gain a better understanding of the events and emotions during the Holocaust. Through watching My Broken Doll, we hope that students will learn to celebrate differences and recognize commonalities. By doing this, they will be citizens of the world who treat others with dignity and respect.

The entire Omaha community is invited to attend the premier performances of My Broken Doll at the JCC Theater on Aug. 18 (7 p.m.) and Aug. 21 (3 p.m.). Tickets may be purchased online at

Questions? Contact the IHE at 402.334.6447.

The play was made possible by funding from the Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Cultural Endowment and Humanities Nebraska.