Most creative people can recall what ignited their passion for the arts. For Deva Wiloth, one of those shows was "I Never Saw Another Butterfly," which she is directing at Bakersfield Community Theatre.
Wiloth first saw the show based on a book that is a compilation of art and poetry created by the Jewish children in Terezin, a concentration camp and ghetto in German-occupied Czech lands, in high school. She said that it inspired her to pursue theater.
She wrote in an email, "When I got the opportunity to pitch the show to the board of directors at BCT, I jumped at the chance and was so excited when they chose it for a studio show."
Playing one weekend only, the play centers on Raja (Brooke Hollibaugh), one of the children who survived Terezin. She, along with her family, friends and classmates, struggles to retain a world filled with butterflies and flowers while horrors continue around them.
"I describe it as a journey through the past," Wiloth wrote. "It's a show about a girl fighting all the odds to survive the Holocaust and the concentration camps and living to tell the tale."
With themes of homesickness, survival and strength, the play is heavy material for performs, especially young ones. The director said along with Hollibaugh, the youngest in the cast also include Jakub Cecil, 14, as Raja's friend Honza, and Mia-Che Rhodes and Darwin Wilkinson, 14 and 11, respectively, who both play children.
She wrote, "I'm so impressed with them, and my entire cast!"
Hope is the message Wiloth would like audiences to take away from the show.
"Hope that we as people can do better, we as people can treat others better, we as people won't let something like this happen again."