Gemma Whelan


by Lois Silverstein

Brava! for Women in the Arts

Jan – Feb, 1990

World Premiere


  • “Remarkable emotional force, complexity, and coherence. Valia’s persecptive on war—grizzly, relentless, sad, spirited, spiritual, humorous—are true and memorable.”

    Maylie Scott, Zen Priest

  • “A humorous, anguished, wry, visionary, tragic, and heroic portrayal set against the sweep of historical events—shattering personal loss with a denouement (of) surprising sweetness and strength.”

    AGADA Magazine

  • “Gemma took charge with ease, brought her insightful directing skills into every rehearsal, every conference, every one-on-one discussion. Her talents and her vitality helped bring the full production to fruition in both a lively and introspective way. I loved working with her as performer and playwright. I couldn’t ask for anyone more supportive and skillful to help me birth a show that helped me grow and brought satisfaction to the varied audiences.”

    Lois Silverstein, Performer and playwright, Valia


The moving tale of a woman freedom fighter and the fall of Danzig, Poland, on the eve of World War II. A vision of magic, dream, and faith overcoming overwhelming odds.



Lois Silverstein / VALIA
Thomas B. Slocum / (MUSICIAN)


Gemma Whelan / DIRECTOR
Thomas B. Slocum / COMPOSER