The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII

Published On 14 September, 2016 | Latest News

Re-imagined moments from the lives of women in WWII by Deirdre Kinahan, Fiona Bawn Thompson, Mary Moynihan and Paul Kennedy

14, 15, 16 September nightly 7.30pm


Women War and Peace International Symposium

Speakers include Senator Ivana Bacik Ireland and Dijana Milosevic, Belgrade Serbia

16 September, 9.30am to 5pm
Samuel Beckett Theatre, Trinity College Dublin

Sabina Coyne Higgins with actors




The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII

The performances are re-imagined moments from the lives of women in WWII, featuring the world premiere of Ode to Ettie Steinberg by internationally-acclaimed playwright Deirdre Kinahan and new Irish writing by Mary Moynihan, Fiona Bawn Thompson and Paul Kennedy recalling stories of bravery, sacrifice and love as powerful women stood up against Fascism and refused to accept oppression.

Women’s stories inspiring the performances include Ettie Steinberg (1914-1942) the only Irish-born Jewish woman known to have been murdered in Auschwitz; Mary Elmes (1908-2002), a Cork woman who was the first Irish person honoured as ‘Righteous Among Nations’ for her work saving Jewish children from the Nazi gas chambers during World War II; Martha Hillers from Germany who wrote her autobiography Eine Frau in Berlin (A Woman in Berlin) under the name ‘Anonyma’ (Anonymous), detailing her experiences of the last days of WWII as she and over one million other women were raped and abused by Allied soldiers of the Red Army; Maria Eugenia Jasinska from Łódz in Poland who worked for the resistance and gave up her own life rather than ‘name names’; and Dolores Ibarurri or La Pasionaria (1895-1989), from Spain, a revolutionary leader, political activist, Communist and crusader against Fascism during the Spanish Civil War and creator of the cry ‘They Shall Not Pass’.

Women, War and Peace International Symposium

Guest speakers, workshops, a film launch, reflection, discussion and debate at the Samuel Beckett Theatre, Trinity College, Dublin on Friday 16 September 2016 from 9.30am-5pm, bringing artists and the general public together to create a remembrance of women’s stories from World War II and exploring the power of the arts and the EU to promote peace and gender equality today.

We are delighted to have as a guest speaker Senator Ivana Bacik, LLB, LLM (Lond), BL, FTCD, the Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology at Trinity College Dublin, speaking. She is a qualified Barrister and a Senior Lecturer and Fellow of Trinity College Dublin (elected in 2005). Her grandfather Karel Bacik was in the Czech resistance and was imprisoned by the Nazis. After the war, he moved to Ireland with his young family, where they lived in Waterford. A special occasion at the symposium is the launch of a short film Tell Them Our Names directed by Mary Moynihan, scripted by Paul Kennedy, Fiona Bawn Thompson and Mary Moynihan from a devising process with the cast including Raymond Keane, Fiona Bawn Thompson, Romana Testacecca, Margaret Toomey and Ella Brady. A Youth Symposium also takes place on Thursday 15 September from 1-4pm for second-level schools and youth groups (invitation only).

Women War and Peace

These events are presented as part of Women, War and Peace, an innovative year-long transnational project with four European partners from Ireland, Spain, Germany and Poland. The project uses creative processes of theatre and film to explore the role of women in Europe from 1916 to World War II to the present and the power of the arts and the EU in promoting peace and gender equality today. The project is co-funded by the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Reconciliation Fund and the four European partners are:

  • Smashing Times Theatre Company, Ireland,
  • Institute de Formacion Y Estudios Sociales (IFES), Valencia, Spain,
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universitaet, Hannover, Germany,
  • University of Humanities and Economics in Lodz, Poland,

Smashing Times are delighted to welcome the Drama Department, School of Drama, Film and Music, at the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College as a partner for the Women War and Peace International Symposium and performance.

Admission Free Booking Essential as places limited
Bookings: + 353 (0) 865 6613



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