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The Blue Rose comes to Mt. St. Mary Academy

BY: Tiffany Monde, Tonawanda Source | November 15, 2012

KENMORE _ Mount St. Mary Academy will be hosting a stage adaptation of “The Blue Rose,” by Gerda Weissmann Klein at 7 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 27. Wissmann Klein will be doing a question and answer session after the conclusion of the show.

Klein is a holocaust survivor and author. Her biography, “All But My Life,” has received accolade from all over the world. In 1996 her experiences were the subject of an HBO special, “One Survivor Remembers,” it received an Oscar, a TV Emmy, and two Cable Ace Awards. In 2010 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barak Obama.

“The Blue Rose,” is a stage adaptation from her book by the same name. It will be performed by members of “Theater for Change.”

“It is the story of a young girl named Jenny who has mental disabilities and it’s meant to teach young people, as well as people in the community, about tolerance and acceptance,” said Julie R. Wojick, assistant principal for institutional advancement at Mount St. Mary Academy.

On Nov. 26 ,Middle school and high school students will attend a special performance of the show. Of these 700 students; some of them will be from Mount St. Mary holocaust elective class.

“My girls here at Mount St. Mary consider her to be a rock star; they have read “All But My Life” and “The Blue Rose.” I think what this woman has been through and the messages that she writes about are great for kids today,” said Wojick.

Elementary students from the area are being prepared for the show by Mount St. Mary students. Her students gave them copies of “The Blue Rose” to keep, have read the book with them, and discussed the themes of acceptance and tolerance. Wojick said it was written back in the 1970’s when there was not a whole lot of literature about people with disabilities. The book was reintroduced in 2008 and at that point the Blue Rose foundation decided more needed to be done and that’s when the stage adaptation was put together.

“I think the message of tolerance and acceptance is a universal message and the play does a beautiful job of showing that a person with disabilities is not unusual or strange but is unique and to be cherished, and to be looked at not as lacking something, but having something that maybe the rest of us don’t have,” said Wojick. Tickets are available at the door on Nov. 27 for $5 or at JCC Benderson Family Building or JCC Holland Family Building.

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