In the fall of 1939, at 9 years old, Eleanor and her family left New York on the SS Hamburg bound for Germany. A new job and a secure financial future awaited her father in Berlin. Half-way across the Atlantic, Hitler declared war on Poland and a return to America became impossible.
This is the true story of Eleanor Ramrath Garner growing up as an American girl in Nazi Germany during WWII from ages 9 to 16. Adapted for the stage, this award-winning autobiography details her youth struggling to maintain stability, hope, and identity in a world of terror and contrasts. Her family faces hunger, Gestapo threats, carpet bombing, the final fierce battle for Berlin, the Russian invasion and the terrors of Soviet occupancy.
Eleanor’s Story is a one woman show adapted and performed by granddaughter Ingrid Garner, who grew up hearing her grandmother Eleanor’s harrowing stories. Upon receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Drama from Cal State Fullerton (California), Ingrid chose Eleanor’s Story to be her first foray into playwriting and a world stage tour.
Ingrid spent hours conversing with Eleanor, who still lives in Southern California, to gain further insight into the events from the book, and to get a deeper understanding of her emotions at the time, including the culture-shock and post-traumatic stress of returning to the U.S. after the war ended.
Directed by Craig Tyrl, Ingrid Garner has created a vivid and riveting hour-long journey, exposing audiences to a uniquely personal story about the horrors of war and that every casualty of war is a person, not a number.
“Garner completely embodies the vulnerability of the child, the terror of Berlin during the air raids, and also the joy of survival” – The Advertiser (Adelaide)
Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran
Season: 15 – 20 March 2016
Bookings: (03) 8290 7000 or online at: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au
For more information, visit: www.eleanorsstory.com for details.
Image: Ingrid Garner in Eleanor’s Story – photo by Richard Maritzer