About The Play
The play, Children of Drancy, is a montage of voices composed from documents, letters, and published first-hand accounts by internees of the camp, including a small number of survivors (see permissions and thanks and for further reading). These interweaving voices tell the tragic story of France and its treatment of Jews under German occupation (1940-44). The play proceeds chronologically from the first decrees against Jews promulgated by the Vichy regime of Maréchal Petain to the roundups and deportations to death camps in Auschwitz and elsewhere. As the play begins, the voice of a narrator-survivor explains that he wants to tell the story so that such events can never happen again. The narrator's voice returns several times during the play to provide continuity. This voice is based on first-hand accounts by survivors of the Drancy camp (in performance, the voice could be either that of a man or woman). Among the more than 76,000 Jews who perished were 11,400 children under the age of 18. Small children were deported separately from their parents. Nevertheless, many of the letters and first-hand accounts are an inspiring testimonial to the bravery, selflessness and generosity of many internees in the face of nearly unimaginable suffering.