CCM premieres 'Hope After Hate' immersive play

Prof. Hagit Limor shares her father’s Holocaust ordeal in a new play, workshopped & recorded at CCM

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music premieres Hope After Hate, a story of struggle and survival during the Holocaust, originally broadcast at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 26. Watch the performance on CCM's website or YouTube channel.

Moniek Limor.

Moniek Limor.

The play is based on a manuscript written by Media Production Professor and Emmy Award-winning journalist Hagit Limor to share her father’s experience during the Holocaust with lessons to inspire action against hatred and bigotry today. Hope After Hate is presented in loving memory of her father, Moniek Limor (Nov. 1, 1930-Sept. 30, 2020). 

Moniek survived under the Nazi regime for five and a half years — from Germany’s invasion of his hometown in Czestochowa, Poland, on Sept. 3, 1939, to when American soldiers liberated the 14-year-old from the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 11, 1945.

Hope After Hate is an innovative, new kind of theatre — part play, part video and part virtual reality. Audiences will be transported into the attic where Moniek hid with his family as a child, into the Hasag-Pelcery labor camp where he was enslaved for more than a year as an adolescent, into the cattle-car train that transported him to Buchenwald when he was 14 and into the camp itself, where he was an inmate for four months. The project explores how people struggle to hold on to their humanity when surrounded by hate and fear.

In October 2019, Limor and 15 students traveled to Poland and Germany on a 10-day trip to retrace her father’s journey. They used 360-degree cameras and drones to capture photos and videos to use in the Hope After Hate project. These images and videos, along with historical photos and graphics, are used as projections to create the virtual set for the play.

The group of UC students and faculty who traveled to Poland and Germany in October 2019.

The group of UC students and faculty who traveled to Poland and Germany in October 2019.

CCM Acting Professor Susan Felder adapted Limor’s manuscript into the play, which was then workshopped and recorded in CCM's Cohen Family Studio Theater in fall 2020. CCM Lighting Design and Technology Professor Sharon Huizinga lead the creative team in designing the projections and Media Production Professor Donald Hancock lead the video team in recording and editing the play performance.

The cast features CCM Acting students, the creative team features CCM Theatre Design and Production students, and the play was recorded by Media Production faculty and students. Hope After Hate was staged without audiences during the fall workshop, with the cast and creative team wearing face masks and following COVID safety protocols. They hope to present the play to in-person audiences when theaters fully reopen.

Students perform and record the "Hope After Hate" play.

Students perform and record the "Hope After Hate" play.

The play is only one part of the "Hope After Hate" project: Limor created an Emmy Award-winning documentary for WCPO in June 2019, CCM Media Production students created "Hope After Hate: Making of a Documentary" that is available on YouTube and several students who participated in the study abroad trip created a podcast series about the experience called "Creating Hope After Hate" that is available on Spotify. Additionally, UC’s Center for Simulations and Virtual Environments Research (UCSIM) is building a virtual reality experience with the 360-degree photos and videos that students captured while on the trip. The virtual reality experience will be adopted by the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center and will be available to schools and other organizations for educational purposes.

Hope After Hate unites students, faculty and staff from across UC, including undergraduate and graduate students majoring in Media Production, Acting, International Affairs, Political Science, Geography and History. This collaborative project has been featured by the Cincinnati Business Courier, Fox 19, WLWT, WCPO and WVXU.

Hope After Hate is sponsored by the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center, and has received support from private donors, Cincinnati’s Jewish Innovation Fund, the CCM Harmony Fund and UC Forward.

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Streaming Premiere

7:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, June 26, 2021

Hope After Hate

Written by Susan Felder and Hagit Limor 
Directed by Susan Felder 
Executive Produced by Susan Felder, Hagit Limor, Sharon Huizinga and Don Hancock

  • Jake Weinheimer as Moniek
  • Kristina Steinmetz as Woman
  • Rachel Larson as Icek/Russian
  • Kevin Naddeo as Degenhardt/Jacob
  • Lydia Noll as Pole/Religious Man
  • Lydia Robison as Steiglitz/Lhit
  • Emma Heath, Production Stage Manager
  • Hannah Burford, Production Assistant
  • Xiyanna Kellogg, Video Producer
  • Liam Conway, Director of Photography
  • Sophia Smith, Lead Camera
  • Bella Bianchi, Camera
  • Tristan Boyd, Camera
  • Stirling Shelton, Technical Director
  • Sawyer Clifton, Assistant Technical Director
  • Chris Lipstreu, Lighting Designer
  • Bransen Black, Projection Designer/Screens Producer
  • Chystina Nowakowski, Master Electrician/Lighting Programmer
  • Vishal Sharma, Assistant Screens Producer
  • Tristan Allen, Lighting Assistant
  • Aiden Bezark, Projection Content Creator
  • Ian MacIntosh, Projection Content Creator
  • Zach Ivans, Sound Designer
  • Corbin White, Associate Sound Designer
  • Sean Haffey, Props Designer
  • Reba Senske, Costume Advisor
  • Bella Bianchi, Head Editor
  • Liam Conway, Assistant Head Editor
  • Tristan Allen, Editor
  • Kenidi Morris, Editor
  • Sophia Smith, Editor
  • Michael Benedic
  • Eric Dietrich
  • Hagit Limor
  • Susan Felder
  • Carlee Coulehan
  • Nicole Fishburn
  • Skylar Heizer
  • Jon Kilberg
  • Ed Kohls
  • Shawn Liming
  • Jason Obergefell
  • Kela Parker
  • Ethan Qureshi
  • Caleb Smiley
  • Michael Stanwick
  • Dillon Trafzer
  • Gianna Vitali
  • Madison White
  • Thomas Zins