Staging History: Performance, Holocaust Testimony, & An Amazing Lesbian Life

Staging History

The OSU History Department is pleased to welcome an internationally known theater director and playwright to campus for an afternoon talk free and open to the public, as well as to the university community. Dr. Erika Hughes, a performance studies scholar and director of Holocaust theater, will be on the Stillwater campus on March 8th, to speak about her one-act play, The Amazing Life of Margot Heuman, which premiered in 2021 at Brighton’s Fringe Festival in the United Kingdom and has been seen around the world at venues including the Jewish Museum Vienna, the Wiener Holocaust Library (London), and the GLBT Historical Society and Museum (San Francisco). Co-authored by Dr. Hughes and Holocaust historian Dr. Anna Hájková, and directed by Dr. Hughes, the play tells the story of Holocaust survivor Margot Heuman.  

A respected scholar of the theater’s role in representing the Holocaust, specifically young people’s experience of those years, Dr. Hughes’ talk at OSU will focus on “Staging History: Performance, Holocaust Testimony, and an Amazing Lesbian Life,” and examine the survival and post-Holocaust personal history of Margot Heuman, a Jewish and lesbian survivor of Auschwitz who was 15 at the time of her family’s deportation from Germany to the Nazis’ concentration camps in eastern Europe.  

For OSU and the community, this is also an opportunity reflect upon lesser-known or marginalized stories of youths’ experience of the Holocaust, including the role that theater and film can play to expand public awareness. Dr. Hughes’ work also reflects upon the way to translate historical facts and memories to the stage.  The one-act play, The Amazing Life of Margot Heuman, is inspired by and recreates the series of oral history sessions that Ms. Heuman, who passed away last year at the age of 94, conducted with Dr. Anna Hájková, a Holocaust historian and lesbian scholar. It was during these oral history sessions that Heuman first spoke about herself as a lesbian survivor, making her the first Jewish Holocaust survivor to bear such testimony from this perspective.  

“Staging History: Performance, Holocaust Testimony, and an Amazing Lesbian Life,” will take place on Wednesday March 8, 2023, at 3:30pm at OSU-Stillwater in the Social Sciences and Humanities Building—first floor “Parlor Room”—at the corner of University and Monroe. The talk is free and open to the public, with sponsorship coming from the Fae Rawdon Norris Foundation for the Humanities, the OSU Department of History, Program in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies, and the Friends of the Forms. 

For more information, please contact Dr. Holly Karibo, OSU Department of History, at 


Dr. Sarah Griswold

Assistant Professor | Department of History

Oklahoma State University