Smulowitz Productions empowers children to inspire children through experiences of classical and contemporary theater that elicit diologue around challening issues. Based in Newburyport, the company collaborates with over 100 local actors, directors, designers, writers, choreographers, musicians and stage technicians. Performers range in age from 9–13.
Upon arrival in Newburyport in 1979, Anna founded the Newburyport Children's Theatre, now known as Theatre in the Open. Over the past 33 years, she has worked with most of the city's local theater and dance companies.
Anna has acted in, directed or produced over 150 shows in Newburyport, and developed three major summer arts programs, each of which is currently active in the community. Anna now collaborates with former students and colleagues in developing and producing new plays at the Actor's Studio of Newburyport and the Firehouse Center for the Arts.
In 1994 Anna was given the Model People award by the Timberland Corporation for her work on the play Terezin, and in 1996, she received the Mayor's award for the Arts for the same show. This award-winning play was recently performed to rave reviews at the Edinburgh film festival and has been invited for a return performance in Germany. Smulowitz Productions brought Terezin: Children of the Holocaust to New York City, off-off-Broadway, in 2012.
This is the most empowering thing I’ve ever seen.
Terezin: Children of the Holocaust is one of the most powerful tools I have seen to eradicate hate.
The play is an important tool, not just for Jewish children, but for all children to learn about racism, social responsibility and individual choice.
If you’ve not seen this play, you have missed a very deep involvement of your heart . . . and soul.
What a brave production from Anna Smulowitz and her team. This was an assured, mature performance from a group of very young Americans. All were equally strong in a play that called for a depth of emotion that must be way out of their experience. Anna Smulowitz produced an imagined but all too real, individual, human side to the story, telling of the children’s courage beyond their years and also the depths to which they could succumb in order to survive.
The feedback I have received from the schools who saw one of the performances of the Terezin play has been overwhelmingly positive. Nearly 1500 students saw the play plus several hundred adults. There is nothing equivalent to live theater that involves a captive audience and spreads the many messages of this thought-provoking show. The power of the experience was verbalized by young and old, and the universal themes resonated with the viewers. The timing of the performances being shown the week following the election furthered enhanced the impact and made the themes even more timely and relevant. The cast interacting with the audience was very well-received, interesting, and engaging. The play is an experience many will remember for the rest of their lives.