The UCSB Department of Theater and Dance is presenting “Shanghai,” a Launch Pad preview production that follows the life of a young girl growing up in a crowded and battle-worn city.
The play will open at 7 p.m. May 19 on Zoom and run through May 23. It’s written by Linda Alper and directed by Sara Rademacher.
The free production can be viewed at www.theaterdance.ucsb.edu.
“Shanghai” follows Eva Broder, a Jewish refugee, as she journeys from adolescence to adulthood and discovers the ways her life is interwoven with her Chinese neighbors, as well as her own strength in the face of adversity.
The play has its roots in history. Between 1937 and 1947, when the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe and Australia refused entry to 20,000 Jewish refugees, the colorful and corrupt city of Shanghai opened its doors to them without visas. Eventually, the refugees were sequestered in a square mile of impoverished ghetto, which they shared with 10,000 other Chinese residents.
Ms. Alper said she hopes that after audiences watch the show, they will see how cultures can come together, despite their differences.
“It’s possible for two very different cultures, who are all under their own stresses and restrictions, to come together and live together and improve one another’s lives,” she said in a news release. “Differences can make us stronger.”
— Dave Mason