Ends Jul 02


Members say: Disappointing, Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Excruciating
8 reviews
24 reviews

The Steinberg Theater Group presents the world premiere of this Holocaust drama about a young Jewish girl forced to make a terrifying choice.

... Read more

Loosely inspired by "The Terezin Diary of Gonda Redlich," this play tells the story of two Jewish girls–Alexi, a brilliant violin player, and her friend Violet–locked in a desperate struggle for survival at Terezin. After Violet mysteriously disappears, Alexi’s only hope to find her is with the help of a Nazi commander. He offers her a Faustian bargain: Teach him to play the violin and he will reveal Violet's whereabouts.


Cast & Creatives (23)

Reviews (32)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

The Huffington Post

"Bad commemorative art...The two-act play is a collection of hollow histrionics...Tolkien doesn’t fulfill his obvious good intentions, his shortfall not needing lengthy description here...Tolkien directed, once again proving that very few playwrights are adept at directing their own works...It’s often said that the Holocaust is impossible to dramatize. 'Terezin' will give no one the opportunity to argue otherwise." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“A shawl is used to simulate playing the violin while we hear the accompanying music. That is one of the most successful touches. But other examples of the approach are strained…Such surrealism is intrusive and unconvincing, even muddling…The ensemble cast excels in getting into the overall mood of the play…However, as sincere as this effort...is, the style of the production sometimes impedes evoking emotions connected to what we see, even though the horrors are forcefully referenced.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“What makes Tolkien’s production a mesmerizing work is in how its characters rise above the brutality and sadistic mania of their captors...The ensemble’s work together is just terrific. The themes of Terezin are outstanding…Additional elements that make this production memorable are the stylized and symbolic effects…These directorial nuances and choices by the artistic team elevate this work to a fine artistic symmetry and create a poetic dramatic design.” Full Review


"It certainly can be said that Tolkien does not trivialize the Holocaust...However, the thickness of the narrative–blurred further at times by directorial flourishes–does dilute the visceral impact of the depicted terrors of Terezin. Also, there is an uneven quality to some of the portrayals in the 14-person cast...Despite its imperfections, it demonstrates enough passion and talent that would have hopefully made both Nicholas’s Roman Catholic great-grandfather and Redlich proud." Full Review

The Modernist Beat

“Tolkien bites off more than he can chew...Too much time is given over to the family dysfunction of the commandant and his son, which plays more like soap opera than tragedy. The dialogue varies between anachronistic and ham-fisted…All of these issues stem from the core problem of attempting to cram in too much material so that shorthand, indication, and stereotypes are needed to move us from Point A to Point B. There is, however, a good play lying here, waiting to be born." Full Review

The Culture Mom

“The play is based very much based on reality…As expected, the end is not a happy one, though the playwright brought a butterfly into the moment perhaps to shed light and create hope just as the original poem tried so hard to do. Tolkien incorporates music and dance in the play, and the actors are all passionate and expressive…The set, costumes and lighting are bare and stripped down to tell this haunting, true story.” Full Review


"The tragic story of the people at Terezin is certainly a worthwhile subject, and Tolkien's play has merit. However, it needs further development. The staging is somewhat stylized, which only distanced me from creating an emotional connection with the characters...Least effective is the use of actors playing ghosts at various times throughout the play...For the most part, the actors do a good job with the material given and with their difficult accents." Full Review

Stage Buddy

“'Terezin' is a call to remember. I appreciate a work of art that insists we fulfill an ethical responsibility, though the performance unsurprisingly is difficult and heavy…The play is clearly meant to be brutal…Tolkien’s writing finds its full expression in the monologues, which contain an unexpected gravity and poetic imagery. They are performed deftly and with professional commitment by the large cast…The choreography is sparing but clear, at times evocative and consistently impassioned.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Disappointing, Cliched, Slow, Heavy-handed, Clever choreography

See it if You like plays set against historic events. You want to see the Tolkien play. You know someone involved in the production.

Don't see it if You want a Holocaust play w/something new to say. You want multi-dimensional characters, good storytelling & acting skills.

Also Don't be fooled by the theatre or the playwright's name. This is a non... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Intense, Disappointing

See it if You have a desire to see any and all productions about the holocaust; want to hear a lesser known story

Don't see it if You want a tight plot, compelling writing, or strong direction; however, the actors are committed to this very flawed play

Dizzying, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if you know someone in the show or working for the show

Don't see it if You have the option to watch anything else

Ambitious, Dizzying, Intense, Tragic, Heavy-handed

See it if You want to see a unique story played-out. The production was a bit experimental, if that's something you like. The writing was scattered.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy tragedy.

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Profound, Riveting

See it if You want to experience what life was like in a concentration camp. Acting, staging and set design were stupendous. Tearful, heart-wrenching

Don't see it if If you want to smile and laugh. You don't like painful topics or stories about the 3rd Reich

Also It is a tough show to see yet worth the sadness you endure to see it. ... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Resonant, Confusing, Great staging

See it if you are interested in a theatrical recount of generally real events at a lesser known Holocaust concentration camp, profound poetry/ insight

Don't see it if you demand perfection in plot and play structure, tight writing, dramatic tension, stark/shocking realism & no anachronisms/tired metaphors

Bleak, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relentless

See it if Bravo to a cast that is fully on-board to a relentlessly bleak play from start to finish; choreo has occasional moments approaching beauty

Don't see it if Difficult to endure; so dark as if reality of Terezin history couldn't allow for any redemption

Ambitious, Banal, Disappointing, Clunky, Grim

See it if J.R.R. Tolkein's magnetism is so powerful for you that you'd even attend a deeply flawed drama by his great-grandson.

Don't see it if you've ever seen Jerzy Grotowski or read Elie Wiesel or heard Felix Mendelssohn. There are plenty of other options on this same block.

Edgy, Thought-provoking, Profound, Great staging, Tragic

See it if Just see it if you have any interest in the tragedy that befell millions of people while the rest of the world did nothing until the end.

Don't see it if If you want a big Broadway production. I like those but this is much deeper and poetic. Also if you want your theatre perfectly manufactured

Also Wow! I was really moved by this play tonight. There were some truly hu... Read more Read less

Dizzying, Disappointing, Slow, Bad writing, Bad acting

See it if You have a friend you want to support in the show

Don't see it if You don't have a reason to see it

Edgy, Great acting, Intense

See it if you are of the 21st Century and can appreciate the approach to the subject matter.

Don't see it if you are traditional

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Unusual, Surprising, Educational

See it if You want to learn something new about the Holocaust. You want a glimpse of what actual fascism is. Not the media version tossed around today

Don't see it if You get rattled by physical violence on stage.

Also This play really made me stop and think about how lucky we are here in... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Banal, Excruciating

See it if You have a friend in the cast.

Don't see it if You want something complex. You don't have patience to sit through bad acting and bad scenes for a few interesting stage moments.

During previews
Disappointing, Shallow, Amateurish, Stereotypical, Inept

See it if you want to learn some details about the holocaust you might not have known.

Don't see it if you want to experience fine acting, in-debth treatment of characterizations and a "polished" production.

During previews
Disappointing, Excruciating, Poor direction

See it if You know one of the cast, you have absolutely nothing else to do. I believe most of the performers were good, but poorly directed.

Don't see it if There have been numerous plays about Terezin in recent years, all far superior to this. Story unclear if you do not know the history.

Also After an interminable first act, we fled at intermission. We did not h... Read more Read less

During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you enjoy a drama about a Nazi camp made to fool the Red Cross. The acting and the staging are great. Very moving and powerful play.

Don't see it if don't believe in the Holocaust. This play is a must see for Jews but even more of a must see for non-Jews. You will feel for the characters.

Also I hope this play will continue developing and go to a larger stage. Th... Read more Read less

During previews
Absorbing, Intelligent, Intense

See it if you want to see a realistic dramatic depiction of horrors towards humanity through the Holocaust.

Don't see it if If you get upset with cruelty and violence.

During previews
Disappointing, Excruciating, Cliched, Insipid, Slow

See it if you want to learn a bit of history about the Terezin Camp.

Don't see it if you expect good acting, or expect a story about a girl and her violin.

Also I generally like to learn about the Holocaust through film or plays. T... Read more Read less

During previews
Sad, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant, Great writing

See it if You like an unusual, unique, artistic, take on on a subject that never seems to be handled to everyone's satisfaction.

Don't see it if You are coming to this subject with pre-conceived notions of how it should be conveyed. Just sit back and give this story a chance.

Also I was really bowled over by the acting in almost every case. The cast ... Read more Read less

During previews
Great acting, Intense, Relevant

See it if You and want to see a moving drama about the Holocaust with great acting performances especially the lead actress who plays the violin.

Don't see it if you find realistic violence hard to bare.

During previews
Great acting, Intense, Must see, Riveting, Great staging

See it if You want to see a superb ensemble cast act with heart in this incredibly well-written play to tell this tragic, intense & uplifting tale

Don't see it if Intense stories are not your thing. Terezin is definitely not light and fluffy.

During previews
Great acting, Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You're interested in learning about a lesser-known story from the Holocaust.

Don't see it if You're a fan of consistent tone or characterization.

Also Overly long play that feels like it wants to be a film. Melodrama with... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Intense, Profound, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You are interested in the holocaust, the transformative nature of music and the power of friendship in an uncertain and heartbreaking world.

Don't see it if I think it should be seen as we should never forget the millions of lives lost. Supporting art is more important than ever!

During previews
Intelligent, Masterful, Must see, Relevant, Riveting

See it if Terezin is truly a meaningful and important story about the Holocaust. Incredible acting, directing and writing.

Don't see it if For a mature audience.