NorShor Theatre’s latest production is helping local students learn about the Holocaust

NorShor Theatre’s latest production is helping local students learn about the Holocaust
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 6:12 PM CDT|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 12:45 AM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - -- A new production is helping some Northland students learn about one of the most difficult times in world history, the Holocaust.

Teaching middle school students is not a job for everyone, but for Angela Pioro it’s a perfect fit.

“I’ve only taught middle school. People will think I’m nuts, but they are the best because they’re still figuring out life,” said Angela Pioro, an eighth-grade English teacher at Ordean East Middle School.

This spring her students are reading true stories, pairing History and English classes.

“They learn in global studies about the Holocaust and World War II, and from that, it’s a great transition into the eighth-grade reading of Anne Frank,” said Pioro.

Most recently, her class read the play version of Anne Frank’s Diary.

Pioro wanted her students to experience Frank’s powerful words, so she helped arrange for 300 middle schoolers to take a trip to the theatre.

At NorShor Theatre hundreds of students are getting a better understanding of the world they’ve been reading about by seeing it onstage.

“The Diary of Anne Frank” is playing at the NorShor Theatre for most of May.

In addition to public performances, NorShor and the Duluth Playhouse also offered special daytime performances for students.

Anika Thompson directed the production.

According to Thompson, student matinees are vitally important for young people, and the next generation.

“This might be their first introduction to the Holocaust and to the stories that came out of it,” said Thompson.

Part of that next generation is Ordean East student Lydia Eaton.

“Last week, we got to see that play in person,” said Eaton.

According to Eaton, hearing the words Anne Frank wrote so long ago helped teach her both history and the power of writing.

“It’s great that they wrote that down so that we can learn from it. We get a glimpse into history in a way we wouldn’t just from like, textbooks,” said Eaton.

According to Pioro, that’s one reason why, after teaching about Anne Frank, her next lesson is memoir writing.

“Some students don’t like to talk. So in the writing, it really comes out,” said Pioro.

Continuing a legacy of writing, inspired by a diary of a young girl.

NorShor’s production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” is running through Sunday, May 22.

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