Stories from My Mother

The play is about the transmission of traumatic experience from one generation to the next, in particular, the experience of the Holocaust. The main character, Peta, begins the play by stating that he had to lie because he was afraid to ask his mother for the facts. The puppets consist of 7 to 8 foot figures of family relatives as well as imagined characters- a parachutist the father saw disemboweled in a tree when he was a child, the mother and her brother as children while hiding in the Budapest ghetto (these are smaller wooden marionettes), a carved limestone jointed “doll” of the mother as a child in hiding, lying on a stone box with scenes of the war carved in high relief on each side. In addition, a scaffolding measuring 4 st x 18 ft, 7 feet high, and a ladder leading up to it were constructed for the screen in which the parachutist enters after having fallen from the sky and landed in a tree. The action of his fall and death is acted out with shadow puppets.Ā  There are five monumental puppets in all, and four smaller marionettes, one of which is of Raul Wallenberg, who drives into the scene in his car and saves the grandmother from deportation.