Voices of the Holocaust charity logo

Education

Our objective is for schools to see the Holocaust as a subject that reaches beyond the History textbook. With a cross curricular approach and with a whole school commitment, the learnings become deeper, more meaningful and long lasting.

"Among the few dozen educational projects that we have supported in recent years, Voices of the Holocaust stands out for its truly unique approach to educating about the Holocaust. Kindness manages to strike a balance between art and history. Verbatim theatre, puts Susan Pollack’s own words into the mouths of talented actors. This way, the play becomes something more than just entertainment – it is mediated testimony. "

Michael Newman OBE, CEO of the Association for Jewish Refugees and member of IHRA

Working With Schools

We work in schools and communities, perform in school halls and theatres, village halls and on world platforms, at academic conferences and small community events. We advise schools on their Holocaust education programmes, run teacher training courses and have advised the Holocaust Educational Trust on their Drama resource pack. We would be delighted to discuss with you coming in to work with your students and / or staff.

Engaging Your Students

Voices creates high calibre professional productions that tour across England and Wales. We design education days that culminate in a performance and post-performance discussion in your school hall / venue. In addition to our inspirational performances, each production day with Voices aims to both engage young people in learning about the Holocaust, but also aims to inspire and refresh the creativity of students and inspire the pedagogical approaches of their teachers.

We span a number of curriculum areas and can design an education programme to best meet your needs. Our resource packs are designed to empower schools to embed their own ongoing cross curricular work into their practice, and our ongoing programmes inspire the idea that performing arts can provide the creative catalyst for whole school engagement.

Education Packages

A sample of our most popular education packages:

KS3

INTRODUCTION TO HOLOCAUST HISTORY TESTIMONY THROUGH ACTIVE LEARNING OR DRAMA

 

Helping to unpick the complexities of the history of the Holocaust through survivor testimony. From the persecutions on the streets to ‘Kristallnacht’ (the November pogrom) to experiences of ghettos, the einsatzgruppen (the Holocaust by bullets) to acts of rescue and resistance to the implications of survival students will engage in the lived experiences of those who endured one of the most disturbing periods in human history in an accessible and thought provoking way.

KS3 / KS4

VERBATIM TESTIMONY AND PHYSICAL THEATRE - WORKING WITH VOICES' TECHNIQUES

 

Exploring the core principles and practices of Voices’ techniques and approaches to ‘imagining the unimaginable’. We work from extracts of testimony from ‘Kindness’ to explore the physical theatre techniques we use in our plays. Through use of movement and extracting the ‘essence’ at the heart of the lived experience we take students away from the physicalisation of the lived experience and towards a deeper engagement in the process of the representation of the unimaginable. 

*We can pitch this up to KS5 and beyond very easily. How far we go is up to you and your students.

KS4 / KS5

WHERE WAS GOD?

 

Addressing the issues of faith and survival in the Holocaust through practical sessions. *We ask that students have already engaged in some Holocaust history sessions prior to this day.

We explore through literature and testimony survivors’ experiences and responses to this fundamental question and further deepen core ideas using extracts from ‘Kindness: A Legacy of the Holocaust’. Through practical engagement in these deeper understandings we can begin to challenge the question of faith in the knowledge of the Holocaust. 

 *We ask that students have already engaged in some Holocaust history sessions prior to this day.

Student Council / Inter-Key Stage

SOCIAL ACTION PROJECT DAY

 

A student leadership engagement day, stimulating whole school engagement in a Social Action Project. We will work with your student council / a cross selection of students on engagement with survivor stories and their positioning in the history of the Holocaust, along the way addressing the question “why bother learning about the Holocaust?”. We then take the group through a process of developing their own ideas for a project to engage all tutor groups in KS3 and 4 beyond our day together. Projects have included student led performances using verbatim testimony for year group assemblies, tutor based presentations and social action projects that can make their way through the broader life of your school. From Acts of Kindness ‘pay it forward’ schemes to charity and fundraising work to refugee support schemes and Holocaust Memorial Day events for your wider community – what comes from this day is very much led by the students with the support of your head of SMSC / other lead teacher(s).

Subject Area

Search through each subject area for more examples of our education packages:

DRAMA AND PERFORMING ARTS

Working with a range of stimuli – music, props, poetry, paintings – we’ll take your students through a variety of processes to begin shaping a thought provoking performance creating depth of meaning through a range of stylized techniques. Outcomes are as rich and varied as the students and their imaginations but we’ll explore making meaning and moving away from narrative / naturalistic performance towards something “elegant, beautiful and powerful” as our work is so often described.

This session can be pitched to KS3, 4 or 5 with differentiation implemented accordingly although, most commonly we find ourselves working with year 9+ in these workshops. We’re comfortable doing this work at undergraduate and postgraduate level – and indeed with our own professional actors. So where we start and how far we go really depends on what point we are starting from and how long we’ve got!

Monologues and Duologues / Ensemble Work:

Through whole group sharing and smaller group work we will explore a variety of extracts of script. We’ll explore script interpretation from the perspectives of actor and director and ways of drawing out characterization and the broader power of performance from the possibilities that a written text offers. Students will be encouraged to share and develop their confidence in supporting and building one another’s direction toward compelling performances with integrity of style, technique and meaning.

These sessions are really great for building your GCSE students’ confidence up but also brilliant for your high flying post16 students who might be considering Drama school or a professional acting career. As with most of our Drama workshops, we can go as rich and as deep with differentiation by outcome.

 

Exploring the core principles and practices of Voices’ techniques and approaches to ‘imagining the unimaginable’. We work from extracts of testimony from ‘Kindness’ to explore the physical theatre techniques we use in our plays. Through use of movement and extracting the ‘essence’ at the heart of the lived experience we take students away from the physicalisation of the lived experience and towards a deeper engagement in the process of the representation of the unimaginable. 

This session can be pitched to KS3, 4 or 5 with differentiation implemented accordingly. We’re comfortable doing this work at undergraduate and postgraduate level – and indeed with our own professional actors. So where we start and how far we go really depends on what point we are starting from and how long we’ve got!

HISTORY / RE

Holocaust History Through Drama:

Helping to unpick the complexities of the history of the Holocaust through survivor testimony. From the persecutions on the streets to ‘Kristallnacht’ (the November pogrom) to experiences of ghettos, the einsatzgruppen (the Holocaust by bullets) to acts of rescue and resistance to the implications of survival students will engage in the lived experiences of those who endured one of the most disturbing periods in human history in an accessible and thought provoking way.

We explore the key period of the Nazi regime from an historic and personal perspective. Students engage in the personal stories of those who endured the varied phases that led to the Holocaust as well as other victim groups making history distinct and complex. We contextualise the Holocaust in the long history of antisemitism and the more immediate context of the Nazi’s rise to power and consider the changed landscape of Europe as well as the aftermath of the Holocaust. With additional time we can further explore the ‘10 changes of genocide’, the uniqueness of the Holocaust as well as some of the generalized ‘warnings from history’ that this knowledge and understanding gives us.

Addressing the issues of faith and survival in the Holocaust through practical sessions. *We ask that students have already engaged in some Holocaust history sessions prior to this day.

We explore through literature and testimony survivors’ experiences and responses to this fundamental question and further deepen core ideas using extracts from ‘Kindness: A Legacy of the Holocaust’. Through practical engagement in these deeper understandings we can begin to challenge the question of faith in the knowledge of the Holocaust. 

OTHER

 Inter-Key Stage Social Action Project Day:

A student leadership engagement day, stimulating whole school engagement in a Mitzvah Project. We will work with your student council / a cross selection of students on engagement with survivor stories and their positioning in the history of the Holocaust, along the way addressing the question “why bother learning about the Holocaust?”. We then take the group through a process of developing their own ideas for a project to engage all tutor groups in KS3 and 4 beyond our day together. Projects have included student-led performances using verbatim testimony for year group assemblies, tutor based presentations and social action / Mitzvah Projects that can make their way through the broader life of your school. From Acts of Kindness ‘pay it forward’ schemes to charity and fundraising work to refugee support schemes and Holocaust Memorial Day events for your wider community – what comes from this day is very much led by the students with the support of your head of SMSC / other lead teacher(s).

Ongoing Student Engagement Projects: Interdepartmental Model

Devising meaningful verbatim theatre that meets Drama students’ exam needs whilst creating meaningful work to have a whole school impact for your students. Our 3-4 month package outline sees us coming in for a ‘launch day’ with our production and a full morning of introductory workshops for your target group of students (We suggest no more than 25 for this part of the programme). We then aim to have a second ‘off timetable’ day for your group to develop responses to the performance and explore style, technique and form. We offer guidance and support for you working with the students (in their lessons or in your extra-curricular club) to find and choose testimony/ies to work from, developing a performance through structured exploration and rehearsal. We come back every few weeks to see how you’re going / offer new material, resources or direction through ongoing conversations. These projects always work best if your Drama lead teacher has the support of someone in your History / RE departments but, if you aren’t able to get someone on board we can be ‘virtually’ by your side to help ensure that the piece develops with historic accuracy and within the pedagogy that we’ll embed with you and your students from the start. A super exciting way of working with beautiful and meaningful outcomes that will enrich student outcomes and offer you something incredibly special to share at whole school level and / or with your wider community for Holocaust Memorial Day or another key anniversary or date.

Are you looking for support in building / developing / changing your Holocaust education programme or at building greater confidence or knowledge in your Humanities faculty / History department. We can come and work with you in a gentle, supportive and grounded way.

Do your performing Arts team need a bit of inspiration and want to look at new ways or working or at creating a rich and dynamic programme using Kindness with your students. Perhaps you can draw together some other Drama teachers in your area for a professional development day – we can bring you a day of dynamic and exciting work tailored to your needs.

Are you our dream school – teachers looking to work together across different departments to enrich the whole school impact of Holocaust education in your school? We would love to work with you to realise that vision. We have done single days with schools but also ongoing consultancy over the course of a school year.

Book A Package!

We put no limits on the number of students that we perform our productions to; but the more the better. We just ask that your staffing is appropriate for the numbers in the audience. Unless otherwise advised, our plays are suitable for students aged 11+ but are specifically designed to offer reach and challenge to all students at KS3, 4 and 5. 

 

We take a bursary approach to subsidising these costs if a school or organisation are not able to meet the full cost of a Voices visit. Please email us to discuss this.

Production Day

£ 1,200
  • Full Production of Kindness
  • Post-Production Discussion / Q&A
  • Education Resources (Curriculum Areas)

Voices Education Day

£ 1,500
  • Bespoke Morning Workshops
  • Full Production of Kindness

    3 hours – 2X 90minute / 3 X 60 minute sessions for up to 30 students per group.

  • Post-Production Discussion / Q&A
  • Education Resources (Curriculum Areas)
  • Follow-Up Teams Meet

    For teachers or students

Workshop Day

£ 300
  • Full day Workshop

    For students or staff

  • Bespoke Design

    Drama devising day / Holocaust history sessions for year group on rotation etc / professional development for your teaching team

  • Follow-Up Online Session

    Free follow-up with teachers online

Voices Leading the Way

For the pedants amongst us; we know – historically it’s always been referred to as ‘theatre in education’ but that’s not really what we’re about. We make plays that help us educate and we often do that in educational settings but not always. We are all always learning. And all the best theatre makes you think as well as feel – and we take pride on making plays that will get everyone thinking and feeling. We love to take our plays to theatres and community venues – it’s not less important to engage with and encourage learning in adult communities as youth settings. So yes, we are actively for education and sometimes, but not always, in education!

"As a bird can struggle to fight against the wind, and as Mala Zimetbaum knew only too well, never losing sight of our humanity against a backdrop of atrocity, we battle with the complex knowledge of what it means to be human."

Kindness: A Legacy of the Holocaust

Testimonials

"Today was one of the most poignant moments in my teaching career. We invited the theatre company Voices of the Holocaust to come in to work with 180 year 8 students and our A level Drama cohort through a series of workshops followed by their breath-taking verbatim play ‘Kindness: A Legacy of the Holocaust’. The play is based on the testimony of Susan Pollack IOBE, a Hungarian Holocaust survivor. They are the only theatre in education company of its kind in Europe. The high-quality performance was stunning and performed with great skill. It carefully crafted and negotiated the horrors and tragedies of the Holocaust, opening up thought provoking and complex questions whilst also reminding the audience the power and importance of kindness. Cate Hollis, artistic director, led outstanding pre-performance workshops with our students as well as a post-show Q&A alongside the actors, which the students found really insightful and engaging. It was a very humbling and important experience and I would recommend any Drama department, History department, RS department, PSHE / SMSC department etc to strongly consider inviting the company in. I know that this experience today will stay with my students and I for an incredibly long time."

Jack Beswick, Head of Drama Wirral Girls' School

"Cate. Thank you so much for a fabulous day and – wow! Not only was Fragile Fire a brilliant piece of theatre (flippin great for our theatre reviews as you promised!) but the workshops that your actors did with the GCSE group (sorry they were a bit sleepy at the start – all the mocks seem to have drained them of energy) was totally inspiring. From the physical theatre to the approach to character etc they just woke up – not just as students and actors but as really inspired by the subject matter and the ‘making a difference with their art’. They are now really looking forward to coming up with their own production for Holocaust Memorial Day after the summer. I’ll keep in touch…"

Head of Drama Kingsbrook

"I would like to thank you for all your hard work in bringing your work to us. The students’ response to the performance…told me that they found it a powerful piece of theatre. There was a real buzz around the Academy, with students asking questions and staff sharing experiences and feedback from the excellent follow up sessions. I have no hesitation in recommending your company to any group or organisation that wish to improve their understanding of issues relating to the Holocaust. From the initial phone calls through to performance and follow up lessons, it was a pleasure to deal with yourself and your colleagues. I look forward to working with you again!"

Head of Religious Studies Emerson Park Academy, Essex

"Your performances meant literally our whole school saw ‘Meaning’ with our year 9s going on to meet and talk to Cate, Susan and the actors – all of whom were extraordinarily well informed; real experts. To be honest I think it was humbling to even our History, RE and other teachers (a few of whom it has to be said were a little doubting when we first arranged our Voices day). You really have made an enormous difference to our students in just one day; the play alone will stay with everyone for a very long time, so will Susan’s thoughts and reflections but with all the teaching and empowering our year 9s I really know that you’ve made a big difference at Shenley. THANK YOU! Can’t wait for you to come back."

Head of History Shenley Brook End School

"I do think I know more, but it’s more that I feel like I know better."

Student Milton Keynes

"Powerful, painful, moving, emotive, majestic, inspired. Beautiful storytelling, story making and story moulding. Stunning for our Drama students but really important for the knowledge it gave them."

Student Birmingham

"A complete inspiration. I’ve never had a teacher who knows so much or cares so much. And not just about Drama but about the other things that matter. Everyone matters to her. She’s just brilliant."

Student

"The work of this new theatre company is very important, and it fills a real need in making knowledge of the Holocaust known and understood through performance. The skills of Voices of the Holocaust means it carries out its educational mission; its company is talented and its leadership is wise."

Professor Robert Skloot Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin, Author and editor of ‘Theatre of the Holocaust

“Drama is an excellent tool to convey powerful messages, and by having Voices of the Holocaust come in and work with the pupils it has a much more powerful effect that couldn’t have been achieved by being delivered by one of the teachers. We recognise the importance of using theatre and drama to explore real-life events. By using verbatim theatre like ‘Kindness: A legacy of the Holocaust’, the students really feel the impact of the events; today was incredibly important and moving and will stay with our students forever.”

Alice Mitchel, Head of Creative Arts Kingsbury Green Academy

Book a performance for your institution

Kindness: A Legacy of the Holocaust

A high quality theatre production that provides a powerful starting point for Holocaust curriculum objectives as well as giving tremendous value to Drama departments who may already be using Mark Wheeller as a set text or need to complete theatre review coursework. Includes a post performance Q&A with Cate and the actors addressing any aspects of the play, Susan’s story, Holocaust history that the whole audience can benefit from.

Four main actors playing jews during the holocaust from a production premier by Voices of the Holocaust
© Karen Kodish

Are you our dream school?

Are you looking to work together across different departments to enrich the whole school impact of Holocaust education in your school? We would love to work with you to realise that vision!