A Perfect Holiday Play

Photo by Joe Bly, Performance at Montclair, New Jersey 2008

Paper Candles embodies the true meaning of the holiday season for people of all faiths. In stark contrast, to the slick materialism which often pervades holiday events, Paper Candles powerfully conveys the dual message of loving one's neighbor as one's self, and the necessity of standing up for religious freedom.

Photo by Joe Bly, Performance at Montclair, New Jersey 2008

Montclair, New Jersey, 2008 Christmas/Hanukkah Production

"Today, through this play, we are paying tribute to the people of Billings and to all the people before them; to their bravery, courage and unselfishness and their belief in humanity. This is what can make us proud and believe in the universal value of human kindness and respect for our fellow man."

Ambassador Torben A. Gettermann
Danish Ambassador to the United Nations
Montclair, New Jersey Dec 13, 2008

This past December, 2008 there were four showcase performances of Paper Candles in Montclair, New Jersey. Over 1,200 people came to see the play which was directed by Kathleen Kellaigh. The Montclair production, which was spearheaded and produced by Roxanne Kent (one of the play's co-lyricists), brought together the Union Congregational Church, B'nai Keshet Synagogue, and St. John's Church Arts and Spirituality Group, as well as Montclair's public libraries, and public and independent schools.

People of every age, color and religion participated and found that in the process of telling the story of Billings, and acting out and communicating their feelings about the themes of the play, they had created their own community story. We hope and believe that the same thing will happen to other schools, churches, synagogues, organizations and community theaters that become involved in putting on this production.

Photo by Joe Bly, Performance at Montclair, New Jersey 2008

Play Feedback From Adults

The play is a perfect vehicle for a message of hope and understanding. It really hit home for me - my husband is Jewish and I am a practicing Catholic. People who enjoy classic Broadway plays, happy endings, and leaving a theater feeling uplifted and cheerful, must see it!

Olga Feltz

Paper Candles is an outstanding depiction of how the smallest choices, made for the right reasons, can have a tremendous impact on people's lives. An incredible story.

Jann and David Skelton

Photo by Joe Bly, Performance at Montclair, New Jersey 2008

We are so fortunate to have been a part of this production. The people involved brought together many of the aspects of our faith that are important to us as a congregation: the strength of community, the integrity of individuals, the importance of interfaith dialogue and cooperation, the beauty of words, the inspiration of drama, and the trust that truth and goodness eventually prevail. The light that represents the mystery of God in our tradition shines through Paper Candles.

The Rev. Stephanie Weiner
Senior Minister
Union Congregational Church

A thoroughly enjoyable theatrical experience!…A valuable asset for educators and a wonderful model for students to see how important it is to come to the aid of others who are bullied and victimized.

Marvin Goldstein, Ph.D.
Formerly Co-Director of The Julius
Dorothy Koppelman Holocaust/Genocide
Resource Center at Rider University

Paper Candles is a wonderful, imaginative rendering of a real story of courage and community…The structure of the play, and the music and lyrics that accompany it, make this universal story all the more so, by making it accessible to and enjoyable for younger audiences. Perfect for schools and communities in general.

Peter Nelson
Facing History and Ourselves

Photo by Joe Bly, Performance at Montclair, New Jersey 2008

[The book] The Christmas Menorahs is a truly inspiring story, but the play Paper Candles [based upon the book]surpassed all my expectations, highlighting both the sorrow of prejudice and the joy of a united community battling injustice. The music was spirited and the writing engaged both children and adults. Bravo.

David Iskovitz
Director of Education
Temple B'nai Or

This story of Paper Candles is so important if we are to find a way, not only to coexist, but in order for our communities to thrive and grow. The play is a witness to the human family and our journey through brokenness and fear, to healing and trust. I recommend this play to people of all faith traditions, and no faith tradition, for the sake of our shared future.

The Rev. Jeff Markay
Senior Pastor
Caldwell United Methodist Church

Photo by Joe Bly, Performance at Montclair, New Jersey 2008

Play Feedback From Young People

I learned it is very important to respect other people's traditions. I liked when the bad guy learned to understand others.

Hannah Skelton
2nd grade

Paper Candles is a great play because I enjoyed every minute. I read the book which was fantastic, but the songs in the play are funny and the actors were very good. The play makes it easy to remember the message because it is such fun and you feel happy.

Ben Feltz
4th grade

This was the best play or movie based upon a true story I've ever seen.

Christopher Taylor
6th grade

Photo by Joe Bly, Performance at Montclair, New Jersey 2008

Paper Candles is a wonderful play. I wish every school could see it and talk about it. It deals with so many issues that are important for kids and for everyone. Knowing the events happened to real people and seeing how they handled themselves has inspired me and I know will inspire others who can see it.

Thea Flurry
8th grade

Paper Candles' great songs and dialogue show the moral high ground that enlightens its viewers. It depicts so well universal truths that prove a simple point too many people still miss.

Brendan Kent
11th grade

The play is an excellent blending of really enjoyable entertainment and informative insight into history. I loved watching it and the songs really stick with you.

Charlotte Nimbach
Exchange Student from Germany
12th grade

Photo by Joe Bly, Performance at Montclair, New Jersey 2008

Songs from the Performance

The following new songs were recorded during a live performance on December 13, 2008.

That's What I Love About (listen)

We Are Denmark (listen)

Chutzpah (listen)





Feel free to contact us at info@papercandles.com.