Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2016  Vol. 15 No. 1

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back IRENE ZIEGLER  |  The Little Lion

Artistic Director’s Note
Tom Width

I am a very fortunate man in so many ways, not the least of which is the opportunity to work with so many talented artists and creative spirits. Never is that more evident than when I get to work from the ground up and stage a show that has never been done before. As Sondheim writes in Sunday in the Park with George: “White. A blank page or canvas. . . . So many possibilities.”

 Matt Hackman, John Mincks
 Photo by Robyn O’Neill

The canvas of The Little Lion began, sadly, with the tragic, unthinkable atrocities of the Holocaust, which in turn inspired Nancy Wright Beasley to dig deeply into the lives of certain Lithuanian families and tell their stories in her books, Izzy’s Fire: Finding Humanity in the Holocaust (Palari Publishing, 2008), and The Little Lion: A Hero in the Holocaust (Posie Press, 2015). We here at the Mill found these stories sufficiently compelling to commission Virginia playwright Irene Ziegler to adapt one of them to the stage, and the show is the result of this long and worthwhile journey.  bug

Tom Width began working at Swift Creek Mill Theatre as an actor in 1976. He has been with the theatre for forty years in various capacities as a director, set designer, and artistic director.

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