Four Janka Performances a Huge Success in Preparation for Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Janice Noga stars in the Oscar Speace play about Holocaust survival and family

(Fresno, CA) August 1, 2006 – The California summer heat wave couldn’t stop the show. The audience experienced a sampling of what it was like to be a survivor of another hot summer in 1944 in Auschwitz, Poland.

During the hottest two week period ever recorded in Fresno, Janka played to four sold out performances at 2nd Space Theatre on July 18-19 and 25-26. The Fresno audience came to support playwright Oscar Speace and actress Janice Noga in their preparation to bring the story of Janka to the 60th Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Janka is the story of Janka Festinger, a Holocaust survivor who near the end of her life in 1994, struggles to tell her son Oscar Speace about the Nazi concentration camps. Janka is portrayed by Janice Noga. Noga is Janka’s real life daughter-in-law.

Fresno Bee theatre critic Donald Monro said, “Janka is a powerful one-woman show…there’s an ambivalence there, a feeling that she (Janka) should tell her children about her past while she’s still alive, that Noga captures with astute, tender strokes. Janka has an important message and people deserve to hear it again and again.”

“I feel Janka and Janice are somehow linked,” says Speace. “Not only through marriage, but also through a keen human trait of being survivors. The year my mother died Janice underwent brain surgery and nearly lost her life.”

“To say Janka was wonderful does not capture the full effect it had on me and my wife,” said Sam Franklin of Fresno. “I have the feeling this play will remain with us for the rest of our lives.”

Janka makes its European premier at the Parish of St Cuthbert Lindisfarne Room, 5 Lothian Road, Edinburgh on Monday, August 14, 2006 at 19:00. Show dates are August 14-18 and August 20-26, 2006. Performance time for all shows is 19:00. Ticket prices: Adults £8.50, Students £6, Family £20. Call the Festival Fringe box office for tickets at 0131.226.0000.

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