THEATER: Hannah Senesh, Story of WWII Resister

The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) will present Hannah Senesh, an award-winning play based on the diaries and poems of a heroic young woman who risked her life to save European Jews from the Holocaust. 

Presented with music and song, this one-woman show tells the true story of Hannah Senesh, played by Lexi Rabadi, who escaped from Axis-allied Hungary in 1939 to the safety of British Mandate Palestine. There she joined Haganah and then bravely volunteered for a daring Special Operations mission to parachute back into Europe to save Jews from Nazi hands. She was ultimately caught by Nazi forces, tortured, and executed at the age of 22. She never betrayed her companions.

The performance is part of NYTF’s season of “Spiritual Resistance,” which features artistic and theatrical works that explore themes of struggle against oppression. It will be performed from July 29 through August 18 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place. Tickets for previews start at $39, regular season tickets start at $49 and are available at www.nytf.org. The play will be performed in English.

The play, written and directed by David Schechter, was originally developed in collaboration with Lori Wilner, the actress who first played Hannah onstage in 1984.  The script, adapted from Hannah Senesh’s diaries, was translated from the Hungarian by Marta Cohn and Peter Hay. Music was composed and arranged by Steven Lutvak.

Previews are on July 24 -28, with 21 performances July 29 – August 18. For tickets to Hannah Senesh, and other performances in NYTF’s season of “Spiritual Resistance,” visit www.nytf.org or call 212-213-2120 Ext. 200. 

NYTF’s production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish sold out for six months before moving to an Off-Broadway theater uptown. It has won a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award and a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award special citation and has been nominated for Lucille Lortel Awards, Drama League Awards, a Chita Rivera Award, and an Off-Broadway Alliance Award.