The Children of Willesden Lane

Matinee, Special Project • Music, Theater

From October 28-30, 2015, 6,200 students and teachers from schools across Chicago attended five matinee performances of The Children of Willesden Lane at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in downtown Chicago. This one-woman show by Mona Golabek tells the story of how Mona’s mother, Lisa Jura, harnessed the power of music to survive the Holocaust and bring hope to her community of refugees. All students and teachers received free copies of the book of the same name to read and study before the show, and teachers attended professional development sessions to learn strategies for teaching the material. Mona’s incredible piano and storytelling skills brought Lisa’s tale to beautiful, touching life. Students walked away from the program and the performances better able to contextualize and understand the realities of the Holocaust – and the resiliency of the human spirit.

Urban Gateways also produced an evening ticketed performance on October 29, 2015, marking the first time the organization promoted a performance for the general public.

Find out what our student audience thought of the show, and check out more photos, on our blog!

Photos by Alayna Kudalis.