Jayne Stevens Directs Kindertransport

Kindertransport final dress rehearsal. Photo by Dean Bechard

Kindertransport is a play written by Diane Samuels that tells the story of the evacuation of Jewish children from Germany to England during World War II. The play focuses on the experiences of Evelyn, a young Jewish girl who is sent to England by her parents to escape the Nazi regime. The play explores themes of identity, family, and the impact of war on children. It has been performed in theaters around the world and is considered a powerful and moving portrayal of the Kindertransport program.

Clackamas Community College has the honor of hosting Jayne Stevens’ adaptation of the matinee play with shows at noon and 2:30 p.m. every weekend from May 24 through June 4 at the Clackamas Repertory Theatre. 

Education surrounding the Holocaust has always been a sensitive topic to discuss, no matter the time era. Stevens feels that the school curriculum skims over the important details that happened to the people surviving the Holocaust and wants to point out the difficult decisions that had to be made during that time. 

“We have kids from local middle and high school students that are learning about the Holocaust and World War II coming to watch the play,” she said. “Our actors and the crew are deeply honored to have the privilege of showing and making those connections to their studies.” 

In Stevens’ adaptation, we encounter the tale of young Eva, a 9-year-old girl of German Jewish descent. With the onset of World War II looming, her parents make the difficult decision to send her away on the Kindertransport, seeking refuge with a foster family in Britain. Fast forward more than four decades, and we find Eva, now known as Evelyn, having distanced herself from her origins and buried her true identity. However, when her own daughter stumbles upon a collection of old letters and photographs hidden in the attic, Evelyn is compelled to confront her past, unraveling a concealed secret that she has diligently guarded and revealing the truth about her authentic self.

The cast and crew were ecstatic to perform such an important and impactful story. 

“I think it’s such a privilege for us to be playing this part because I think it means so much,” said Lisa Moore, who plays Evelyn. “I feel that I have an obligation, and I’m doing everything I can to get it right because we’re telling a story, a real story. With that said, it’s been an honor working with these guys and really, a special experience.” 

The rehearsals were fun and exciting, with Jayne pushing the actors to dig deep and find the emotional truth in each scene, wanting the audience to feel the sadness and the hope that the children and their families experienced during that time. 

“This is my first play here at CCC, but I’ve done theater in the past,” said Enzo Martin, who plays Faith, Evelyn’s daughter “So, that’s why I feel like this is a great introduction to Jane’s directing style. I really love her directing and how she works with the cast. It quite literally feels like a family, and I love the character that I was cast as.” 

Tickets are on sale on CCC’s website; $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, and free for CCC students. 


Dean Bechard