Friends Academy presents
We Didn’t Have Time to be Scared
“Awesome and unforgettable.”
“It is about family, community, life and joy in the midst of travail and tragedy.”
“It is so personal and inspiring. The play and music are truly impressive.”
(Parent and faculty responses to last year's production at Friends Academy)
This summer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!
Based on the pages of a young girl's diary, We Didn't Have Time to be Scared is the true story of 11-year-old Inge Fischer and her family, as they flee Nazi-occupied Austria. This original musical, written by Friends Academy faculty Andrew Geha, will be performed by twenty-two students and alumni from ages 13 to 22 in this year's Fringe Festival at Edinburgh's Quaker Meeting House.
A year after starting her diary, Inge and her younger sister Lucy have the familiarity and safety of their world turned upside down as their hometown of Vienna yields to Nazi Germany. From a boarding school in England to an internment camp in Trinidad, the story follows the two girls, as they grow up searching for a new place to call home.
Lisa Waldstein, Friends Academy faculty and daughter of Lucy, originally shared her aunt's diary with colleagues Tracey Foster and Andrew Geha. "We read the translation and started brainstorming the possibilities," said Geha. "The diary entries ranged from amazing descriptions of very intense moments to entries about the normal day-to-day of an 11-year-old." added Geha. As Geha poured through the diary, gradually the backbone of the story emerged.
While some events and dialogue are fictionalized, all are based on true stories or descriptions of the people in Inge and Lucy's lives. "Almost every scene is based off an entry or moment referenced in the diary," said Geha. "I also drew a lot of inspiration and ideas from my interview with Inge and Lucy – both from what they said and from their interaction with each other."
Art will come face to face with reality as the real-life Lucy will also be in attendance at the performances. “It will absolutely make the story and the era come to life for the performers and the audience,” said Geha. "One of the most powerful aspects of this experience for all of us is that this is an everyday story, which so many families can connect to in one way or another. It reminds us of how extraordinary all of our journeys are," he added.
Friends Academy is a Quaker, coeducational, independent, college-preparatory school for students age three through twelfth grade founded in 1876. The arts programs at Friends work to develop each student as an individual, using co-curricular productions as a means of furthering the conversations about the world our students inhabit.