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Apr 08, 2015

Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School First in Houston to Perform Letters to Sala

From the Left: Sophia Fox, 9th Grade (Sala); Anna Kate Rentz, 9th Grade (Caroline); Katie Coats, 9th Grade (Elisabeth); and Evan Greek, 9th Grade (standing in for Ann)


From April 23 to May 3, students of Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School (STE), a private, Christian-based college preparatory school, will perform Letters to Sala, a play based on the book Sala's Gift: My Mother's Holocaust Story. The school will also showcase the New York Public Library’s traveling exhibition of the letters from April 15 to May 3.


The performances will be held on April 23 at 6 p.m., April 24 at 6 p.m., April 25 at 7 p.m. and May 3 at 2 p.m. in the theatre on STE’s campus located at 4900 Jackwood Street in Meyerland. Tickets are $5 per person and may be purchased at the school Mondays through Fridays between 3:30 and 5 p.m. from April 15 until the first performance. On the day of each performance, a limited number of tickets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis for $10 each.


The exhibition will be open to the public in the school’s art gallery from April 15 to May 3. Visitors can view the exhibit on Mondays through Fridays between 3:30 and 5:45 p.m., Saturdays between 4:30 and 5:45 p.m., and Sundays between noon and 2 p.m.


Written by Arlene Hutton, Letters to Sala brings to life a part of the Holocaust not typically discussed — where leaders in the Jewish community were forced by the Nazis to provide slave labor to the Germans. Based on the book by Ann Kirschner, the historical account is chronicled through letters received by her mother, Sala Kirschner, who left for a labor camp at age 16 for what was only supposed to be six weeks. Six weeks in one camp became five years in seven camps, and for almost 50 years, Sala Kirschner kept her experiences and letters a secret. She finally shared them with her daughter when she was about to undergo heart surgery, and her daughter turned them into a book published by Simon and Schuster.


STE’s production of Letters to Sala will be the first one in the state of Texas, and the Kirschner family has blessed the school’s performance. Hutton will also be visiting the school between April 23 and April 25 to conduct writing workshops with the theatre students and talkbacks with the audience after each show.


When choosing this play, STE’s theatre director Noelle Laufer wanted to make students understand the impact of history and that it’s not only found in a book. “I wanted our students to understand that history happens to you, and how you respond to what’s happening around you affects everyone. If we ignore it, we’re saying it’s OK,” said Laufer. “I want our students to learn from all aspects of their lives, and performing is a different type of learning. It’s the way I learn, and I wanted to share it with our students.”


About Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School

Established in 1955, Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School (STE) is a private, Pre-K through 12 college preparatory school that believes in nurturing the mind and spirit of its students through classical and Christ-centered instruction. With stimulating academics, vibrant visual and performing art programs, and an emphasis on college readiness, graduates leave Saint Thomas’ well-prepared for the rigors of higher education and a productive life beyond STE. For more information, please visit or call 713.666.3111.