Middle-schoolers to present play by Holocaust survivor

Published 6:37 am Thursday, October 25, 2018


John W. Bate Middle School

John W. Bate Middle School of the Danville Independent Schools is presenting the play, “Not Yet, Pista,” a stage play in two acts, on Friday, Nov. 1.

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In 2013, Stephen Nasser and educator Ann Raskin wrote the play based on his concentration camp experiences from Nasser’s book, “My Brother’s Voice.”

Stephen “Pista” Nasser was 13 years old when the Nazis whisked him and his family away from their home in Hungary to Auschwitz. His memories of that terrifying experience are still vivid, and his love for his brother Andris still brings a husky tone to his voice when he remembers the terrible ordeal they endured together.

Nasser’s account of the Holocaust, in his book, told in the refreshingly direct and optimistic language of a young boy, will help every reader to understand that the Holocaust was real, and that, if you have enough love, determination and will power, there is always a better tomorrow.

In 1948, the Canadian Jewish Congress brought Nasser to Canada. He soon found an opportunity to use his artistic skills in a 10-year career as a diamond setter.

Photo contributed
Left to right Aunt Manci (Jennie Clark); Vera (Teagan Fowlkes); Uncle Karoly (Bill Nichols) and Pista (Marshal Cooper)

Nasser moved to the United States in 1958. He had learned cooking skills as a Boy Scout prior to the war. He purchased and opened a restaurant.

Later, he sold insurance and securities, eventually becoming a member of the Pennsylvania Life Insurance Company, heading his own office. Subsequently, he worked as a decorator for Sears for 15 years until he retired.

Nasser and his wife Francoise, a retired nurse, currently reside in Las Vegas. Nasser remains as dynamic and creative as ever. He is speaker for the Holocaust Survivor Group in Las Vegas. Nasser will be coming to Danville for the run of this show. He will be available for book signing prior to each performance. He will also be presenting his story 3 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Boyle County Public Library.


“Not Yet, Pista” will be up 7 p.m. Nov. 1-3 and 3 p.m. Nov. 4 at Danville High School’s Gravely Hall. Tickets may be purchased at danvillearts.org. Steven Nasser, who co-wrote the play, will be onhand before each performance, signing books. He will also appear 3 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Boyle County Public Library