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Janet Langhart Cohen

Janet Langhart Cohen, former Chicagoan, Emmy-award nominated American journalist, (who got her start in television as the first Black “weathergirl”) and civil rights activist, in association with the DuSable Museum of African American History is bringing to Amsterdam her thought-provoking and timely play, ANNE & EMMETT which has been performed in Chicago, the home of Emmett Till and will now be performed in Anne Frank’s last home prior to being shipped off to Bergen Belsen. Performances, performed in English and starring the original U.S. cast, are scheduled for Friday, and Saturday, May 18th and May 19th at the DeLaMar Theater which is located at Marnixstraat 402, 1017 PL, Amsterdam. The one-act play is an imaginary conversation between Anne Frank and Emmett Till, both victims of racial and religious intolerance and hatred.

Imagine: Anne Frank and Emmett Till meeting in a place called Memory. What might they say to each other? Would they have anything in common to share and what would the lessons of that meeting be?

Janet Langhart Cohen’s Anne & Emmett is beautifully acted, absolutely breathtaking and a forceful work of art. It’s a play suitable for the entire family, especially in this day and age of violence erupting throughout the country.

“The ghost of Emmett Till lives on in cases like the shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Freddie Gray, Amadou Diallo, Rekia Boyd, Oscar Grant III, Manuel Loggins, Jr., Ronald Madison, Sean Bell, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Michael Brown—-Black people across America are killed over the years at the hands of those who have pledged to ‘protect and serve’,” said Cohen who, as wife  of former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen was known as the “First Lady of the Pentagon” for her active role in supporting the military and their families while her husband was in office. “This isn’t about a restoration of justice in America, as there has never been a balance in our criminal justice system, it’s about the absence of justice. While Anne and Emmett may be a part of our past, their stories are just as relevant today as ever.”

Anne is the 15-year old Jewish girl whose diary offered the world a gripping perspective of the Holocaust touching the hearts of humanity. Emmett is the 14-year old African American boy whose brutal murder in Mississippi sparked the modern Civil Rights Movement. An uplifting tribute and timely reminder ANNE & EMMETT is a call to action to “tikkun olam” (repair the world). Appropriate for all ages, this play is a powerful tribute to two teenagers who changed the course of history.

The Amsterdam presentation of Janet Langhart Cohen’s ANNE & EMMETT is made possible by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, in association with The Jewish Cultural Quarter, the Jewish Historical Museum of Amsterdam, the DeLaMar Theater, Anne & Emmett LLC,  MetroStage, the DuSable Museum of African American History, and United Airlines, the Official Airline of the DuSable Museum..

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