From the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival
"This play tells the story of angelic guidance received by a small group of Hungarians during the horrors of World War II. The narrator and main character, Gita Mallasz, was recognized in 2011 by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for having rescued over 100 Jewish women and children from almost certain death. Her portrayal by Shelley Mitchell was spellbinding and in itself an act of courage. As a consummate actor, whether Shelley played one of the four who received these instructions or one of the angels who gave them, her voice rang true.
It is heartening in these unquiet times to be reminded that every one of us can take a stand for good. There’s a saying that we have an army of angels at our command if we but ask, and the message of this play is that for this group of four, that saying bore fruit. If it happened once, who’s to say it can’t happen again? Whether or not you believe in angels, this is a compelling insight into Holocaust history not to be missed." -Eileen Weiner, Certified Festival Reviewer
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Based on the Hungarian document transcribed by Gitta Mallasz
"We had the feeling that we were living on the edge of a cliff. Collective blindness was on the rise, along with a flood of organized political lies. If something were promised by the Nazis, for instance, one could be sure that just the opposite would occur. A strong desire was welling in us to find the truth-- our truth-- beneath so much deception." -Gitta Mallasz
TALKING WITH ANGELS: Budapest, 1943 is a one act play that weaves art, science, religion, art and consciousness into a cohesive whole. It is based on the true story of four close knit friends and their encounter with transcendent forces.
Over a period of 17 months, despite the chaos in Nazi-occupied Hungary, Gitta Mallasz, Lili Strauss, Joseph Kreutzer and Hanna Dallos held weekly meetings every Friday afternoon. During these meetings, Hanna received channeled messages from four entities --four distinctly different personalities-- who spoke through her and gave counsel and comfort to the quartet. In 1976, Gitta Mallasz, the only survivor of the group, turned the transcripts from these meetings into the book TALKING WITH ANGELS, which Shelley Mitchell then adapted into this critically acclaimed solo performance.
This interfaith story is about the power of a few people and their tremendous spiritual vigor. TALKING WITH ANGELS is not simply a vehicle for entertainment nor is it solely a meditative text meant for solitary study; this performance is a co-creation where audience meets actor for a spiritual infusion.