I’m Not Leaving – The Play



Carl & I are in Buffalo, NY right now at the invitation of the Buffalo State Theatre Department who produced a play based on Carl's book, "I'm Not Leaving". If you haven't seen the book yet, it's based on the cassette tapes that Carl recorded during the 100 days that he was in Kigali, Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. And if you don't yet have a copy of the book and would like one, you can get one by making a donation to World Outside My Shoes at

The play's premier performance will be Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. (Buffalo, NY time) as part of the Anne Frank Project event taking place on the Buffalo State College campus this week.

You can watch the play live online 8pm eastern time at: where you will then click on the "2011 AFP Conference Live Stream" line under the "Welcome" heading. Once you click on that line you will see several events and the list will grow longer in the coming days. Streaming for the conference starts at 9am eastern time Wed. Sept. 14. Below is a schedule of all the events that will be streamed live during the 3-day conference.

Anne Frank Conference 
schedule of events that will be streamed live online.

9:00-10:50 AM OPENING CEREMONY Warren Enters Theatre- Upton Hall
Welcome: Dr. Aaron Podolefsky- President, Buffalo State College
AFP 2011: Looking Inward: Drew Kahn- Director, The Anne Frank Project
Keynote Speaker: Hope Azeda
Panel Discussion- Employing the Arts For Social Justice:
Hope Azeda- Mashirika Creative and Performing Arts Group
Carole Karemera- ISHYO Performing Arts Center
Nadia Nikwaya- ISHYO Performing Arts Center
Gary Wolfe- Artist
11:00-11:50 AM Carl Wilkens Warren Enters Theatre- Upton Hall
A Dialogue with Carl Wilkens
1:00-1:50 PM Sophia Veffer Warren Enters Theatre- Upton Hall
From Bullying to Hate Crimes, to the Holocaust, to Genocide: Can The Anne Frank Project Change a Bystander Into an Involved Citizen?
The Anne Frank Project offers an analytical approach to the causes of discrimination, hate crimes, the Holocaust and Genocides through the words of Anne Frank and lessons learned from the history of societies, where annihilation of large segments of the civilian populations became the norm of justice and government policies. Every genocide, including the Holocaust, requires three groups of participants: The Victims, The Perpetrators and the Bystanders. Of the three groups, the Bystanders are the most dangerous and the most numerous, because they enable the Perpetrators to commit these crimes.
Using Anne Frank’s words, we educate young people from kindergarten through college that discrimination and hate crimes are detrimental in achieving a peaceful Global Society. Our Shared Humanity Has No Room for Bystanders.
3:30-4:00 PM Emily Michel Warren Enters Theatre- Upton Hall
HRC Art and Writing Contest Best in Show, Emily Michel will read her award winning poem, followed a short discussion with the participants.
Introduced by: Lillian Gerstman- Holocaust Resource Center
4:00-5:10 PM Andrew Beiter and Warren Enters Theatre- Upton Hall
Springville Students for Human Rights
Ripples of Hope: Profiles of People Who Have Changed the World
The students will perform monologues, music, dance and poetry, all of which is designed to inspire their audience to repair the world. The piece performed by Springville Middle and High School students recreates the lives of historic and current human rights defenders.
5:15-7:15 PM Dr. Ricky Fleming Warren Enters Theatre- Upton Hall
A Soldier’s Tale
A Soldier Tale” or Histoire du Soldat was written in 1918 to be read, played and danced, set to music by Igor Stravinsky. The original story was based on a Russian folk tale, written in French by the Swiss writer C.F. Ramuz. The libretto was about a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil for a book that could predict the future. However, this performance will feature a later version of the libretto that is set in World War II. This version written by Kurt Vonnegut, chronicles the arrest, court martial and execution of an American soldier named Eddie Solvik. Eddie Solvik refused to take part in the war as he felt that it was hazardous to his health. The story really shows what lengths a person will go to stand up for what he or she believes in, even if it means death. The music was written for a septet as to compensate for the lack of players available during World War I.

7:15-8:00 PM Carl Wilkens Warren Enters Theatre- Upton Hall
A Dialogue with Carl Wilkens author of I’m Not Leaving

8:00-10:00 PM Joseph Price Warren Enters Theatre- Upton Hall
Ensemble Theater Class
I’m Not Leaving, World Premier is a play based on a manuscript of the same title by Carl Wilkens. Mr. Wilkens was the only American to remain in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. The Ensemble Theatre class has devised a theater piece based on the manuscript that looks at the genocide through the lens of Carl’s experience. The piece is presented with the hope that the understanding the audience and performers reach, might lead to a more just and tolerant world where genocide and exclusion have no place. The play seeks to create a bond between the audience and Carl. If the audience is moved by Carl’s acts of heroism and develops a relationship with Carl through his story perhaps we can live the words of Anne Frank: “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”

9:00-10:30 AM Panel Discussion Warren Enters Theatre- Upton Hall
Defining the Role of Social Justice
Ronnie Podolefsky
Sophia Veffer- Holocaust Resource Center
10:50AM-12:05PM Carl Wlikens Warren Enters Theatre- Upton Hall
A Dialogue with Carl Wilkens

1:40-2:55 PM Dr. Charles Bachman Warren Enters Theatre- Upton Hall
Love and Cohesion versus Hatred and Enmity in Native American Traditional Stories
Dr. Bachman will tell three Native American traditional stories. Each of the stories relates to the title and the importance of caritas, charity within a community. A discussion will follow each story asking the participants what ethical/spiritual lessons can be gleaned from the tale.
The Enemy
Poia” (Scarface) "
Hodadenon, or the Last One Left”

3:00-5:00 Warren Enters Theatre- Upton Hall Warren Enters Theatre- Upton Hall
of Erie and Niagara Counties, Inc.
Native American families in Western New York continue to feel the impact of the Thomas Indian School and the Mohawk Institute. Survivors speak of traumatic separation from their families, abuse, and a systematic assault on their language and culture. Western New York Native American communities are presently attempting to heal the wounds and break the cycle inter-generational trauma resulting from the boarding school experience. Unseen Tears documents testimonies of boarding school survivors, their families, and social service providers.

5:00-6:00 PM Panel Discussion Warren Enters Theatre- Upton Hall The American Experience
Peter Hill- Native American Community Service of Erie and Niagara Counties
Michael Martin- Native American Community Service of Erie and Niagara Counties
Raul Neira- Associate Professor, Modern and Classical Languages, Buffalo State College
Ruchatneet Printup- Native American Community Services of Erie and Niagara Counties

9:00- 10:50 AM Panel Discussion- Warren Enters Theatre- Upton Hall
Expressing Community
Victor Habinshuti-
Michele Ninacs- College Writing Program, Buffalo State College
Deborah Renzi- Social Work Department, Buffalo State College

12:00-1:30 PM Ntare Ali Gault Warren Enters Theatre- Upton Hall
Erika Haygood
Njozi Poets
The Njozi Poets have been performing throughout the country for over 12 years inspiring audiences.
“ I simply can’t build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery and death…I think….peace and tranquility will return again.” Anne Frank. This quote expresses the hope that whatever confusion or turmoil one may experience, peace is still possible. Erika Haygood, witnessed the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. As brutal as the attack was Ms. Haygood birthed poetry of hope.
Ntare Ali Gault uses his real life family stories, weaving them into poetry that people of all backgrounds can relate to. Using both of his grandmothers’ stories, his poetry connects historical narratives to present challenges today. Taken together, the poets presentations will undoubtedly stimulate an open discussion with audience members and provide a forum where peace and tranquility can truly commence.

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