Title: Artistic Director
Company: The Terezin Project
Location: Amesbury, Massachusetts, United States
Anna Smulowitz Schutz, artistic director of the Terezin Project, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Artists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in theater arts and activism.
Since 1971, Ms. Smulowitz Schutz has dedicated herself to the Terezin Project, an artistic and humanitarian project presenting her original play; “Terezin: Children of the Holocaust.” A theater artist and spiritual minister with a lifelong calling to use the power of drama to communicate the critical consequences of failing to speak out against hate, she began writing “Terezin” in the late 1960s after visiting a display of original documents by children incarcerated in World War II-era Nazi death camps. Moved by this experience, as well as her own family history as the child of Holocaust survivors, Ms. Smulowitz Schutz crafted “Terezin” as a fictionalized account of one day in the lives of six children held at Camp Theresienstadt in the Nazi-occupied Czech Republic.
For more than 50 years, Ms. Smulowitz Schutz has served as the artistic director for the Terezin Project, which has staged hundreds of productions at schools, churches and theaters across the United States, in Cuba, and internationally. In early 2021, “Terezin: Children of the Holocaust” was adapted into a feature film with the help of a veteran cast member and actors from Northeastern University as a response to the ongoing public health concerns regarding live theater.
In addition to her work with the Terezin Project, Ms. Smulowitz Schutz is the founder of the Newburyport Children’s Theatre and N/K/A Theatre in the Open, through which she has produced, directed, or appeared in nearly 200 shows. As a strong believer in theater as a tool to unlock expressive potential and facilitate community dialogue, she has developed three long-running summer arts programs serving the Newburyport area. In honor of her efforts, Ms. Smulowitz Schutz has received a variety of accolades, including the 2008 North Shore Anti-Defamation League Leadership Award, the Newburyport’s Mayor’s Art Award and a 1994 Model People Award from the Timberland Corporation.
Ms. Smulowitz Schutz is a frequent speaker on topics related to humanism and social justice. To wit, she was selected as a presenter at the 2020 “Global Citizens Circle Inhabiting Hope: Artivism, Our Universal Language” event and has appeared in conversation opposite a former member of the Nazi Party on an episode of “Dateline.” She attributes her success to her personal connection to the history of the Holocaust and her determination to eradicate hate and oppression, and she is currently pursuing a wider distribution and exhibition of the film version of “Terezin.” Ms. Smulowitz Schutz holds a Master’s degree from Brandeis University.
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