Voices embodies the objective of ensuring the experiences of survivors and victims of the Holocaust are not lost in the post survivor era.
Voices was founded in 2012 and premiered for Holocaust Memorial Day in January 2013. Almost exactly one year later we were at the European Parliament in front of world leaders and televised on 8 national TV stations! We had humble beginnings of which we are proud. We had no funding, no ‘home’ base and no resources at the start, just a shared determination and vision which, through hard work, determination and the vision and talents of a collective of inspired creatives from Milton Keynes where we are still based to this day.
Cate Hollis, founder, was previously a Head of Drama and advisor for over 15 years before founding Voices of the Holocaust. She has a deep grounding in theatre and drama education as well as Holocaust, genocide and human rights history. She brings to each project a pedagogical foundation in subject areas from history, psychology to drama. Our principles of equality and diversity are embedded into all our practices in theatrical performance, workshops and the professional development work that we undertake at schools, theatres and community venues around the UK and beyond.
Founded with the objective to ensure that the voices of survivors and victims of the Holocaust would not be lost in the post survivor era and that, if the stories were told in the right way, that theatre could be the surrogate human voice to continue telling stories that needed to be told. 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, have run professional development sessions with Facing History International and have advised the Holocaust Educational Trust on their Drama resource pack.
We work with skilled and experienced practitioners including actors, directors, vocal and movement coaches, survivors and synagogues, Holocaust education organisations, poets and playwrights. Over the years Voices has made incredible friends and connections around the world. We are increasingly known and respected both for the calibre of our productions but also for our ethical and inclusive values and the philosophy behind our approach to educating and telling the stories from this most challenging period in human history.
Voices has performed at the European Parliament for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, has attended 10 Downing Street to discuss our work, has presented at numerous conferences – both national and international, live streamed internationally from JW3 for Yom HaShoah and received a standing ovation at an internationally streamed USA Jewish Theatre Foundation event. We have tremendous academic support and are delighted to work in partnership with some incredible organisations who are aligned with our principles and values. Most importantly the feedback we receive from schools and public events is incredibly special.
Young people will no longer have the opportunity to meet or hear directly from a Holocaust survivor as they have for the last several decades.