Great Performances: Remember This

Air date: 03/13/2023

Great Performances Presents U.S. Broadcast Premiere of Holocaust Witness Play Remember This Starring David Strathairn March 13 on PBS

The premiere is complemented by a behind-the-scenes examination of Jan Karski’s story in a new film from The WNET’s Group’s Exploring Hate reporting initiative

In a powerful solo performance, Academy Award nominee David Strathairn (“Nomadland,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “Lincoln”) tells the true story of reluctant World War II hero and Holocaust witness Jan Karski with Strathairn also portraying over 30 other characters in Great Performances: Remember This premiering Monday, March 13 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings), and the PBS App with an encore broadcast Sunday, April 16 at 6 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings). The premiere is part of Great Performances’ 50th anniversary season and is accompanied by Remembering Jan Karski, a behind-the-scenes companion film produced by The WNET Group’s Exploring Hate initiative that examines the ongoing relevance of Jan Karski’s story.

After surviving the devastation of the Blitzkrieg, Karski swears allegiance to the Polish Underground and risks his life to carry the first eyewitness reports of the Holocaust to the Western world, and ultimately, the Oval Office. Escaping a Gestapo prison, bearing witness to the despair of the Warsaw ghetto and confronted by the barbaric inhumanity of a death camp, Karski endures mental anguish and physical torture to stand tall and speak the truth. At times addressing the audience directly, Strathairn powerfully communicates this story of moral courage and individual responsibility that has become even more urgent for today’s world.

Presented in stark black and white, the intimate film utilizes a minimal set that transforms into many locations through the use of dramatic lighting effects. Produced by Eva Anisko and directed by Jeff Hutchens and Derek Goldman, the film is based on the play “Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski” by Clark Young and Derek Goldman that was originally produced by the Laboratory for Global Performance & Politics at Georgetown University. The film was shot on in July 2020 at a Brooklyn soundstage at the height of the pandemic and was completed in 2022Earlier this year, the film was released by Abramorama in collaboration with Great Performances, in a limited theatrical run to critical acclaim.

Immediately following the broadcast, The WNET Group’s reporting initiativeExploring Hate, looks behind the scenes of Remember This with a companion film, Remembering Jan Karski. The piece features interviews with actor David Strathairn and the film’s creative team, along with those who knew Karski personally including Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum, Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, and former President of Georgetown University, Father Leo O’Donovan. Remembering Jan Karski provides insight into the real-life hero’s character and legacy and while reflecting on what what his story can teach us about the issues we face today.

Exploring Hate is The WNET Group’s multi-platform reporting initiative about the roots and rise of hate in America and across the globe. The initiative probes the past and investigates the present to better understand the current alarming increase in bias, injustice, and disinformation that threatens democracy and human rights.

Throughout its 50-year history on PBS, Great Performances has provided an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Showcasing a diverse range of artists from around the world, the series has earned 67 Emmy Awards and six Peabody Awards. The Great Performances website hosts exclusive videos, interviews, photos, full episodes and more. The series is produced by The WNET Group. Great Performances is available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on and the PBS App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.

Great Performances: Remember This is a Sobremesa Media production in association with Remember This Karski Productions LLC and the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics. Executive producers are Eva Anisko and Michael Anisko. Produced by Eva Anisko. Written by Clark Young and Derek Goldman. Directed by Jeff Hutchens and Derek Goldman. Remembering Jan Karski is produced by Andy Schulman; Judy Greenspan is Director of Multiplatform Initiatives and Eugenia Harvey is executive producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.

Series funding for Great Performances is provided by The Joseph & Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Abra Prentice Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold, The Starr Foundation,  The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, Seton J. Melvin, the Estate of Worthington Mayo-Smith, the Jack Lawrence Trust,  Ellen and James S. Marcus and Leni and Peter May. Funding for Remember This is provided by the Revada Foundation, The Conference on Jewish Claims Against Germany, the Moving Image Trust Fund, the Jewish Film Institute, The Thorson Foundation, Kathleen McCabe and Dana La Forge and Megan and Graham Officer. Funding for Exploring Hate is provided by the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Antisemitism, Charlotte and David Ackert, Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney and Patti Askwith Kenner.

About The WNET Group 

The WNET Group creates inspiring media content and meaningful experiences for diverse audiences nationwide. It is the community-supported home of New York’s THIRTEEN – America’s flagship PBS station – WLIW21, THIRTEEN PBSKids, WLIW World and Create; NJ PBS, New Jersey’s statewide public television network; Long Island’s only NPR station WLIW-FM; ALL ARTS, the arts and culture media provider; newsroom NJ Spotlight News; and FAST channels Arts TWG+ and PBS Nature. Through these channels and streaming platforms, The WNET Group brings arts, culture, education, news, documentary, entertainment and DIY programming to more than five million viewers each month. The WNET Group’s award-winning productions include signature PBS series Nature, Great Performances, American Masters and Amanpour and Company and trusted local news programs MetroFocus and NJ Spotlight News with Briana Vannozzi. Inspiring curiosity and nurturing dreams, The WNET Group’s award-winning Kids’ Media and Education team produces the PBS KIDS series Cyberchase, interactive Mission US history games, and resources for families, teachers and caregivers. A leading nonprofit public media producer for more than 60 years, The WNET Group presents and distributes content that fosters lifelong learning, including multiplatform initiatives addressing poverty, jobs, economic opportunity, social justice, understanding and the environment. Through Passport, station members can stream new and archival programming anytime, anywhere. The WNET Group represents the best in public media. Join us. 




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David Strathairn in "Great Performances: Remember This." Photo Courtesy of Sobremesa Media

David Strathairn in "Great Performances: Remember This." Photo Courtesy of Jeff Hutchens

David Strathairn in "Great Performances: Remember This." Photo Courtesy of Jeff Hutchens

David Strathairn in "Great Performances: Remember This." Photo Courtesy of Jeff Hutchens

David Strathairn in "Great Performances: Remember This." Photo Courtesy of Sobremesa Media