A new play rocked in Esperanto!

A new play was debuted during the 107th Universal Congress in Montreal, in the main theatre of the Congress, the historical Cinéma Impérial. The author Yevgeniya (Ĵenja) Amis “brings back” Mr. Mann from the past to talk about the International Esperanto Congress of 1910 in Washington – a Congress attended by L.L. Zamenhof (the creator of Esperanto).

It was his only trip outside Europe. Mr. Mann is a guest speaker from the Britain in Montreal. The story is based on Mr. Mann’s invaluable writings and his impressions of the United States and Canada.

The audience learns about the journey from Europe to America aboard a ship; thanks to Mr. Mann, we “visit” America and learn about the impressions of the International Congress (two American presidents sent their greetings and the highest state officials received the delegates). There are several funny details (for example, that the waiters on the ships not only served the guests during the day, but even played music for the passengers at night!).

After the trip to New York and Washington, L.L. Zamenhof  visited Montreal, where many of Zamenhof’s relatives lived at that time. There are quite a few  anecdotes, including about going through customs in New York (little has changed) and getting lost in the city. The two timelines of the play remind us about the parallels between the two pandemics (that of the 20th century: the Spanish flu, and the current one), as well as the wars.

The play includes many interactive elements, the projection of historical images as well as live music, which helps a lot with the storytelling. One of the pieces of music is a “re-premiere” of the first song in Esperanto published in America – lost for more than a hundred years and rediscovered in the archives of EANA (Esperanto Association for North America).

The play was a huge success, with a full house and a standing ovation. At the end of the presentation, the author was named an honorary member of the Canadian Esperanto Association for her outstanding work. The play was filmed and will be available on the Exploring Esperanto channel. It will also appear in book form, together with the historical research on the Lost Zamenhofs of Montreal.

Actors: Garry Evans, Alena Adler. Director: Alena Adler. Author + producer: Yevgeniya Amis. Musicians: Piano: Étienne (Stefano) Laflamme; Soprano: Kristina Miroshkina.