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A theater show with circus acts telling the true story of a Jewish female acrobat who hid at a German Circus throughout World War II.
A theater show with circus acts telling the true story of a Jewish female acrobat who hid at a German Circus throughout World War II.
191 backers pledged $10,312 to help bring this project to life.

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$10,312

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STRECH GOAL ----------> $10,000

You guys rock! Thanks to you we reached our original goal, so we got the bare bones covered. However, I set the funding goal low to make sure we get it (Kickstarter is all or nothing!), and now that we did I'm trying to aim for a sum that's closer to the actual expenses... There's more to be done (See detailed budget below). Please pitch in! And spread the word to others!

"Run Away, Join the Circus" is a solo performance based on the true story of Irene Danner-Storm, a Jewish acrobat who survived the holocaust by hiding at the Althoff Circus. Irene and her family were embraced by Adolf Althoff and his wife, Maria, and passed the war performing at their circus, running to hide whenever the Nazis came for inspections.

Irene at the Althoff Circus
Irene at the Althoff Circus

The story of Irene and her rescuers is one full of hope, love and compassion. Through hardships and dangers, the Althoffs stood by Irene and her family because "circus sticks together", and this play comes to show what happens when those unaffected by dangerous laws choose to take a stand and do everything in their power to be on the right side of history.

Irene's parents (right) at the company of the Althoff performers
Irene's parents (right) at the company of the Althoff performers

Stav Meishar, the mind and heart behind this project, is an award-winning Jewish educator, a circus acrobat and stage performer. She was set on moving to Australia for a year for circus residency to develop her circus skills and mount this play.

Sadly, 4 days before her flight, Stav was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Stav performing on the silks, with her plush cancer in her hand
Stav performing on the silks, with her plush cancer in her hand

Trip cancelled, plans halted, she is staying home in NYC and choosing to do the play here, in whatever capacity, while battling her illness.

The play will receive a staged reading at the 14th Street Y, one of NYC's leading venues for Jewish Arts and Education, on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day - Sunday April 23rd at 5:00pm.

There will be a full-scale production of this play sometime in 2017-2018. The when and where depends mostly on Stav's health, so unfortunately at this moment details are TBD.

This project is Stav's most important work to date. She has been researching and developing it for 3 years, and her vision of having a traveling show that can educate youth about this chapter in Jewish History as well as entertain adult audiences in prestigious festivals is a vision she cannot achieve alone. Especially not in her current condition.

If you believe in the transformative power of art, and in the important role in plays in society's journey to become better, please pledge to this project.

Full budget for production, including projected expenses, can be found here.

Risks and challenges

Stav:
The biggest risk... Death from Cancer, I guess?
Cause if I'm not dead, this play WILL get produced.
Seriously, though, the biggest challenge right now is my health. Other than that, rest assured that this show will go on.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Postcard

    A HIGH-RES digital postcard of the show's artwork, designed by Terry Landau.

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    Scene from the Play

    Original Text: A randomly-selected scene from the play, accompanied by photos of the real people this show is based on. Digitally delivered.

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    13 backers
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Book of Recipes

    Blast from the Past: A digital book of recipes, brought to you by Mallory, a baker, the protagonist of the last play I wrote. The book includes all the delicacies that starred in the play (Apple Pie! Chocolate Truffles! Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!) plus a few more (minimun of 7 recipes), and will be accompanied by Katelan Foisy's beautiful artwork.

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    Book of Poems

    First digital copies of Stav's poetry book, in both English and Hebrew.

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    16 backers
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Seat at the Reading

    The 14th Street Y in NYC is hosting our staged reading as part of their Holocaust Memorial Day events on either April 23rd or 24th (TBD). This donation will save you a seat at the reading.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Ukulele Song

    Choose a song. I'll play and sing it on my ukulele and send you a video serenade to enjoy.

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    13 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    One Seat + A Digital Book

    Choose the poetry book or recipes book, plus ONE reserved seats at our staged reading.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    TWO Seats at the Reading

    The 14th Street Y in NYC is hosting our staged reading as part of their Holocaust Memorial Day events on either April 23rd or 24th (TBD). This donation will save you TWO seats at the reading.

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    Limited 8 backers
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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    A storyboard

    Terry Landau, the wonderful artist who designed the show's logo, will illustrate one of the play's scenes for you in full color. Delivered digitally in full-size, high-resolution.

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    Ukulele Song + Book of choice + Postcard

    A ukulele cover song of your choice + digital book (recipes OR poems) + digital postcard of the show's artwork

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    1 backer
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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    One Seat + Ukulele song + Postcard

    BUNDLE! One saved seat at our reading on April 23rd + a ukulele cover of your choice + digital postcard of the show's artwork

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    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    TWO Seats + A Digital Book

    Choose the poetry book or recipes book, plus TWO seats at our staged reading.

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    Limited 6 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Private Lesson

    A 45-min private lesson for you or a person of your choosing in any of the following: Hebrew, Jewish Studies, Juggling, Ukulele, partner acrobatics. To be delivered in NYC or via Skype.

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    5 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    One Seat + Ukulele song + Postcard

    BUNDLE! One saved seat at our reading on April 23rd + a ukulele cover of your choice + digital postcard of the show's artwork

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    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Two seats + a private lesson

    BUNDLE: Two seats at the reading + 45-min private lesson for you or a person of your choosing in any of the following: Hebrew, Jewish Studies, Juggling, Ukulele, partner acrobatics. To be delivered in NYC or via Skype. Plus digital postcard too!

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    Limited 1 backer
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Producer Credit

    You are our Executive Producer and will be credited as such in our program! Additionally, you will be invited to a PRIVATE DINNER with the playwright in NYC and you will receive a one-of-a-kind poster of the show's artwork (plus all the rewards above)

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    YOUR CHOICE

    Is there something you'd like and isn't listed here? Shoot me a message, and if I think it's a good idea I'll add it to the rewards (not for 10K, I promise!)

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Funding period

- (36 days)