In preparation for “Letters to Sala”


Emma Fotovich

Hannah Tymosko as Young Sala trying to communicate to her family through letters.

Emma Fotovich, Journalism 1 Student

“Letters to Sala”, the fall main stage show, features heartbreak, separation, mother-daughter arguments, happiness, joy, and of course hope. “Letters to Sala” follows two different story lines; the story of young Sala and her life as a Jew during the Holocaust, and the story of Sala’s daughter and grandchildren.

Young Sala, portrayed by senior Hannah Tymosko, is sent to work at a labor camp and throughout her life she is able to hide and keep the letters her family and friends have sent her because she treasures the letters she receives.

Later in her life, Old Sala, portrayed by senior Amanda Miller gives the letters to her daughter, Anne, portrayed by senior Erica Christie with the intent of passing on the letters. Anne and her daughters Caroline, portrayed by junior Lauren Browning, and Elizabeth portrayed by junior Paige Boomer are torn with what to do with the letters. Anne wants to donate them so the story can live on, while Caroline and Elizabeth want to keep the letters as a family heirloom. This becomes a conflict throughout the story.

These important themes that recur throughout the show is one of the many reasons Hannah Tymosko enjoys the show.

Junior Sam Kalmus studies his lines in preparation for the show.
Junior Sam Kalmus studies his lines in preparation for the show. Photo by Emma Fotovich

What aspects are you enjoying about the show?

It is definitely stressful because Schmidt is having to direct two completely different shows at the moment, but its been really fun because its been a totally new experience. I’ve never done a fall main stage show before so I’m super excited.

Have you been in plays before?

Yes, last year I was in the spring show and the musical, but Letters to Sala is my first main stage play.

Oh that’s cool. Ok, going back to Letters to Sala, what are some characteristics you and your character, Young Sala, share?

Oh that is a hard question. Well, young Sala is pretty bold in her home life, and I am kind of the loud one in my family. I’m not the most organized and it seems like Young Sala is the same. Sala seems like a misfit in her family, I have two brothers so we are similar in that aspect. In the labor camps, Young Sala is always in need of a mentor, and looks up to that person. I like having someone to look up to and guide me, and in the camps Young Sala feels like that as well.

Of the many stories on the Holocaust, what makes Sala’s story so important and unique to tell?

I think the story of Sala is very similar of anyone else’s story of life in a labor camp, but what makes Sala’s story unique is what happens in the future. The story also includes Sala’s future. Sala gives her daughter Anne the letters, and then Anne and her daughters Elizabeth and Caroline have an argument over what they should do with the letters. When they found those letters it creates the play. The turmoil of whether they should give the letters away or keep them as a family treasure is what makes the story so important.

Do you think the characters Anne, Caroline, and Elizabeth should keep the letters or donate them?

There is so much information of the Holocaust, but each story is completely different. Everyone in the camps had families and stories of their own that needed to be told. I definitely think they should donate the letters so the story is told and stays timeless.

Hannah Tymosko will be performing along with the rest of the cast of “Letters to Sala” on Nov. 13, 14, and 15.