Shanghai Sonatas is a new UD musical based on the true story of Jewish refugees who founded a now-thriving culture of Western classical music in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, China, during World War II. Shanghai Sonatas premiered in early 2020 along with the free speaker series "The Shanghai Jewish Refugee During the Holocaust", an educational outreach project to inform local communities about the Holocaust from a new perspective. This speaker series was hosted in partnership with UD departments and units, UD's OLLI, local schools, libraries, senior centers, and community centers. This project extended the impact of an Introduction to Jewish Studies and Music co-listed course led by UD Professors Xiang Gao and David Winkler, with the support of UD Professors Joyce Hill Stoner and Polly Zavadivker.
Additionally, this project involved the launch of a new Master Players initiative: the "Backstage Pass" program. Through this program, Master Players is collaborating with UD professors and local high school teachers to increase student attendance at each concert. Registered students will receive free tickets, and they will receive extra credit with proof provided to the teacher or professor from Master Players after the concert. Teachers and their students will have the opportunity to bring one person to attend the concert and, at the conclusion, meet with the artists backstage over pizza and refreshments.