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Saturday June 29 2019 @ 8 PM

Location: Ernst C. Stiefel Hall, Arnhold Hall, 55 west 13th street, rm. i400, New York, NY 10011 - 

Staged Reading of I Never Saw Another Butterfly by Celeste Raspanti to support Immigrant Defender Groups.

Click HERE for a feature by American Theatre Magazine.

The reading was co-directed by Rebecca Etzine and Peter J. Kuo, and featured Antonio Araujo, Danny Bryck, Rick Burkhardt, Rachel Caplan, Alex Chester, Gloria Cordona, Chris Costa, Stephanie Gould, Max Helfand, Elizabeth Klein,  Maribel Martinez, Bess Miller, Sarita Ocón, and Lauren Slakter.

Entrance is open to the public, with an encouragement to donate online to the immigrant defender groups listed below beforehand.


Following the reading, attorney Zachary Zwillinger facilitatated a workshop on ways allies can better support and protect undocumented immigrants and refugees.

Alarming and heartbreaking news have been continuously coming in the past week accounting the reprehensible conditions under which immigrant children, some of which are infants, have been detained in camps at the border. From overcrowding, to malnutrition, to lack of access to basic needs such as soap, toothpaste, and diapers; the children's treatment is inhumane to say the least. Following the latest leak of ICE's "family op" plan to target 2,000 undocumented immigrants and refugees, and a tweet mentioning the "removing of millions," a need became clear to draw more attention to the deplorable actions of our government, support organizations that are helping these individuals, and educate our society on ways we can help.


To spread awareness, producers Peter J. Kuo, and Pia Haddad of 3K2 Productions are hosting #CloseTheCamps Action Event, featuring a reading of I Never Saw Another Butterfly by Celeste Raspanti. The play is the story of Raja, a young Jewish girl who is separated from her family during World War II to Terezin, a camp where 15,000 children passed through. Raja, who lived through it all, provides care and hope for the children, at a time when only despair can be found.


We encourage attendees to donate to these organizations, Immigrant Defenders Law Center in Los Angeles, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society in New York, and Freedom for Immigrants in Oakland. Mention “#CloseTheCamps Action Event” when donating. Resources on how to financially support these organizations will be provided at the event.

“The concept behind the fundraiser came from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's denouncing these centers as concentration camps,” says Kuo. “While we are in no way comparing the situation to the mass murders of the Holocaust, the conditions at Terezin, a holding center for 150,000 Jews--15,000 of them children--have many similarities to the conditions at the camps which children are presently being held at the US border. They are horrific and need to be highlighted.”

"This week, between his threat of raids on immigrant families and his continued abuse of children at the border, Trump is terrorizing our immigrant communities for no reason other than to score points with his base. It’s more important than ever for allies to stand together with our immigrant communities and give them much needed legal resources, including access to lawyers who can fight like hell to protect their rights," said Lindsay Toczylowski, Executive Director at Immigrant Defenders Law Center; one of the benefactors of the fundraiser.​


Additional event personnel:


Producers: Pia Haddad and Peter J. Kuo

Associate Producer: Nikki Meñez

Stage Manager: Jonathan Castanien

Composer: Rick Burkhardt

Graphic Designer: Andrés López-Alicea


The reading of I Never Saw Another Butterfly is produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY of Woodstock, Illinois.

Venue provided with generous support of The New School, College of Performing Arts, School of Drama.

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