KU Theatre

If the Whole Body Dies

by Robert Skloot

Following a staged reading at KU last year, this thought-provoking drama returns for a fully staged production in the University Theatre. The play explores the life and career of Raphael Lemkin, whose obsession with stopping genocide (a word he coined) led to the adoption of the United Nations Treaty Against Genocide. The meaning of the Holocaust is reexamined here through a complex international framework. The play creates a tension between the Holocaust as a historical event and the subsequent political conflict over the term “genocide,” a conflict that underscores the persistence of prejudice and inaction even while the images of the gas chambers and their victims were still in circulation across the American media. By turns funny and sad, the one-act play at times seems to occur in Lemkin’s memory, as a series of flashbacks, while he encounters allies and enemies to his cause. The production of this play is part of a semester-long investigation of genocide through guest artists and lecturers, organized by the Department of Theatre.

  • Directed by John Gronbeck-Tedesco
  • Scenic, Lighting and Costume Design by Tatyana Wilds


Cast Member

Story Teller

Margaret Hanzlick

Woman          Janice Craft

Samantha Smith

Woman’s Voices Sara Kennedy
Woman’s Voice Caroline Collett
Raphael Lemkin

Robert Skloot


Festus Shaughnessy

Man’s Voice Brody Horn

Man’s Voice

Joe Lilac

Foley Technician, Interviewer Jamie Teller
Floor Attendant

Gabriel Goff


Scenic, Costume and Lighting Design by Tatyana Wilds



  • Thursday November 29, 7:30 p.m. | IngeTheatre
  • Friday November 30, 7:30 p.m. | Inge Theatre
  • Saturday December 1, 7:30 p.m. | Inge Theatre
  • Sunday December 2, 2:30 p.m. | Inge Theatre
  • Monday December 3, 7:30 p.m. | Inge Theatre
  • Tuesday December 4, 7:30 p.m. | Inge Theatre
  • Wednesday December 5, 7:30 p.m. | Inge Theatre

Ticket Prices

  • Public: $10
  • Senior Citizens & KU Faculty/Staff: $9
  • All Students: $5

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