See 'Number the Stars' at Edison High School in Milan

Edison High School’s Spring play tells an often untold story of Denmark’s role in World War II.
Lori Demres
Apr 18, 2013

“Number the Stars,” being performed by Edison High School, is a play adapted from a popular young adult book. “It tells a piece of history not usually told,” said director Rex Stanforth. There was a Danish Underground dedicated to getting Jews out of Denmark before the Nazis began rounding them up into concentration camps.

Want to go?
: “Number the Stars”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, April 18-20
WHERE: Edison High School, 2603 State Rte. 113 East, Milan
COST: $6.00 adults; $5.00 seniors and students
INFO: 419-499-4652 ext. 1080

“There’s an assumption that a play about World War II will be depressing,” stated Stanforth, “but it isn’t.” This story unfolds through the central characters of two sisters, their best friend, and the Rosen and Johansen families.

It’s more of a thriller. What’s going to happen? Can they pull off getting the many Jews out of Denmark and safely to Sweden before the Nazis catch up to them? What happened to the Johansen’s third daughter? Stanforth says, “[it’s] very different from ‘The Diary of Anne Frank.’”

Although usually Stanforth encourages the students to choose a play depicting serious issues every couple of years, this time there was no arm twisting needed. Many of the kids saw some dramatic plays at a competition and became excited about performing a drama.

There is a cast of 20 with approximately another 30 students assisting with technical aspects. “Last year we had a very good experience bringing the elementary school to the high school to watch the production of ‘James and the Giant Peach,’” said Stanforth. This year they are going to expand and invite the middle school to “Number the Stars” as it is a book that most have read by that time.

Another idea is that they are going to use music written by some of the interned of the concentration camps to tie together the mood and melody. “Number the Stars” is about courage, faith and the successful effort that managed to keep more than 800 Jews out of the hands of the Nazis. There are some surprises and it appears that, perhaps, there might be a happy ending.