William Cooper (original song from ACU's Pop Up Musical KALEIDOSCOPE, 1st June 2018)

NIGHT OF BROKEN GLASS, the musical, will commemorate the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, as seen through the eyes of Indigenous human rights activist, William Cooper, in a completely collaborative and socially inclusive piece of musical theatre. It will interweave the stories of Jewish survivor of Kristallnacht in Munich, Kurt Wildberg; the son of the "Tattooist of Auschwitz", Gary Sokolov; and the grandson of William Cooper, Uncle Alf Turner, (Uncle Boydie). These stories are inspirational, aspirational and educational, and champion the human rights of all oppressed minorities. Night of Broken Glass will be a performance of music and dance to unite and promote understanding of different cultures and generations. By bringing together a diverse group of Victorians of multi-faiths and multi-cultural backgrounds, it is anticipated that 1000 Victorians will be involved in workshops from September to November 2018 to create this unique piece of theatre. Night of Broken Glass will feature the ACU, students and staff, the Choir of Hard Knocks, Men Aloud and many other community groups and choirs. Participants will be recruited though local schools and youth agencies, NGOs, refugee centres, social media and by word of mouth. Over a period of six weeks, from mid-September until November 18th, groups will meet to write, rehearse and perform this uniquely Australian view of the events of 1938. There will be a live streaming to the Australian High Commission London; and to Berlin, with potential to stream to ACU campus in Rome.


  1. To introduce Victorians to the life of: a. William Cooper as an example of the power of courage in overcoming hardship, prejudice and inequality b. Gary Sokalov as Jewish son of Tattooist of Auschwitz c. Life of Kristallnacht survivor and Jewish immigrant to Melbourne, Mr Kurt Wildburg
  2. To offer a participatory experience that contributes to local and regional cooperation, collaboration and partnerships through the arts
  3. To consolidate a reputation for high quality inclusive theatre projects that; a. are inclusive of all Victorians of all faiths and cultures b. can accommodate participants who are coping with multi-dimensional challenges with their physical and mental health c. provide opportunities for university students and theatre students to get firsthand experience as volunteers in inclusive musical theatre.
  4. To offer participation in a musical theatre project that may make a lasting contribution to: a. health outcomes b. overall well-being c. improved self-efficacy and relationships
  5. To provide an opportunity to participate in an inclusive musical theatre experience that potentially contributes to educational outcomes including: a. aspirations to higher education and b. re-engaging with learning c. interest in lifelong learning



    • Dr Beth Rankin - Project Director (Creative Arts Australian Catholic University)
    • Mr Warren Wills - Artistic and Musical Director
    • Dr Kathleen McGuire - Music Associate (Creative Arts, Australian Catholic University)
    • Mr Terry Cole - Stage Manager (Creative Arts, Australian Catholic University)


    • Ms Jacquie Schell Project Administration (Offbeat Co-Founder)
    • Ms Margot Gorsky (PR Matters)
    • Mr Joe Temin (Minuteman Press)
    • Mr Michael Cummins Writer Film Maker


    • Dr John Ballard Associate Vice Chancellor Australian Catholic University
    • Dr Jack Morris Board (member Offbeat Foundation)
    • Dr Phillip Bliss OAM
    • Mr Gary Sokalov Son of Tattooist of Auschwitz
    • Mr Alf Turner (Uncle Boydie) Yorta Yorta, Grandson of William Cooper
    • Mr Frank Carew (Courage to Care)
    • Ms Jan Lester (Church of Scientology)


    • Choir of Hard Knocks
    • Men Aloud
    • Embrace and The Les Twentyman Foundation ACU education students are invited to work as practitioners and artists Community Theatre and Choirs


To learn how to support the project, visit: https://nightofbrokenglass.teamapp.com/custom_pages/4409-donate


To become part of the production or creative team, please sign up here: https://nightofbrokenglass.teamapp.com/memberships