I Never Saw Another Butterfly is an uplifting and inspiring story about the use of art in times of tragedy. The story centers around Raja, a young Czech teenager who is forced into Terezin, or Thereisenstadt, a Jewish ghetto that was used as a stopping point for transport to the death camps in the east, Auschwitz in particular. While many Jewish artists, filmmakers, and other people of cultural or political prominence were sent there, the ghetto itself was still a miserable place to live. Disease was everywhere, and starvation was the norm.
Of the more than 15,000 children who passed through Terezin, only 141 are known to have survived. Many drawings, poems, and other works of art that Raja and her friends smuggled out of Terezin have been shared with the world, and through them, these 15,000 children live on.
Through the eyes of the children who lived in this camp, we see how art helped them not only survive their time in the ghetto, but also how it helped them cope. The play uses poetry from the book by the same name, a collection of artwork and poetry by the children of the Terezin Concentration Camp, 1942-1944.